The Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners voted unanimously today to support the Water Replenishment District of Southern California’s (WRD) Groundwater Reliability Improvement Project (GRIP), an initiative that would replace 21,000 acre-feet of imported water (what the WRD currently uses) with recycled water.
The LBWD Board’s move is in line with the WRD’s push to eliminate dependence on imported water and ensure the future security of the region by developing local, sustainable water sources.
“This drought shows the need to advance beneficial projects like this for the overall water reliability of our community,” said Harry Saltzgaver, President of the Board of Water Commissioners in a statement. “We fully support WRD to move expeditiously to eliminate their dependence on imported water.”
The WRD has already implemented a number of projects that today’s vote supports, called the Water Independence Now (WIN) program. The program collects stormwater and recycles water through other means to replace water in the Central and West Coast basin aquifers. The Central Basin aquifer supplies 60 percent of Long beach’s water.
“If we’ve learned one thing from this drought, it’s that we need to do everything we can to eliminate our groundwater basin’s reliance on imported water for replenishment,” said Long Beach Water Department General Manager Kevin Wattier, in a statement. “This opportunity would allow our Central Basin to be completely self-sufficient on local supplies.”