West Basin Municipal Water District celebrated the re-opening of the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility (ECLWRF) Water Education Center in El Segundo during a grand re-opening ceremony on Thursday, October 3.
The evening consisted of a short speaking program and ceremonial ribbon cutting, honoring the legacy of the facility. Congresswoman Grace Napolitano served as the keynote speaker, with over 150 water industry professionals, elected officials, environmental organizations and esteemed guests gathering at the facility to recognize the District’s vision for regional water sustainability through the District’s enhanced recycled water program.
“West Basin is proud of its role as a leader in recycled water, and our newly renovated Water Education Center will once again welcome members of the public and water professionals to learn about the work of our District and our longstanding commitment to provide a sustainable supply of water to our communities,” said West Basin Board President Scott Houston.
The renovated Water Education Center includes new interpretive exhibits that provide guests with a refreshed educational experience and enhanced interactive learning opportunities along the water treatment facility tour route. Since its opening in 1995, more than 100,000 people, including local school students, college groups, international delegations, trade groups and professionals have visited the facility and participated in facility tours.
West Basin has invested approximately $600 million in infrastructure and treatment technologies for its water recycling program. This includes more than $277 million in grants and outside investments to assist with program costs. The water recycling facility has produced over 200 billion gallons of recycled water over the past 25 years, demonstrating a successful partnership in sustainability and environmental protection with the City of Los Angeles.
“Providing the community with the opportunity to better understand water reuse, water use efficiency and other sustainable solutions that respond to climate change challenges are vital in securing the future of water reliability,” said West Basin General Manager Patrick Sheilds. “The enhancements to the Water Education Center will now provide a larger platform for information sharing and create opportunities for partnerships and collaboration at a global level.”
The grand re-opening ceremony hosted key water industry power players, including remarks from LASAN General Manager Enrique Zaldivar and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California General Manager Jeff Kightlinger. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also shared a video message congratulating West Basin on the success of its recycled water program and recognizing the District’s ongoing successful partnership with the city on its sustainability efforts.
The facility has been closed to the public during renovations since early 2018 and will reopen to the public for tours and presentations in January 2020. The Visitors and Education Center will also be available to community groups and professional organizations as a public meeting space. The water education center is expected to attract over 20,000 people each year and will continue to serve as a regional hub for recycled water education.
Photo courtesy of West Basin