The West Basin Municipal Water District Board of Directors approved the District’s 2020 Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP), a strategic water resources planning guide that demonstrates West Basin’s ability to provide reliable water supplies to the region for the next 25 years.
“West Basin continues to invest in a diverse water supply portfolio that meets the specific needs of the communities and industries that we serve,” said Board President Harold C. Williams, MSCE, P.E. “The 2020 UWMP once again shows that West Basin’s water resources are expected to remain highly reliable for the next quarter century despite ongoing climate change, multi-year droughts, and other factors that impact the availability of water resources.”
Under California law, West Basin is required to update its UWMP every five years. The 2020 plan summarizes the District’s projected water supplies and demands through the year 2045 and confirms that West Basin is well prepared to meet anticipated service area water needs in normal-year, single-dry year, and five-year drought scenarios.
West Basin’s water supply portfolio was determined to be reliable for the next 25 years based on several factors, the primary of which is the continued expansion of its water recycling system, which supplies the region with five types of recycled water for irrigation, industrial uses, and groundwater replenishment. According to the 2020 UWMP, recycled water use is projected to more than double in West Basin’s service area by 2045.
In addition, West Basin’s ongoing demand management measures, which includes water use efficiency programs, public outreach, and education, will continue to drive down demand for drinking water, despite expected growth in housing units and population over the next five to ten years. Groundwater use in the region is also projected to return to higher historical levels by 2030, which will alleviate the need for additional imported water in future years.
While demand for imported water is expected to decline through 2045, imported supplies will continue to be reliable due to investments in storage and other key infrastructure by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan). Metropolitan has deemed its water supply reliable for the next 25 years, which provides West Basin’s service area with an additional level of supply certainty.
In addition to adopting the 2020 UWMP, the West Basin Board approved a Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP) that describes the actions West Basin could implement to ensure reliable water supplies during various water shortage situations, including shortages of up to and greater than 50 percent, and catastrophic interruptions caused by earthquakes or other natural disasters. The WSCP provides West Basin with a flexible set of response actions to address future water shortages, including enhanced outreach and education, increased coordination with local water agencies, and implementation of new water efficiency programs.
West Basin’s 2020 UWMP also describes how the District plans to continue reducing its reliance on imported water supplies from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in Northern California. By the year 2045, the District expects to decrease its need for Delta supplies by more than 60,000 acre-feet compared to a 2010 baseline. West Basin expects to accomplish this in part through its ongoing Water for Tomorrow Program, which focuses on ensuring water reliability for residents and businesses in the service area through a strategic set of priorities that includes:
Protecting West Basin’s existing water supplies
Maximizing water recycling opportunities
Expanding conservation and water efficiency efforts
West Basin worked closely with its customer agencies, local cities, Los Angeles County, as well as the region’s imported water wholesaler, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, to develop its 2020 UWMP, WSCP, and Delta Reliance plans. The District also solicited feedback from the public and other stakeholders through written comments and by hosting a public hearing on June 10, 2021.
The final West Basin 2020 UWMP can be accessed at www.westbasin.org/2020-UWMP.
Amy Rocha, West Basin