Southern California District Receives $1.7 Million in WaterSMART Grant

The Water Replenishment District of Southern California received one of five WaterSMART grants for expansion of its Leo J. Vander Lans Advanced Water Treatment Facility from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. 

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor announced the selection of five Title XVI water reuse projects in California and New Mexico to receive $15.6 million in funding through the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART program. The Water Replenishment District’s (WRD) Leo J. Vander Lans Advanced Water Treatment Facility (LJVL) expansion was one of the highest rated projects in this competitive grant process, and the only award recipient in Southern California. 

The expansion will increase the capacity of the LJVL facility, located in Long Beach, Calif., from 3 to 8 mgd, eliminating the need for imported water to be used in the Alamitos Barrier. LJVL treats effluent water from the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County’s Water Reclamation Plant using microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet treatment for use at the Alamitos Barrier to prevent seawater intrusion into the Central Groundwater Basin and to replenish water pumped from that basin. 

“We applaud the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for recognizing the importance of this project,” said WRD Board President Albert Robles. “The $1.7 million dollar award will help WRD to protect the water supply of millions of people in south Los Angeles County, and to also preserve the water supply for other areas of the southwest United States. Every drop of imported water we don’t use helps those areas which still must rely heavily on water from the Colorado River and Bay Delta.” 

The LJVL facility, dedicated in 2005, is a major component of WRD’s Water Independence Now (WIN) program. WIN is a series of projects that will utilize stormwater and recycled water exclusively to restore and protect the Central and West Coast Groundwater Basins, eliminating dependence on imported water. This will create a completely local sustainable groundwater supply, which meets 40 percent of the overall water demand for four million residents in the 43 cities within the WRD service area. 

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