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Established more than 100 years ago and now the largest municipal water and power utility in the United States, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has maintained a steadfast commitment to water conservation and local water supply development. This focus is crucial to combat the effects of climate change, while providing Los Angeles and its four million customers with a clean, reliable and affordable water service.

Innovating for a Sustainable Future

In the first 10 months of the 2023–2024 fiscal year, LADWP has supplied approximately 120 billion gallons (545 million kiloliters) of water, an average of more than 393 million gallons (1.79 million kiloliters) per day, to more than 740,000 water service connections. As an organization that impacts many, LADWP remains true to its commitment to being a leader nationally and globally in innovative water management by ensuring safe drinking water and reliable infrastructure, while also enhancing sustainable local water supplies.

Water conservation efforts remain a significant part of LADWP’s path toward a more resilient water future. For over 45 years, the Department has supported water conservation mandates and has developed incentive programs to encourage customers to reduce water use. Although the population of Los Angeles has grown, thanks to the efforts of LADWP and its diligent customers, water use has dropped by 33 percent over the past 15 years.

Significant resources have also been invested in stormwater capture infrastructure, and the benefits of these investments are seen today. Nearly 51 billion gallons (231 million kiloliters) of stormwater runoff were collected during the 2022–2023 fiscal year alone, equivalent to providing drinking water for 626,400 Los Angeles households for a whole year.

Long-term diversification

Looking to the future, one of LADWP’s long-term undertakings that will span the next 30 years is a program currently known as Operation NEXT. The goal of the program, which will run concurrently with Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment’s (LASAN) Hyperion 2035 program, is to further diversify the City’s water supply portfolio by developing and maximizing purified recycled water from the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, using advanced treatment and purification processes, to create a new resilient, reliable and sustainable water resource that will mitigate the risk of climate change for Los Angeles and the region.

“Establishing a local water supply is crucial for LADWP. We have been able to successfully utilize outside water sources throughout our organization’s history, but having a sustainable, easily accessible local water supply will fortify Los Angeles against future obstacles,” said Anselmo Collins, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager – Water System.

Initially, Operation NEXT will center on the use of a process called indirect potable reuse. Long-term, the goal is to lay the groundwork to transition primarily into direct potable reuse.

New Facilities

Additionally, LADWP continues to make great strides on the Los Angeles Groundwater Replenishment Project and is a few months away from breaking ground on what is expected to be one of the largest potable reuse facilities in California. In partnership with LASAN, the project involves designing and constructing a new advanced water purification facility at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, capable of producing up to 21,000 acre-feet (25.9 million cubic meters) per year of purified recycled water, enough to supply water for 250,000 residents. The recycled water will be distributed to nearby spreading grounds, and later extracted and blended with drinking water. Set to break ground in late 2024, this project will maximize the available wastewater from the Tillman plant.

An important piece of the water management puzzle is maintaining and enhancing collaboration with regional partners and other public agencies, such as the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works and County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works. As the provider of water for the City of Los Angeles, LADWP works with the Los Angeles Department of Public Works (which includes LASAN, the agency that handles wastewater collections and treatment within LA City) and with LA County, which handles several groundwater and stormwater capture and diversion facilities in the region.

“Maintaining a strong relationship with local partners is crucial as we work together to create a more resilient water future for Los Angeles. We are proud to partner on local water initiatives that will ensure a secure water future for all Angelenos,” said Collins.

LADWP will continue to work toward leading the way in effective water management through water conservation and local water supply development.

To learn more about LADWP’s water system and remain informed, visit www.LADWP.com, or subscribe to our newsletter The Drop for all the latest LA water news.

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