What is this indicator?
Why is this important?
How are we doing?
In an effort to merge these elements toward realizing self-sufficiency, the City developed the Sustainable Water Master Plan in 2014 and updated in 2019. The master plan serves as a strategic review and forecast of the city’s water supply and demand picture, as well as an “umbrella” plan to amalgamate existing strategies.
Previous groundwater pollution from underground gasoline tanks in the mid-1990’s left Santa Monica highly dependent on high-priced water from MWD. Since then, the Charnock Wells have been restored and were reopened following remediation in 2010. The new plant allows the substitution of more cost effective locally-produced water, thereby reducing the expense and energy use associated with imported water. As of December 2019, the city produces 72% of its water supply from local groundwater wells and imports the remaining 35% from MWD. Local water production has increased substantially since 2010, but this area needs continued improvement in order to meet the 100% local water target by 2023.
Santa Monica’s most promising solutions for reducing imported water are through expanded stormwater and rainwater capture. Rainwater harvesting is a less reliable option due to the cistern size requirements and lack of incentive for residential installation.
Preliminary recommendations from the Sustainable Water Master Plan for expanding groundwater resources include:
- Expansion of the existing Arcadia Water Treatment Plant.
- Design and construct the new Olympic Water Treatment Plant (Gillette/Boeing Settlement Project).
- Rehabilitate old wells and drill additional new wells in the Olympic, Charnock and Coastal Sub-basins.
- Develop and implement improvements in treatment efficiency to reduce the amount of water lost to brine disposal during treatment (reduction of brine water losses beyond the current 18%).
What can I do?
- Review City strategies to become water self-sufficient in the Sustainable Water Master Plan.
- Replace old toilets and showerheads with high-efficiency appliances. Toilet rebates are available and the City’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment provides free faucet aerators and showerheads. Call 310-458-8972.
- Replace your lawn and parkways with drought-tolerant landscaping. Sign up for a Landscape Design Consultation and apply for a Cash for Grass Rebate.
- Use drip irrigation or weather-based irrigation controllers to adjust irrigation based on weather conditions. Rebates are available.
- Find more water-saving tips at smgov.net/water.