Metropolitan Water District: Regional Recycled Water Program, An Economic Impact Study

This report was prepared by the Institute for Applied Economics of the LAEDC for the Metropolitan Water District.

Metropolitan Water District is developing a new regional water source for the Southern California region through its Regional Recycled Water Program (RRWP). The purpose of this program is to help ease the strain on regional water supply reserves by providing reliable replenishment supplies, which is particularly essential in maintaining adequate water storage during times of drought. The RRWP will be one of the largest programs of its kind in the world, as it would provide up to 168,000 acre-feet per year (AFY) of purified water when fully operational. At a more detailed level, it aims to replace both current and projected demand for imported water for the recharge of up to four Metropolitan Water District basins in the Southern California service area, enabling these basins to meet regional water demands during dry periods and emergencies through their storage function.

The most important element of the Regional Recycled Water Program is an advanced water treatment facility located at the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County’s Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in the City of Carson. The program allows for production of up to 150 million gallons per day of purified water and the conveyance of purified water via approximately 60 miles of pipelines. These supplies are expected to be delivered to up to four groundwater basins (Orange County, Central, West Coast, and Main San Gabriel).

The Institute for Applied Economics of the LAEDC has estimated the economic impact of the first phase of the project and the economic impact of annual ongoing operations and maintenance costs once the second phase is complete.

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