The Santa Monica City Council has approved a Sustainable Water Master Plan that officials say will enable the city to move forward in its goal of achieving water self-sufficiency by 2020.
The plan outlines water-saving measures and calls for maximizing the use of local groundwater, stormwater and recycled water as part of the city’s blueprint for water independence.
Under the plan, all sectors of the community are encouraged to reduce water use. The goal of the plan is for each resident’s daily use to drop from approximately 134 gallons per day (current average) to 123 gallons per day by the year 2020, saving a total of up to 4,000 gallons per resident each year.
The plan includes programs for both city residents and businesses, with the goal for businesses to save more than 128 million gallons combined each year. The city will offer rebates for residents and businesses for landscaping, toilets, urinals, clothes washers, laundromat washers, sprinkler timers, ice machines and more.
“Our modern groundwater treatment facilities currently meet up to 75 percent of the city’s water needs,” said city Water Resources Manager Gil Borboa. “Imported water now fills the remaining gap but by 2020, water-efficient measures taken by the city, residents and businesses will help us eliminate our reliance on imported water.”
In a recent report that analyzed 2010 Urban Water Management Plans for more than 350 agencies, the city was lauded by the National Resources Defense Council as having the most ambitious plan of any of the more than 350 Southern California urban water management plans, officials noted. Santa Monica and four other agencies are expected to collectively reduce water imports by 40 billion gallons annually by 2035 – including a projected 100 percent reduction by Santa Monica.
“This analysis clearly demonstrates that water sustainability and self-reliance can be achieved,” said Borboa. “Investment in improved water treatment facilities, aggressive management of local water resources and working with residents and businesses to take long term water-efficient actions are the keys to the city of Santa Monica’s future water self-sufficiency success.”