Culver City Observer -

Culver Exceeds Goal Of Water Conservation

Citizens Are Encouraged To Keep It Up


August 13, 2015

By Lynne Bronstein

Observer Reporter

How is Culver City doing with water conservation? Not too bad, as it turns out-but citizens should keep doing what they can to conserve.

Scott Houston, director of the West Basin Water Board, told the City Council, in a presentation on August 10, that Culver City, given the goal of a 16 per cent water reduction rate for 2015, actually reduced water usage by 19 per cent in the month of June. .

California is in the fourth year of a drought that seems unprecedented. But such droughts, Houston noted, are “cyclical.”

“We’ve been in a ‘wet cycle’ and we’re accustomed to it,” said Houston. The current drought could be the first four years of a 200-year cycle of dryness. “We don’t know what the future holds.”

It is estimated that by the year 2030, California will have ten million more people. With a growing population and the prospect of years of minimal rainfall, water conservation is no longer optional.

Since Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order for California to reduce water consumption, Culver City has been doing its part with lawn removals, waste water collection, reduced sprinkler usage, and other methods. The result is the extra reduction cited for June-but the efforts must be continued.

“West Basin Municipal Water District is a wholesale provider of imported water,” Houston explained. “We serve one million people in 17 cities.”

The organization has five elected directors, including Houston, who is in charge of Division Four. Services of the District also include turf removal and drought-resistant landscaping, rain barrel distribution, water conservation classes, and ocean water desalinization.

The “jewel in the West Basin crown” as Houston put it, is the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in El Segundo, named after the late board director of West Basin.

“We take water from the Hyperion Treatment Plant and recycle it into five different types of ‘designer water,’ ” said Houston. The reclaimed water can be used for outdoor watering and landscaping and for industrial and other non-potable water uses. This recycled water saves gallons of regular water and is “a major answer to our drought needs.”

West Basin has received a $300,000 grant to go toward incentives for residents to remove their turf. This money may help residents who originally applied for financial assistance in turf removal with the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) which is out of funds for the project.

Council member Jim Clarke asked Houston about the possible effects of the “El Nino” rainy weather predicted for this winter.

“So far it’s looking positive,” said Houston. “But there’s been a lot of media hype. We’re looking forward to a wet winter but we don’t want to be complacent.”

Council members agreed with Houston that everyone has to learn to live a water-conserving lifestyle.

West Basin will be holding a “Town Hall” on Saturday, August 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Hollywood Park, 3883 W. Century Boulevard, Inglewood. It will feature an update on emergency drought conditions impacting local communities, water-saving solutions, answers to questions, and a continental breakfast.

More information is available at


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