Hyperion Treatment Plant. Photo via lasewers.org
Hyperion Treatment Plant. Photo via lasewers.org

More financial assistance is needed from the state to boost water recycling and further other water conservation projects in Los Angeles, city Controller Ron Galperin said Friday in a letter penned with Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The state’s $15 million cap on each city for the state water board’s Recycled Water Funding Program has limited the amount of money the city can put into such projects, the elected officials wrote in a letter to the Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Water Resources.

They urged the state agencies to consider avoiding these types of caps for future grant programs. Such restrictions “do not match the scale of our efforts and effectively penalize big projects that can be transformational for the state water system,” they wrote.

They noted that one such project was recently undertaken by the city to allow 30,000 acre-feet of recycled water from the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant to be filtered into the aquifer via spreading grounds in the San Fernando Valley. That project cost $435 million.

The letter was sent at the same time Galperin released an audit that essentially promotes more recycling of water to cut down on the amount of imported water used in Los Angeles.

Imported water makes up 85 percent of the water used by Angelenos, with the majority of that purchased from the Metropolitan Water District, according to Galperin’s office.

About 10 percent of the imported water comes to the city via the Los Angeles aqueduct, according to Lowell Goodman, a spokesman for the controller’s office.

An example of a project that could use the extra funding is one that would allow the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant to recycle water, instead of dumping it into the Pacific Ocean, according to Galperin’s audit.

A 2012 study found that such a project could cost about $1 billion to build, according to the audit.

— City News Service

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