Board Approves Plan for New County Office of Water Recycling

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted recommendations today that established the County Office of Water Recycling within the County Department of Public Works. Working with other entities, the Office of Water Recycling will strive to double the region’s use of non-potable recycled water by 2030, an annual increase of 54 billion gallons.

The projected increase in recycled water use would make enough potable water available to meet the demands of an additional 1.3 million people. Among the other recommendations: all County-maintained golf courses, parks, parkways, and expansive greenbelts to be connected to recycled water supplies, where available, by 2020; recycled water use for irrigation of all unincorporated area parks, golf courses and other large areas of open space where feasible; working with interested parties, the Office of Water Recycling will develop an ordinance requiring dual plumbing in new developments within unincorporated areas; increase in public awareness of recycled water benefits through a public outreach effort.

Two-thirds of the water supply used by County residents for potable purposes (drinking, bathing, landscape irrigation, etc.) comes from Northern California and the Colorado River. Consequently, a significant percentage of our water supply is threatened by aging infrastructure, climate change, drought and other natural occurrences.

The remaining one-third of our water supply is from local groundwater, surface water, and recycled water. The primary beneficial use of recycled water is for replenishing the local groundwater supply.

With an estimated 12 million people living in Los Angeles County by 2020, serious steps are needed to increase the use and longevity of our local water supply, said Supervisor Knabe. By adopting the recommendations of our Water Recycling Task Force, we are preparing to meet the water demands of the future with better infrastructure and increased collaboration among water agencies, businesses, the public, and municipal agencies throughout the region.

Download Recycled Water Task Force Report
Download Supervisor Don Knabe’s Motion