Santa Monica Does Not Want Outside Water

Tuesday, 10 Apr 2012, 2:24:00 AM

Parimal M. Rohit

As part of its consent calendar on March 27, Santa Monica City Council members adopted the development of a Sustainable Water Master Plan (SWMP) set to cost City Hall at least $871,856.

Last June, the Council adopted a plan to reduce its water use by 20 percent by the year 2020 as part of a larger goal to become “water self-sufficient.”

As part of the initiative, City Hall is expected to hire environmental consulting firm Kennedy/Jenks Consultants to help develop the SWMP.

“The City of Santa Monica has initiated an effort to achieve water self-sufficiency by the year 2020,” the staff’s report to council members stated. “To achieve this, staff proposes the development of a Sustainable Water Master Plan to address local water supply augmentation, demand management, distribution system analysis, and rate development. Additionally, the plan will include rate and revenue analyses for water, wastewater, and capital facility fees.”

In the long run, City Hall hopes the coastal municipality will eventually “lead to a sustainable water roadmap to self-sufficiency and serve as a guide with strategies the City will implement to become 100 percent reliant on local water resources.”

According to staff, Santa Monica currently has the ability to obtain about 72 percent of its water supply “locally from aquifers and recycled dry weather runoff” with City Hall importing the other 28 percent “purchased from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD).”

The imported water is primarily sourced from the Colorado River and the Sacramento Delta, according to staff.

With the SWMP, the City hopes to ultimately cut the amount of imported water to zero percent.

“The development of a water management plan would outline ways to eliminate the City’s reliance on imported water, will achieve water self-sufficiency through a broad-based strategy to increase local water resources and reduce demand,” the staff report said.

In hiring Ventura, Calif.-based Kennedy/Jenks Consultants to develop the SWMP, City Hall seeks a “comprehensive analysis of local water resources and water efficiency strategies with the goal of producing a Sustainable Water Master Plan to achieve water self-sufficiency by 2020.”

“The analysis would include a supply side management analysis of available local water resources that can be safely harvested on a sustainable basis, and a demand side management analysis of water efficiency strategies to minimize potable and non-potable water demand,” the staff report stated.

Not only would the analysis and Master Plan factor in current conditions, existing data, and supply-and-demand forecasting, it would also look into new supplies for water, such as groundwater, storm water, gray water, and reuse.

According to staff, the completed SWMP will include rate and revenue analyses, which has not been done since 2008.

Five groups submitted proposals to City Hall in hopes to be awarded the contract to develop the SWMP; only two were invited to make its respective pitches to the City.

Copyright © 2011 by Santa Monica Mirror. All rights reserved.