The Long Beach Water Department is completing work on one of the most significant water supply reliability improvement projects in recent memory. The Long Beach Conjunctive Use Project is an innovative and environmentally responsive water storage project that will allow Long Beach Water to maximize its use of the groundwater basin that runs beneath the City of Long Beach, strengthening the City’s water supply reliability while maintaining water rate affordability.
This $4.5 million dollar project is in partnership with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the Water Replenishment District of Southern California and the California Department of Water Resources. The project is 100% funded through Proposition 13 bond funds.
Using four new Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wells, which have the ability to both inject and extract water, the project will utilize excess capacity in the Central Groundwater Basin to store up to 13,000 acre-feet, or 4.2 billion gallons, of imported water in normal to wet hydrologic years. Under certain conditions (emergency, drought or other), this stored water can be extracted and utilized to meet retail demands within the City of Long Beach, in addition to base-line groundwater production during that same period. In essence, conjunctive use allows water purveyors to meet the constant demand for water despite a region’s variable hydrology.
In addition to increasing the Department’s groundwater production capabilities, the project improves the performance of the saltwater barrier, keeping damaging ocean water from intruding the groundwater basin and mixing with potable water supplies.
Today, Long Beach Water is planning the construction of another significant regional conjunctive use project with the City of Lakewood and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. This $3.1 million project, which is 100 percent funded through State of California Proposition 13 bond money, will allow storage of up to 3,600 acre-feet of imported water during normal to wet hydrologic years for use in times of emergency, drought or other special conditions. A new ASR well will be constructed in the City of Lakewood and linked to Long Beach Water’s distribution system. The City of Lakewood will benefit from the project by having the use of the new ASR well for its normal groundwater operations when the well is not needed for conjunctive use operations by the Long Beach Water Department.
The Long Beach/Lakewood Conjunctive Use Project is a groundbreaking regional effort to strengthen our water supply reliability and to keep water rates paid by our customers low.