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Groundbreaking held for new North Hollywood West Groundwater Treatment Project
On the 24th anniversary of the Northridge earthquake, elected officials and representatives from the Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and the California State Water Resources Control Board gathered for the groundbreaking for a $92 million project to clean up and restore the use of groundwater as a safe, high-quality source of drinking water in the San Fernando Valley. The North Hollywood West Groundwater Treatment Project is the first of four planned remediation projects in the San Fernando Valley.
“Water is our most precious resource — and creating a more resilient, self-reliant Los Angeles means increasing the amount of water we source locally,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The decontamination of this historic groundwater basin is a critical step in achieving our goals to reduce our dependence on imported water, so Angelenos will always have access to healthy, clean drinking water.”
Garcetti was joined by San Fernando Councilmembers Nury Martinez and Paul Krekorian for the groundbreaking event. The San Fernando Valley Groundwater Basin is an aquifer capable of supplying drinking water to more than 800,000 Angelenos. However, parts of the Basin are currently contaminated by industrial pollution dating back to the 1940s.
“A local, clean and reliable water supply for the San Fernando Valley is long overdue,” said Councilmember Nury Martinez. “For too long, Valley residents have borne the environmental burdens of the city’s progress. Decades of development have contaminated the Valley’s groundwater, forcing families to rely on more costly sources from outside the city. We need to do right by our families, and by the environment. The North Hollywood West Groundwater Treatment Project will finally allow residents to access the water under their own feet, and help ensure a clean and reliable water supply for the Valley well into the future.”
LADWP is the recent recipient of $44.5 million Prop.1 grant from the State Water Board to help fund construction for the North Hollywood site. The agency is also applying for an additional nearly $200 million to assist in constructing three additional remediation projects in the San Fernando Valley. The North Hollywood site is slated for completion in early 2020; all four remediation projects are expected to be operational by 2022.
“This is such a high-value project for the people across the city of Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, District 2. “For too long, we haven’t been able to utilize the San Fernando Groundwater Basin because of contamination and pollution. With the North Hollywood West Groundwater Treatment Project, Los Angeles will finally be able to take full advantage of this groundwater resource.”
The remediation of the San Fernando Valley Groundwater Basin advances two key goals of the Mayor Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn — reducing the purchase of imported water by 50 percent by 2025, and producing 50 percent of L.A.’s water supply locally by 2035.
“By cleaning up the San Fernando Valley Aquifer through projects like this, we are remediating years of pollution by heavy industry in the Valley to restore our ability as your water utility to use water from the vast and valuable San Fernando Valley Aquifer. The Prop 1 funding for this project will be matched by our own funds, entrusted to us by our ratepayers, to accelerate major infrastructure projects. With this project we are demonstrating how we are putting their ratepayer dollars to work, while also keeping their rates low,” said LADWP General Manager David H. Wright.