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L.A. Breaks Ground on North Hollywood West Groundwater Treatment Project
Los Angeles officials on Jan. 17 broke ground on the North Hollywood West Groundwater Treatment Project, a $92 million project to clean up and restore the use of groundwater as a high-quality source of drinking water in the San Fernando Valley. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti was joined at the groundbreaking by Councilmembers Nury Martinez and Paul Krekorian and officials from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the California State Water Resources Control Board.
The project is supported by $44.5 million in state funding and it a key part of Garcetti's goal to source 50 percent of L.A.'s water locally by 2035. The North Hollywood West site is the first of four planned remediation projects in the valley and is expected to be completed by early 2020, according to the city.
"Water is our most precious resource, and creating a more resilient, self-reliant Los Angeles means increasing the amount of water we source locally," the mayor said. "The decontamination of this historic groundwater basin is a critical step in achieving our goal to reduce our dependence on imported water so Angelenos will always have access to healthy, clean drinking water."
"A local, clean, and reliable water supply for the San Fernando Valley is long overdue," agreed Councilmember 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."
The groundbreaking event took place on the 24th anniversary of the Northridge earthquake.
The city water and power department was awarded a $44.5 million Prop.1 grant from the State Water Quality Control Board to help fund construction for the North Hollywood site and is applying for nearly $200 million more to construct three more remediation projects in the valley, with all four remediation projects expected to be operational by 2022. "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.