(A Day Without Water)
As Southern Californians, we all know not to take water for granted.
Despite unusually heavy rains during the past year, we are acutely aware that recurring droughts, dependence on imported water and climate variation all affect the availability of water locally and throughout the state.
Water agencies across California collectively spend billions to upgrade infrastructure and invest in new water projects to ensure reliable long-term water supplies, delivery and storage. While Southern Californians appreciate the work that’s needed to provide a consistent water supply, most of us carry on with our busy lives as long as water comes out of our taps. Because water pipelines are out of sight, they are also mostly out of mind.
But try to imagine for a moment a day when water didn’t just flow from our faucets.
That’s the vision behind the fifth annual nationwide “Imagine A Day Without Water” set for Wednesday, October 23, 2019 by The Value of Water Campaign. This day of action reminds us just how much we depend on water in our everyday lives, and what it would be like if our instantaneous access to water suddenly vanished.
Our ability to enjoy a glass of water, bathe, flush our toilets, cook, irrigate our lawns and many other daily activities all rely on complex water and wastewater systems that store and transport the water we need and the water we use.
The communities served by Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) depend on our local water services each and every day. EMWD, formed in 1950, took action in 1951 to join the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California so that we also had access to imported water supplies to supplement our local groundwater resources. EMWD has always worked to protect the local groundwater – our lowest cost supply – to help meet the needs of our residential, commercial and agricultural customers.
EMWD recycles 100 percent of our wastewater for sustainable reuse for irrigation, agricultural and industrial purposes, which makes us less dependent on imported water and reduces demand on local groundwater supplies. EMWD’s water use efficiency program encourages our customers to conserve as much water as possible, and our healthy sewers program helps ensure wastewater can be recycled and reused. These programs are part of EMWD’s commitment to maintain a reliable water future for residents, businesses and the thriving agricultural industry we serve.
Collectively, these programs are part of an overarching EMWD initiative called Groundwater Reliability Plus, an ongoing effort that has improved the quality and quantity of water in our local groundwater basins, even during recent droughts.
Groundwater Reliability Plus also includes a groundwater replenishment project called Water Banking, which helps replenish the San Jacinto Groundwater Basin by storing water during normal and wet years for future use. EMWD is constructing new groundwater banking facilities including percolation basins, pipelines and production wells. Purified Water Replenishment is another important future project to expand the quantity of our groundwater by purifying recycled water through a proven multi-stage process of microfiltration and reverse osmosis. The purified water will then be blended with recycled water and pumped into replenishment ponds. As that water seeps into the ground, it will be further
purified through a natural filtration process before being pumped and cleaned a final time before being sent to homes and businesses.
As we all take time to ponder how we would cope with a day without water, you can rest assured that EMWD remains focused on the future as we continue to invest in environmentally sustainable projects to benefit our customers and ensure long-term local water reliability.
Philip E. Paule
EMWD Board Vice President
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