The Pasadena City Council on Monday unanimously voted to adopt the 2020 Water System and Resources Plan (WSRP) which creates a 25-year framework for future water related programs and projects in the city.
The WSRP, which will be reviewed and updated every five years, recommends implementing a number of projects worth approximately $430 million over the 25 year period, with $130 million anticipated over the first five years.
Key recommendations under the plan include the replacement of old distribution pipelines and ageing infrastructure and the proposed lowering of water supply imports from 65 percent to 50 percent.
Currently, 30 to 40 percent of the local water supply is sourced from the Raymond Basin, with the remainder supplied by imported water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
“The plan sets up significant investment in water infrastructure that will result in conservation measures. Specifically, the plan called for $294 million for replacement of vulnerable distribution pipelines and doubling of the rate of the pipeline replacement from 5 to 10 miles per year,” City Manager Steve Mermell said.
“We should not wait any longer. We should move forward with this plan, knowing fully well that we would need to revisit it with greater frequency than we probably ever looked at any water plan in the past,” Mermell added as he urged the Council to adopt the measure.
Councilmember John Kennedy, for his part, asked staff to take a more proactive role with the RBMB to address the deteriorated condition of the Raymond Basin, after the public raised concerns about the supposed lack of planning in the WSRP to address Raymond Basin groundwater decline.
During the meeting, councilmembers agreed to ask the staff to come back to the City Council by the end of 2022 for the review of the implementation of the plan as the body noted the importance of amending the WRSP as drought conditions evolve.
“It’s an important issue and I suspect that even before the end of calendar year 2022, certain services would be talking about the issue of water,” Mayor Victor Gordo noted.
The other key programs evaluated under the WRSP include the groundwater storage program, projects that will increase groundwater recharge capacity and the use of local non-potable resources for irrigation, among others.
Earlier, on September 28, the Municipal Services Committee unanimously recommended the adoption of the plan by the City Council.
The Committee also recommended that the PWP work closely with the Raymond Basin Management Board (RBMB) in developing programs and projects that address the safe-yield basin and measures that would help the basin levels stabilize and recover.