Pasadena’s Municipal Services Committee unanimously approved a 25-year planning guide for future water-related programs and projects in the city during its Tuesday meeting.
The plan’s objective is to ensure the provision by the city of high quality and affordable water services to the public.
The 2020 Water System and Resources Plan (WRSP), developed by the Pasadena Water and Power Department, (PWP) provides the City with a framework to evaluate future water supply programs and infrastructure investment.
The long-term plan, which will be reviewed every five years, recommends implementing a number of projects worth approximately $430 million over the 25 year period, with $130 million worth over the first five years.
Key recommendations under the plan include the replacement of old distribution pipelines and aging infrastructure which impact PWP’s ability to serve its customers.
According to city staff, nearly half of the City’s existing pipelines are over 80 years old and in need of repair or replacement.
Also included in the plan is the recommendation to maximize local supply by decreasing water supply imports to 50 percent from 65 percent.
PWP’s water supply is a blend of 30 to 40 percent local groundwater from the Raymond Basin, with the remainder supplied by imported water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
As droughts are likely to occur in California, Roumiana Voutchkova of the department said the plan also proposes the implementation of enhanced conservation programs that will exceed state mandates so the department can continue to provide water supplies at reasonable rates.
“Our recommended portfolio includes 10 percent additional outdoor conservation above and beyond what we estimate the state will require.”
Currently, 20 percent of residential properties have drought tolerant landscaping. Brad Boman, engineering manager of PWP said to reach the conservation goal under the plan, this has to double by 2030.
“To get this level of conservation, we would need to double that. We would need about 40 percent of all our front yards in Pasadena to be converted to low water use,” Boman said.
The other key programs under the WRSP include projects to increase groundwater recharge capacity and the use of local non-potable resources for irrigation.
Resident Morey Wolfson, President of MW Energy Solutions LLC, in his public comment, called on the City Council to reject portions of the WRSP regarding water supply due to the plan’s supposed failure to provide a credible approach to arrest draw-down of the Raymond Basin.
He also called on the City to reject the portion of the WRSP regarding water demand due to the plan’s supposed failure to sufficiently prepare the community to be strongly focused on water conservation and efficiency.
With the committee’s approval, the proposed plan can now be elevated to the City Council for its consideration.