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Dont Waste Water

Developing local water supplies such as recycled water is necessary because imported water continues to be more restricted due to environmental mitigation, legal rulings, and periods of dry weather and low snowpack," McDaniel said in an email. The need for more local water was highlighted last summer during a DWP public outreach campaign over a planned rate-hike request. For now, a number of DWP water recycling projects are on hold while the utility awaits the appointment of a ratepayer advocate by the City Council.

DWP's goal is to boost water recycling so that it accounts for 8 percent of the city's water supply by 2035, and it intends to release plans this spring to realize that goal, McDaniel said. A decade ago, the department's plans to purify wastewater from Donald C. Tillman Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys and reintroduce it to the water supply through spreading grounds in Sun Valley were killed after a public outcry. Critics dubbed the plan "toilet to tap."

In the last few years, DWP has been cautious in reintroducing the concept of "advanced water treatment."Wastewater currently treated at the Tillman plant is used to irrigate nearby golf courses and a Japanese garden on site, and to fill Lake Balboa. Most of the treated water, however, flows into the Los Angeles River. "We have the possibility today to make pristine distilled water from mountain water or from raw sewage," said John Mays, a city environmental engineer who oversees construction at the plant. "It's just being wasted."

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