Volume 3 | March 2023

The Monthly Drop highlights the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's (LADWP's) water policies, innovations and initiatives.

We're your source for L.A.'s water news.

Snowpack Approaches All-Time Record as

Supply Conditions Improve Dramatically

Above, LADWP Hydrographer Brian Ashley digs a snow tube into powder. Below, the "snow pillow," or snow gauge station close to Rock Creek in the Eastern Sierra is buried about

11 feet deep.

With the wet weather bombarding the Sierra mountains this winter, the Eastern Sierra snowpack has blown passed the 2017 peak of 51.8 inches (the wettest year in the last 50 years) and is approaching an all-time record. As of March 28, the water content in the Eastern Sierra snowpack was measured at 64.4 inches, which is 285% of a normal

April 1st snowpack, and inching closer to the historic record peak estimated at 66 inches in 1969.

With the supply conditions significantly improved throughout the state, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) has lifted water restrictions for LADWP along with five other agencies in Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties. As a result, LADWP has recommended to Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass to transition back to three days a week for outdoor watering rather than two, which is consistent with Level 2 of the City of Los Angeles' Water Shortage Contingency Plan for anticipated level of water supply. The return to allowing three days a week watering would take effect immediately upon approval by the Mayor and concurrence by the City Council.

Los Angeles Times Story

MWD Statement

LA Aqueduct Snowpack Reports

Major Winter Storm Breached the Los Angeles Aqueduct;

Repairs Completed and Water Flowing Again

Above, a crane moves equipment into the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Below, crews work to repair the breach, located in the lined uncovered concrete section where seven panels were damaged.

The major winter storm that hit the Eastern Sierra mountains during the second week of March caused a breach to an uncovered section of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which is the major source of water for the City of Los Angeles during years with typical precipitation. The breach, which occurred March 10 north of the Haiwee Complex approximately two miles south of the town of Olancha, was the first of its kind. It took the expertise of about 75 LADWP personnel to make repairs. Their work included removing damaged sections of aqueduct wall, compacting and shaping new backfill as well as placing shotcrete as a means to protect the channel against erosion.

The storm was marked by an atmospheric river that caused extremely high water flows in creeks, canals, and roadways. By March 15, LADWP crews had completed repairs and water was flowing through the lined concrete section normally.

Read the Story

Stormwater Capture on the Rise

About 33 Billion Gallons Accumulated from

October 2022 through March 2023

The record winter storms in December, January and February have put stormwater capture at the top of mind for many people, especially following a long period of extreme drought. In mid-January, Vice President Kamala Harris joined state and local leaders and our General Manager and Chief Engineer Martin Adams on a tour of the newly completed Tujunga Spreading Grounds Enhancement Project. The visit highlighted federal funding of water projects and efforts throughout the West to help alleviate flooding, while also bolstering critical water supplies.

Following the recent enormous storms, LADWP estimates that the cumulative amount of stormwater captured from October 1, 2022 through March 27, 2023 is nearly 100,800 acre-feet. That translates to about 33 billion gallons—enough water to serve 403,200 households for a year, or equivalent to filling 49,700 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Read the Story

Groundwater Replenishment Project Underway at San Fernando Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Donald C. Tillman Advanced Water Purification Facility - photo courtesy of

LA Sanitation and Environment

The sudden 180-degree turn-around in the state and regional water supply from a record drought to record precipitation is a sign of how climate change is exacerbating extremes in weather patterns. That's why it's crucial to continue strategies to expand the local water supply. Toward this end, LADWP and LA Sanitation and Environment (LASAN) are partnering in developing one of the largest water reuse projects in the nation at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in the San Fernando Valley. Once completed, the highly purified recycled water from the plant will be used to replenish the local groundwater basin in the San Fernando Valley, providing the city with a new resilient and sustainable water supply for more than 200,000 residents.

Expected to be completed in 2027, the project will incorporate advanced treatment processes, including microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and an advanced oxidation process, to purify up to 19 million gallons per day to water quality levels beyond regulatory requirements for replenishment of local groundwater basins.

News Release

Learn more: LADWP.com/WaterStrong

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