“Ventura County may have survived the worst of the state’s drought but . . . several cities rely too much on imported water and haven’t developed plans for an emergency water shortage.”
It’s clear that our cities need to address the issue because Sacramento legislature is not. Ventura County cities are on their own to solve this one.
Doing backofenvelope calculations revealed a creative, economically viable solution including a continuous infrastructure revenue stream.
Calleguas Municipal Water District, which supplies the drinking water for Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Camarillo and Oxnard, purchases annually 87,541 acrefeet of water, costing $82.5 million, from Metropolitan Water District.
After conventional water treatment, Calleguas distributes the drinking water to these Ventura County cities.
An innovative solution to consider, making the county less dependent on imported water, is to redirect the estimated 50 million acrefeet of wastewater effluent we generate annually to an advanced treatment facility to be built by Calleguas.
Using reverse osmosis and micropore filtration, an ultrapure water is deposited into Lake Bard (Calleguas’ water storage location). This lake water is treated again through Calleguas’ conventional water treatment plant before going to the consumer.
Instead of paying MWD $942 per acrefoot ($47 million annually) for the imported water from Northern California, Calleguas pays the revenue bonds. There will be no consumer water rate change to pay for the advanced water treatment facility.
When the revenue bonds are satisfied, participating cities will receive a prorated portion of revenue to maintain their water and wastewater infrastructure.
End result: Ventura County cities become less dependent on imported water, Los Angeles and Central Valley farmers have more water, and a continual revenue stream to maintain water and wastewater systems without raising rates or floating construction bonds.