SAN GABRIEL VALLEY, CA — Water is universal and essential for the estimated 600,000 Filipinos in the greater LA region. Their water supplies come from nature, recycled, and sometimes imported from other areas.
Despite the multiple sources California has its challenges, the LA County Department of Water, which served 10 million residents, partnered with Ethnic Media Services to give Asian American journalists in Southern California a fellowship tour to the facilities — showing how a single drop goes a long way from the skies to the faucet.
“You’ll see the process of mother nature gives us a gift of clean pure water. We responsibly manage it making sure we’re capturing as much as we can and we treat it. We conserve it in the aquifers later to be pumped out and used for municipal use,” said Adam Walden.
The Morris Dam in the foothill mountains is almost a century old, but even with the drought declared over, the water lines show that rain has not helped replenish Morris.
“It is our second lowest rainfall year on record so when it’s wet it’s more important than ever that we capture every drop. So it’s a function of capacity and efficiency.”
Just outside the mountains is Peck Road water conservation park. While the water in this basin isn’t clean, it still has a purpose.
“Some of the functions for this basin as I said is water conservation but it also does provide flood control,” said Aracely Laso. “So when it rains the waters that’s coming down from those two channels would get detained here and that would prevent flooding around the local area, and the downstream area as well. This also provides some habitat for local wildlife.”
At these facilities, we will recharge reclaimed or recycled water; in fact, this water that you see flowing now, this is recycled water. It’s crystal clear. It comes to our facility, it spreads out in like a lake, it preculates through the ground, then recharges the aquifers.”
The tour is also meant to raise awareness of the safe clean water measure.
The measure is expected to generate some $300 million a year after 2020.
With the vote still pending water officials are encouraging residents to do their part in other ways in making sure their streets are clean — by utting less strain on the water system.