Water Replenishment District breaks ground on drought resiliency project

The Water Replenishment District (WRD) has broken ground at its Inland Injection Well Project located at the WRD Leo J. Vander Lans Advanced Water Treatment Facility in Long Beach, California.

WRD Board President John D. S. Allen, PepsiCo North America Sustainability Director Kathleen Niesen, WRD Board Director Joy Langford, WRD Board Treasurer Rob Katherman, PepsiCo West Division Sustainability Director Andy Wright, PepsiCo Government Affairs Manager Fidel Gomez, and WRD General Manager Stephan Tucker. (picture left to right)

As California weathers another drought cycle and faces water restrictions in certain counties, the importance of local groundwater projects is clear. When the WRD Inland Injection Well Project is complete, it will yield up to 2 million gallons of purified recycled water per day from the WRD Leo J. Vander Lans Advanced Water Treatment Facility (LVL AWTF) and inject it into the groundwater aquifers for storage and future use.

By recycling locally available water sources and storing them in underground aquifers, the project will act as a buffer during droughts and contributes to regional water security. The project also reduces the strain on imported water supplies.

"Our job of protecting and replenishing our local groundwater resources is more important now than ever," WRD Board President John D. S. Allen said. "The WRD Inland Injection Well Project in Long Beach will contribute to a drought-proof water supply for the 4 million residents that live in the WRD service area."

WRD has received grant funding for the project from both the private and public sectors; $1.5 million grant funding from PepsiCo as a part of their water sustainability initiative and $1.5 million grant funding from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Funding from PepsiCo comes as they roll out their pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) sustainability goals including their goal of replenishing 100% of the water used in their manufacturing practices in high water-risk areas by 2025. Through their industry-leading initiative, WRD was selected by PepsiCo for a $1.5 million grant to implement the groundwater replenishment project.

"Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, and we've set forth goals that aim to strategically transform the way we do business to do what's best for our planet," Johannes Evenblij, president of West Division at PepsiCo Beverages North America, said. "We are proud to partner with the Water Replenishment District to help the Southern California ecosystem and enable long-term, sustainable water security for our local communities who depend on an accessible and reliable supply of clean, safe water."

Funding from the United States Bureau of Reclamation was secured with support from Congressman Alan Lowenthal.

"For over a decade, I've proudly supported WRD's efforts to develop a reliable and sustainable local water supply," Congressman Lowenthal said. "The inland injection well is a natural next step in our work towards a drought resilient region."

The construction on the WRD Inland Injection Well Project is underway and construction is expected to be complete this summer.

The Water Replenishment District of Southern California is the regional groundwater management agency that protects and preserves the quantity and quality of groundwater for two of the most utilized urban basins in the State of California. The service area is home to over ten percent of California's population residing in 43 cities in southern Los Angeles County. WRD is governed by a publicly elected Board of Directors which includes Joy Langford., Rob Katherman, John D. S. Allen, Sergio Calderon, and Vera Robles-DeWitt.

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