The Ventura River is our best source of quality water.
by Shana Epstein – Ventura Water General Manager.
As a mission City, the Ventura River was accessed by an aqueduct led by the efforts of the Catholic Church and the native inhabitants of our region. From the beginning the Ventura River has been a critical water resource for our community to thrive. To this day, it is the best quality water out of the three resources the City depends on.
The next resource tapped by the City was groundwater and in drought this resource is extremely precious to us. The City extracts from three different groundwater basins and in normal years it is a third of our supply. During this multi-year drought, groundwater is approximately 60% of our supply.
The third supply is Lake Casitas, which the City has an agreement with Casitas Municipal Water District for an annual supply that is primarily used within the Casitas service boundary within the City’s water service area. This annual supply is approximately 5,000 Acre Feet (1 Acre Foot equals 326,000 gallons).
The hopes of El Nino solving all of our water woes this year did not occur. It did happen for many other communities in Southern California, but not for Ventura. Lake Casitas at this rate could be dry in several years with no substantial rainfall. Restrictions have not been lifted on one of the groundwater basins the City depends on and the Ventura River has limited supplies. Therefore, we must still conserve so that we may have a reliable supply for indoor residential use and the City’s businesses, which continue to support the economics of our community.
The City will continue to ask our customers to be excellent stewards of water and applauds the outstanding conservation efforts taken to date and those in the planning stages. In fact, the community recently pledged to save water during the National Mayor’s Challenge and the City won the challenge In 2015, Ventura’s customers saved about 19% when compared to 2013. Incentive programs will be relaunched this July. Residential customers will be able to haul recycled water from the City’s reclamation facility and customers who are looking for additional ways to conserve can ask for a free water audit.
All of these efforts in the long run are hard to keep up; therefore, Ventura Water continues to strategize for the development of new water. The City just completed the operation of the VenturaWaterPure Potable Reuse Demonstration Facility. The City has the potential of a new supply through advanced treatment processes of recycled water. In addition, the City continues to build new wells to improve redundancy in our groundwater operations, to pursue State Water options and explore other water supply options such as seawater desalination. Ventura is fortunate to have many alternatives as it does for its water future.
To learn more please visit us at www.venturawater.net or call 667- 6500.