Anselmo Collins, Senior Asst. General Manager - Water System
Anselmo Collins LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager,
Water System
A Message from Anselmo Collins LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager,
Water System

Benjamin Franklin once said, “When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.” The news is replete with images from all over the world of either not enough rain or too much of it. The past couple of years have really demonstrated the importance of preserving scarce water resources and managing the effects of climate change on water supplies. A severe, multi-year drought in the Western United States continued in 2022. This left reservoirs at historically low levels and severely limited deliveries along the Los Angeles Aqueduct, CA State Water Project and Colorado River Aqueduct. As a result, our community responded in an amazing fashion to the call to conserve and limit water use.

During the summer of 2022 alone, Angelenos saved nearly six billion gallons of water compared to 2021. Our per capita consumption continues to be one of the lowest of any major U.S. city and is even lower than it was in 1970, despite a population increase of more than one million people. In addition, LADWP operators and engineers developed and implemented numerous operational strategies to match available supplies to demands, as well as helping neighboring communities survive the drought. I am deeply appreciative of the efforts made by both our customers and LADWP’s staff in responding to this unprecedented drought. Climate impacts and precipitation conditions have changed dramatically in early 2023, as we have seen an extraordinary rainy season, and our record-setting snowpack is at 296 percent of normal as of April 1st.

The LADWP team is now shifting focus to managing an extremely high level of runoff, to protect dams and infrastructure, and maximizing storage for future use. The heavy precipitation and forecast runoff highlight the importance of infrastructure investments to improve and restore local water resources. LADWP continues clean up efforts to restore the San Fernando Groundwater Basin, which was part of our historical groundwater supply. We continue to build stormwater capture capacity, completing the Tujunga Spreading Grounds

Enhancement Project, which doubled the annual groundwater recharge capacity of the Tujunga Spreading Grounds facility. With the deluge of this last winter, our overall $130 million stormwater capture investment paid off by capturing 33 billion gallons of rainfall from October 2022 to March 2023.

Our greatest effort in preparing for a future of climate uncertainty is Operation NEXT, an innovative water supply initiative that aims to improve our overall water supply resiliency and reliability. Operation NEXT will revolutionize local water resources in Los Angeles by using advanced processes to recycle and purify wastewater from the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in Playa del Rey. This will enable the city to use this purified, local water source in multiple ways to offset imported water from the Colorado River, and Bay-Delta.

Your contributions with conservation efforts, coupled with our infrastructure investments, represent hope for a resilient water-wise future. Our goal at LADWP is to keep our supplies resilient and sustainable, and our city, water-strong. I invite you to read the following report on how we are protecting L.A.’s drinking water and working on leaving behind a legacy of preparedness and foresight for future generations.

Los Angelinos reading Tujunga Spreading Grounds dedication plaque
In 2022, LADWP and the L.A. County Flood Control District completed the Tujunga Spreading Grounds Enhancement Project and opened a new on-site community recreation area for the enjoyment of the public. This project doubled the annual groundwater recharge capacity of the Tujunga Spreading Grounds to 16,000 acre-foot on average, which has the potential to provide enough water to 64,000 households on an annual basis.