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WRD Groundwater Festival Attended by Thousands

By Tammye McDuff

Conserving water is nothing new to southern Californians. We’ve been doing it for years and our water efficient practices have set standards that distinguish us from the rest of the nation. There is always room for improvement. This is why over 4,500 people showed up for the 8th Annual Groundwater Festival, “Treasure Beneath Our Feet”.

The festival coincides with National Groundwater Awareness Week, recognizing the importance of groundwater as a valuable and renewable resource across the nation. Held at the Water Replenishment District [WRD] expo this past Saturday in the city of Lakewood, more than 40 educational, interactive and entertaining exhibits were on display. The Discovery Science Center had live entertainment for attendees, the Aquarium of the Pacific showed off full size salt and fresh water tanks with a display of creatures to pet, while the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium displayed tide pools and touch tanks.

Families engaged in educational and interactive displays and activities, numerous scientific and engineering displays, activities and a treasure hunt for all who were in attendance. Free vouchers were given to everyone from In n’ Out Burger and Taco King.

The WRD manages groundwater for nearly four million residents in 43 cities in southern Los Angeles County. The 420 square mile service area uses about 250,000 acre-feet of groundwater per year, which equates to nearly 40% of the total demand for water. The WRD ensures that a reliable supply of high quality groundwater is available through its clean water projects, water supply programs, and effective management principles.

The existing and future limitations of water resources in Southern California have resulted in the need for water supplies in the Central and West Coast basins to be managed more efficiently. As the regional groundwater management agency for two of the most utilized groundwater basins in the state of California, the WRD plays an integral role in overall water resource management in southern Los Angeles County. As the population of the region continues to increase, it becomes even more important to maximize the use of both imported and local water sources available to the WRD.

“As we strive to become independent from imported water, conservation and use of local water resources become increasingly important”, said WRD Division Two Board President Rob Katherman. “The Groundwater Festival offers the public a unique opportunity to learn about these efforts first-hand by meeting and talking with our extremely knowledgeable exhibitors and with WRD’s own staff of engineers, hydrogeologists, and water quality experts.”

WRD Groundwater Awards were presented to Senator Ben Allen, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, and Pico Water District.

The WRD Groundwater Festival “Treasure Beneath Our Feet” was made possible through partnerships with Parsons Engineering, United Water, Metropolitan Water District, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, LA County Department of Public Works, West Basin MWD, Golden State Water Company, Park Water Company, Eurofins, and NBC4 Los Angeles.