Update:  September 21, 2016

We can refill the Reservoirs with a sustainable, local water source!

Silverlakeforward Rendering3

On September 20, 2016 at John Marshall High School the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power presented a detailed update about the plans to begin refilling the Silver Lake Reservoir in May 2017.

Silver Lake Forward is happy to report that our first petition ask is already happening - we can refill Silver Lake Reservoir in May 2017 in an environmentally sustainable way!

DWP has a new proposed solution to fill the reservoir with a sustainable, local water source that maintains water quality - groundwater that will be pumped from existing wells. To achieve this, DWP will install about half a mile of new pipe. They are currently testing the water to ensure that it won't require any additional treatment,

Last night at John Marshall High School the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power presented a detailed update about plans to begin refilling the Silver Lake Reservoir in May 2017.

Silver Lake Forward is happy to report that our first petition ask is already happening - we can refill Silver Lake Reservoir in May 2017 in an environmentally sustainable way!

DWP has a new proposed solution to fill the reservoir with a sustainable, local water source that maintains water quality - groundwater that will be pumped from existing wells. To achieve this, DWP will install about half a mile of new pipe. They are testing the groundwater to ensure that it won't require any additional treatment, and we'll look forward to seeing the results of those water quality tests. It is great that they have found a solution that is sustainable and gets water back in the reservoir as quickly as possible, and that they are committed to keeping the community informed as this process continues. The mood at the meeting was generally one of relief!

The two other sustainable solutions, using local storm water runoff or recycled water, are both more expensive and, in the case of storm water, unable to provide enough water to sustain the reservoir. While we hope that storm water recapture will be integrated into a longer-term plan for the reservoir, it would be too costly and provide an insufficient amount of water in the short term. Although there is ample recycled water, getting it to the reservoir would take additional infrastructure (2.6 miles of pipe) and time to implement - and the characteristics of recycled water would make it more challenging to maintain good water quality in the reservoir (e.g., preventing algae growth). One thing to note is that the DWP will begin the refill process in May - it will take several months, and potentially up to a year, to completely refill the lake - but they believe that there will be water covering the basin about a month after they start. Good news for everyone!

The meeting also addressed our second petition ask- that we modify existing Reservoir banks to be scenic, safe and supportive of plant life that enriches water quality. DWP reported that they are technically able to remove some of the concrete around the top of the reservoir that is currently cracked and stained, in favor of planting and sustainable banks. They indicated that this work would NOT delay the refilling of the reservoir. We STRONGLY encourage DWP to remove as much concrete as is feasible, and we'll all need to connect with our Councilmembers and DWP staff to encourage them to beautify the banks.

Our next two "asks" will be discussed at a November meeting (date still TBD). But we want to emphasize that one meeting is not enough to develop a long term plan for the Reservoir. DWP must fully fund a feasibility study for the responsible transition and future management of the Reservoir Complex, with community input on new uses for this amazing public resource. We will need much more than one meeting to move this process forward!

We want to thank Councilmembers O'Farrell and Ryu for hosting last night's meeting and continuing to engage with the community, and we are confident that they will support our request to DWP to fully fund a planning process to update the Silver Lake Master Plan and create a public resource that values access, beauty, and conservation.

If you haven't signed on yet, please add your name to our petition to DWP and the City of Los Angeles - we urge them to fulfill their obligation to our lake, land and community.