Hiram W. Wadsworth (1862-1939) is known as the father of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. As the mayor of Pasadena, he called for a regional partnership of municipalities to bring water to Southern California. After initiating the Colorado River Aqueduct Association and being elected its president, he directed the campaign from 1924-1929 that led to the establishment of the district. The pumping plant at Diamond Valley Lake, located 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles in Riverside County, was named the Hiram W. Wadsworth Pumping/Hydro-generating Facility in his honor.
William E. “Bill” Warne (1905-1996) had a career for the record books that prominently featured water issues at state, federal and international levels.
He served under Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown as the second director of the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) from 1961-1967 along with also being the first Resources Agency secretary from 1961-1963 at the beginning of the construction of the California State Water Project.
Wastewater treatment in California centers on the collection, conveyance, treatment, reuse and disposal of wastewater. This process is conducted largely by public agencies, though there are also privatized systems in places where a treatment plant is not feasible.
In California, wastewater treatment takes place through 100,000 miles of sanitary sewers and at more than 900 wastewater treatment plants that manage the roughly 4 billion gallons of wastewater generated in the state each day.
Title 22 of California’s Water Recycling Criteria refers to California state guidelines for how treated and recycled water is discharged and used.
The standards also require the state’s Department of Health Services to develop and enforce water and bacteriological treatment standards for water recycling and reuse.
State discharge standards for reclaimed water and its reuse are regulated by under the Water Recycling Criteria and the 1969 Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act–California’s regulatory framework for water recycling.
California’s growth has closely paralleled an evolving and complex system of water rights.
After California became a state in 1850, it followed the practice of Eastern states and adopted riparian rights – water rights laws based on ownership of land bordering a waterway. The riparian property owner—one who lives next to the river— possesses the right to use that water, a right that cannot be transferred apart from the land.
California’s “Mediterranean” climate, characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters, is considered one of its great attractions, but it also can be unpredictable with flooding followed by drought and few years of “normal” precipitation. [See also Hydrologic Cycle].
This also makes its water supply unpredictable. For instance, runoff and precipitation in California can be quite variable.
Finding and maintaining a clean water supply for drinking and other uses has been a constant challenge throughout human history.
Today, significant technological developments in water treatment, including monitoring and assessment, help ensure a drinking water supply of high quality. The source of water and its initial condition prior to being treated usually determines the water treatment process. [See also Water Recycling.]
A watershed is the land area that drains runoff – snowmelt and rain – into a connected system of lakes, streams, rivers, and other waterways. It typically is identified by the largest draining watercourse within the system. In California, for example, the Sierra Nevada is one of the state’s major watersheds.
Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems in the world. They produce high levels of oxygen, filter toxic chemicals out of water, reduce flooding and erosion, recharge groundwater and provide a diverse range of recreational opportunities from fishing and hunting to photography. They also serve as critical habitat for wildlife, including a large percentage of plants and animals on California’s endangered species list.
Frank Elwin “F.E.” Weymouth (1874-1941) was Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s first general manager and chief engineer, serving from 1929-1941. The Colorado River Aqueduct and initial distribution system were constructed during his tenure. Metropolitan’s first treatment plant at La Verne in Los Angeles County was named the F.E. Weymouth Treatment Plant in his honor.