The story comes from KCLU’s podcast The One Oh One. You can listen to the full episode here.
Augustine Godinez is standing on a walkway that extends over a large water storage basin. Below him, a huge metal arm swirls the water in order to separate the sludge out. What’s happening here is that wastewater is being recycled.
“Any time you take a shower or anytime the water goes down the sink, that water is coming to us,” said Godinez.
Godinez is the wastewater superintendent at the City of Moorpark’s reclamation facility. All of this city’s wastewater, about two million gallons a day, comes through this facility to be recycled. About 75 percent is used on golf courses and agriculture fields. The rest goes back into the ground.
“So we’re not wasting anything here,” said Godinez.
Every drop matters, when the county is experiencing ‘exceptional drought‘ — essentially when you look at the U.S. Drought Monitor map, it’s the most severe drought
The city of Moorpark is part of the Calleguas Municipal Water District. Other cities like Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley also get their water from Calleguas. It adds up to 75 percent of the county’s residents — that’s over 650,000 people.
But that water supply is challenged. Tony Goff is general manager of Calleguas
“Over the last twenty years, we’ve really seen cutbacks that we had never seen before,” said Goff.
The district imports water from two completely different sources.
“We have access to water in the northern Sierras as snowpack. We bring that down from Northern California through part of the State Water Project system,” said Goff. “We also have access to supplies on the Colorado River system. We bring in water from Lake Mead through the Colorado River Aqueduct into Ventura County as well.”
Goff says the situation is dismal right now for both water sources. First for the Colorado River.
“For the first time ever, there’s been a drought declaration on the Colorado River supplies. That’s new,” said Goff.
And for the Sierras snowpack supply or State Water Project.
“We’re seeing a…