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Don’t Waste a Drop! How Tech Helps Santa Monica Identify Where and When to Expand Reuse
Wednesday, July 10, 2024, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM EDT
Category: AAEES Webinar Series

Don’t Waste a Drop! How Tech Helps Santa Monica Identify Where and When to Expand Reuse

AAEES 2024 Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ Awards Competition Winner – Grand Prize in Planning

Webinar Info


Wednesday, July 10, 2024


Noon Eastern | 9:00 am Pacific


1 hour and 30 minutes (approximate)

Registration Fees:

FREE for All AAEES Board Certified Individuals, AAEES Members, and Student Members | $40 for non-members

Webinar Speakers

Dawn Taffler

Dawn Taffler, P.E., LEEDAP
Vice President, Kennedy Jenks
Engineer in-Charge for the Santa Monica RWMP

Alex Waite

Alex Waite, P.E.
Senior Civil Engineer, City of Santa Monica's Water Resources Division
City’s Project Manager for the Santa Monica RWMP

Webinar Summary

As part of their Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project (SWIP), the City of Santa Monica (City) has committed to investing in recycled water infrastructure to serve non-potable and potable reuse applications. With the recently constructed first-of-its-kind Advanced Water Treatment Facility, upgrades to the existing Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility, and newly adopted Recycled Water Ordinance and Guidelines, the City has demonstrated its dedication to developing an innovative recycled water program to reduce reliance on imported water supplies. However, the City’s existing recycled water distribution system is limited, and planned development is expected to grow significantly over the next two decades. A Recycled Water Master Plan (RWMP) is necessary to guide the planning of, and capital investments in, future recycled water infrastructure development. The focus of the RWMP is to document the City’s progressive strategy to utilize all available recycled water supplies for non-potable reuse (NPR) applications, groundwater replenishment, and potential future direct potable reuse (DPR) opportunities.

Kennedy Jenks worked collaboratively with the City’s planning, engineering, and operations personnel to define recycled water supplies and prioritize beneficial reuse opportunities. The use of recycled water for NPR applications, such as irrigation and dual-plumbing, in new developments is prescribed in the City’s new recycled water ordinance and is a critical component of their potable water conservation policies. A methodical alternatives analysis defined the highest priority development opportunities, coupled them with cost-effectiveness criteria, and analyzed alternative pathways to serve key customer areas.

An innovative Geographic Information System cost analysis tool was developed to guide the expansion of the City’s existing recycled water distribution system for NPR. A Radius of Cost Effectiveness (RoCE) approach evaluated the distance of expanded pipe required to reach potential NPR customers based on geographic location and demand. For the City, cost-effectiveness was defined by the City’s ability to recover the cost of providing service to a potential customer within a facility lifespan of 25 years. The cost savings were based on the difference in the cost of recycled water supply for NPR and DPR.

Each potential customer’s RoCE data was mapped to graphically depict the geographic cost-effectiveness. A circle representing the RoCE for each customer was super-imposed on the existing recycled water distribution system and identified “backbone” extensions. RoCE circles that intersect an existing or identified backbone pipelines are deemed to be cost-effective NPR customers. This visual and mathematical approach creates an unbiased method to quickly determine where to expand recycled water infrastructure. 

The RWMP will provide a strategy for recycled water expansion and define a viable Capital Improvement Plan to support future City investments. As the need for recycled water becomes greater due to the impacts of climate change, the RWMP will allow the City to justify recycled water service to key customer areas, guide future collaborative discussions with developers in their planning processes, and ultimately aid the City in achieving their water self-sufficiency goals. 

About the Presenters

Dawn Taffler is a Vice President and Client Director at KJ and has led their National One Water and Recycled Water Practice Areas for nearly a decade. She has been an active member of WateReuse for over 20 years; serving over 15 years in leadership roles, including 8 years as a Board Member at Large for WateReuse California.  Dawn and her family just relocated to the Seattle Area, where she is supporting projects Nationwide.  She recently joined the WateReuse Pacific Northwest Board, working to bring her CA experience to a much wetter area that is seeking reuse to address discharge compliance challenges. Dawn is a registered professional civil engineer in California, with a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Illinois and an MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of California Berkeley and is LEED accredited.

Alex Waite is a Senior Civil Engineer with the City of Santa Monica’s Water Resources Division. Alex oversees the design, construction, and optimization of the City’s drinking water, wastewater, and recycled water systems to implement the City’s goal of water self-sufficiency. He is also Co-Chair for the CA-NV AWWA Recycled Water and Desalination Committee and Vice President of the WateReuse California Los Angeles Chapter. Alex holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Southern California and is a registered Professional Engineer in California.

Webinar Format

This webinar will include a moderated Q and A session following the speaker’s presentation. The session is open to environmental engineering and science professionals across all sectors and career stages. Our objective is to offer special insights on leading edge solutions for graduate and undergraduate students as well as early to mid-career environmental professionals who are considering specialty certification.

AAEES Board Certified Individuals: Attend this event and earn 1.5 PDHs towards your PDH requirements for maintaining your specialty certification.

Click here to register for this webinar.

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