The Initiative Is Designed to Capture Stormwater, Urban Runoff, and Wastewater for Reuse
The city of Santa Monica has been honored with the 2023 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence by the League of California Cities for its Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project.
SWIP, an innovative water recycling initiative, is designed to capture stormwater, urban runoff, and wastewater for reuse, thereby providing a sustainable water supply that satisfies approximately 10 percent of the city’s water demand.
This accolade recognizes SWIP as one of the ten exceptional city projects that have significantly contributed to enhancing the quality of life and improving service delivery within their respective communities.
Situated beneath the Civic Center parking lot in Santa Monica, SWIP stands as a pioneering project that offers a sustainable and drought-resilient water supply. It plays a pivotal role in the Sustainable Water Supply Program, which aims to bolster the city’s water resiliency by fortifying local water sources.
Comprising three essential components that collaborate to yield up to 1,680 acre-feet per year of high-quality purified water, SWIP includes an advanced water treatment facility, a 1.5 million-gallon stormwater harvesting tank, and enhancements to the Santa Monica urban runoff recycling facility.
City Manager David White expressed his pride in the Water Resources division’s diligent work in bringing SWIP to life. He noted, “Santa Monica continues to lead the way in innovation around sustainability, and the SWIP is a supreme example that will benefit the community for years to come. The SWIP brings us that much closer to water self-sufficiency and also frees up water resources in the region, easing the burden on everyone. This is the kind of sustainable innovation that California needs, and we’re so excited to set this example.”
The League of California Cities, a nonprofit organization dedicated to safeguarding and expanding local control for cities through education and advocacy, established the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence in 1982. This award recognizes California cities for their outstanding achievements that have led to lower costs or more efficient service delivery. Out of 142 submissions this year, ten cities were selected for their programs, with Santa Monica’s SWIP project prominently featured as a standout example.