Los Angeles,
16:21 PM

Mayor Tours Cedars-Sinai Water System Saving Millions of Gallons

Mayor Garcetti and Other City Leaders Visit Groundbreaking Water Treatment Facility That Has Reduced Consumption by 29 Million Gallons Annually—the Equivalent of Supplying Water to 267 Homes Each Year

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti highlighted Cedars-Sinai's groundwater conservation program Thursday, citing it as an example of innovative conservation as the city seeks to reduce water consumption.

The project has slashed the medical center's use of city-supplied water by 29 million gallons annually, the equivalent of supplying 267 single-family homes with water for a year. 

Garcetti toured the underground water system at Cedars-Sinai with executives from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

"Los Angeles is changing how we think about water, by rewarding those who conserve," said Mayor Garcetti. "At a moment when climate change and drought are becoming the new normal, the Cedars-Sinai treatment facility shows how property owners can help us better withstand the effects—through a strong commitment to conservation and sustainable design."

The system, developed by Cedars-Sinai and an outside contractor, Rethink H2O of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, captures water flowing through an aquifer beneath the medical center. The system cleans the water and pumps it to help cool the hospital's air conditioning. The processed groundwater is not used for patient or staff purposes. It is expected to be used for irrigation in the near future.

By tapping the groundwater flowing beneath the medical center, Cedars-Sinai has cut the amount of water it purchases from DWP by about 80,000 gallons a day—or 29 million gallons a year. The project was honored earlier this year with the Water Efficiency Project of the Year award from the Los Angeles Better Building Council.


Richard B. Jacobs, executive vice president and chief strategy officer
Cedars-Sinai is proudly committed to water conservation, and our Ground Water Re-Use System has taken this to a new level.
Richard B. Jacobs, executive vice president and chief strategy officer

"Cedars-Sinai is proudly committed to water conservation, and our Ground Water Re-Use System has taken this to a new level," said Richard B. Jacobs, executive vice president and chief strategy officer at Cedars-Sinai. "Large institutions and companies have a vital role to play in the environmental health of our city, and we are so pleased to do our part. We look forward to working with Mayor Garcetti and others here today to advance this important agenda in the years ahead."

The project, which cost $1.2 million to design and build, has slashed Cedars-Sinai's water bill by $365,000 a year. The conservation effort has attracted the attention of the DWP, which provided a $155,355 incentive through its Technical Assistance Program (TAP). TAP offers rebates for the installation of water-saving projects and equipment to commercial, industrial and institutional customers as well as multifamily residential customers in Los Angeles.

"Many customers don't realize that making investments in efficiency can actually pay for the improvement in reduced energy or water costs in a few short years," said David Wright, general manager of the Department of Water and Power. "In this case, the rebate provided to Cedars-Sinai combined with water savings will pay for the total project cost in less than five years. We want to partner with more of our customers on projects like this, especially our commercial customers whose water use is about 20 percent of the total water we supply to the city annually. The more water we save, the less costly, imported water we have to supply our customers, which ensures a resilient water future for Los Angeles."

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California awarded Cedars-Sinai an additional $168,000 through its Water Savings Incentive Program. MWD encourages water savings at businesses and industrial facilities by providing cash incentives for the installation of water-saving technologies and devices, part of a $43 million annual effort to help Southern California conserve.

"Metropolitan is looking for opportunities to save water everywhere, in homes, businesses, factories and farms," said Brad Coffey, manager of MWD's Water Resource Management Group. "We have a host of incentives and rebates to help anyone who has an idea or project to use water more efficiently, from individuals who want to replace their grass with California native plants, to commercial facilities, like Cedars-Sinai, that want to install innovative technologies."