SACRAMENTO, CA – Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assemblymember Lisa Calderon’s (D-Whittier) Assembly Bill 1845, a bill that enables The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) to use alternative project delivery methods for the design and construction of vital drought-resilient projects.
As climate change and severe drought have increased the uncertainty of the region’s available water supply, MWD is working to expedite a regional recycled water project and a set of drought-response projects to ensure greater regional reliability and flexibility. The traditional Design-Bid-Build model for the delivery of public works construction contracts set forth by existing law requires the solicitation and evaluation of bids and the awarding of contracts by local agencies for public works contracts.
“The arduous process required by Design-Bid-Build Model can be detrimental to the construction of large, innovative, and vital infrastructure projects. This is the case for time sensitive projects being developed in Southern California to increase water resiliency during a time of intense drought affecting the Southwest,” Assemblymember Calderon states.
AB 1845 remedies these problems by amending the Public Contract Code to permit MWD to use alternative delivery methods, including Design-Build, Progressive Design Build, and Construction Manager/General Contractor models, for a targeted set of water infrastructure projects throughout MWD’s service area. These methods seek to expedite completion of critical new water infrastructure projects and reduce their overall costs.
MWD and the Los Angeles County Sanitation District are partnering on a regional recycled water program called Pure Water Southern California that plans to reuse treated wastewater currently sent to the ocean. At full scale, the program could produce up to 150 million gallons daily, enough to serve more than 500,000 homes.
In addition, MWD plans to mitigate current and future drought impacts to parts of their service area reliant on State Water Project imports. Drought-related construction projects may include new pump stations and upgrades to local conveyance so water can be moved from local storage in Diamond Valley Lake to the far-east and west reaches of the service area.
“The sooner we can get these projects online, the more resilient Southern California will be to drought and climate change,” Metropolitan General Manager Adel Hagekhalil said. “This legislation will accelerate the construction of several projects aimed at preventing in the future the kinds of emergency conservation measures millions of Southern Californians are currently under. We are grateful to Assemblymember Calderon and Gov. Newsom for their recognition that our communities need these projects now.”
These projects represent important opportunities to create a drought-resilient water supply and create vital new jobs for the region.
For full text of AB 1845, please visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov
Contact: Alberto Ruiz, firstname.lastname@example.org