Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that L.A. will recycle 100% of its wastewater by 2035 — a major step to expand water recycling and reduce reliance on imported water.
The Mayor was joined by Councilmember Mike Bonin and senior leadership from the L.A. Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and Bureau of Sanitation (BOS).
“Conservation is about more than how we respond to a dry year — it should shape how we prepare our City for tomorrow,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Maximizing L.A.’s recycling capacity will increase the amount of water we source locally, and help to ensure that Angelenos can count on access to clean water for generations to come.”
Hyperion — the largest treatment plant west of the Mississippi River — currently receives 81% of the City’s total wastewater and recycles 27% of the water that flows into the facility. Improvements to Hyperion will cost roughly $2 billion over the next 16 years and create middle class engineering, construction, operations, and maintenance jobs.
"It is hard to overstate how important this announcement is for Los Angeles," said Councilmember Mike Bonin. "This is a major milestone in our work to make Los Angeles a sustainable and resilient city, and it is just the latest example of how LA is continuing to demonstrate that big things can happen in big cities when we work together toward a sustainable future."
Currently, 2% of the City’s water supply comes from L.A.’s four water treatment facilities: Hyperion, L.A. Glendale, Tillman, and Terminal Island. Increasing Hyperion’s recycling capabilities to 100% by 2035 will increase that number to 35% — and help the City meet Mayor Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn goals to cut purchases of imported water by 50% by 2025 and source 50% of water locally by 2035.
“Hyperion played a pivotal role in restoring the Santa Monica Bay,” said Bureau of Sanitation Director Enrique Zaldivar. “I am thrilled to see it now play a crucial role in the future of the City’s water resilience.”
The efforts at Hyperion and Los Angeles’ three other wastewater treatment plants — which are already at 100% recycling capacity — are part of a growing portfolio of projects spearheaded by Mayor Garcetti to reduce Los Angeles’ dependence on imported water. Last year, Mayor Garcetti broke ground at the North Hollywood West Groundwater Treatment facility, the first of four groundwater treatment projects that will eventually clean the San Fernando Valley Groundwater Basin — an aquifer that can provide drinking water to more than 800,000 Angelenos.
Mayor Garcetti also helped lead the passage of Measure W, a $300 million local measure approved by L.A. County voters in 2018 to fund infrastructure projects and programs to capture, treat, and recycle rainwater.
“With the City committing to 100% recycled water at all four treatment facilities by 2035, LADWP will be able to reliably source up to 70 percent of its water sustainably and locally instead of depending on costly imported water,” said LADWP General Manager David H. Wright. “Today’s announcement is nothing short of a game changer when it comes to securing LA’s water future.”
“The Mayor's bold and visionary announcement marks the dawn of the City's transformation to a sustainable water management future where every drop of local water is treated as essential,” said Mark Gold, UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability. “The transformation of the City’s four treatment plants to full water recycling can supply Los Angeles with approximately a third of our annual water supply: the most critical step in making this megacity a sustainable L.A.”