Sen. Hertzberg proposes California reuse all treated water

Sen. Hertzberg proposes California reuse all treated water
The Los Angeles River flows under the Anaheim Street bridge on its way to Long Beach Harbor. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

With California in the fourth year of a drought, a state lawmaker has introduced a last-minute bill that would require half of treated wastewater to be used for beneficial purposes, including landscape watering, by 2026 and 100% usage by 2036.

Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) gutted another bill to insert the language of his new proposal but said he would not have it taken up by the Legislature until next year.

His measure applies to treated wastewater from ocean outfalls and argues it is unreasonable to allow 1.5 billion gallons of treated fresh water to flow into the ocean each day.

"We've got to do something," Hertzberg said. "Too much water is being wasted. We've got to be better and smarter."

Uses that would comply with the legislation include irrigating public land and groundwater recharging.