Water reuse

OCWD's mission of providing a reliable water supply in a cost-effective manner is brought to life through its water reuse projects. 

Reused water is water used more than once or recycled. It happens daily on rivers and other bodies of water. If you live in a community downstream of another, chances are you are reusing its water, and likewise, communities downstream of you are most likely reusing your water. Scientifically-proven advances in water technology have allowed OCWD to reuse water for many different purposes, including industrial, irrigation and drinking.

  • The Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) is the world's largest system for indirect potable reuse. The system takes highly treated wastewater that would have previously been discharged into the Pacific Ocean and purifies it using a three-step advanced treatment process. Explore the GWRS.
  • OCWD's Green Acres Project (GAP) is a water reuse effort that provides recycled water for landscape irrigation at parks, schools and golf courses; industrial uses, such as carpet dying; toilet flushing; and power generation cooling. Learn more about the GAP.
  • Water Factory 21, the predecessor to GWRS, took treated wastewater from the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) and recycled it, blended it with imported water, and injected it into 23 wells in Fountain Valley, and Huntington Beach to combat seawater intrusion. View the Water Factory 21 brochure (PDF).

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to taking previously used water and treating it for another use. There are many different scientifically proven processes and options in use by communities today to diversify their local water supply portfolios and meet needs. Consumers can be assured that water reuse involves extensive cleaning, rigorous monitoring and testing, and is good for the environment and scientifically proven to meet all state and federal drinking water standards. Explore water reuse projects around the world.