Glendale Water & Power officials plan to extract about 320 acre feet of water from the so-called Foothill Well, located about 3,000 feet from an underground reservoir at New York Park.
Water officials said it would make a small but important dent in the 22,000 acre feet — 70% of the city’s water supply — that they import from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
The abandoned Foothill Well was found to have potable water last year after four other attempts to drill new wells came up dry. Glendale has been striving to find additional taps into underground reservoirs and fulfill its rights under a 1979 court order allowing it to pump 3,856 acre feet a year from the Verdugo Basin.
Water & Power currently pumps just 2,500 acre feet from the basin through five wells.
“We’re trying to increase that to save on our [import] purchases,” said Raja Takidin, senior water engineer for the utility.
The water district, the wholesale water supplier to Southern California, charges Glendale about $540 per acre foot, but plans to implement a 19% rate increase in January, Takidin said.
The Foothill Well project, estimated to cost $700,000, is expected to pay for itself in three to five years.
If the project moves forward as planned, water pumping would begin in January, Takidin said.
Water & Power has struggled to find ways of tapping into potable underground water since most of the city is built out, according to city reports.
Industrial chromium 6 contamination in the northwestern portion of Glendale has also hampered the utility’s ability to fully tap into that area.
The Crescenta Valley Water District, the only other agency to hold water rights in the Verdugo Basin, has had less difficulty.