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Attendees learn about groundwater and its vital importance to the region
The Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD) kicked off its sixth annual Groundwater Festival, "Treasure Beneath Our Feet," at its headquarters in Lakewood, Calif., with nearly 3,000 community participants enjoying the festivities and engaging the festival's presenters.
"WRD is proud to host this successful community event that raises the public's awareness about our most fundamental local public resource — our groundwater," said Albert Robles, WRD's board president. "As the cost of imported water from the Colorado River and northern California continue to rise, our reliance on our local groundwater supply becomes even more important in keeping water affordable. And this event helps to highlight the need to protect our precious public resource."
On hand were more than 40 nonprofit, federal, state and local government agencies that provided interactive water conservation, environmental and eco-gardening information and lessons. The Aquarium of the Pacific, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and the Southeast Community Development Center showcased a mobile aquarium, a live starfish exhibit and WRD's awardwinning ECO Gardener "Design Your Own Landscape" program.
A Mr. Wilbert from Long Beach, Calif., won this year's WRD Groundwater Festival grand prize, an LG Electronics high-efficiency front load washer.
ABC7 Eyewitness News reporter Rudabeh Shahbazi served as the 2013 master of ceremonies during the WRD Groundwater Ambassador Awards presentation. This year, the WRD board of directors presented the award to Congressman Alan Lowenthal for leading the charge to solve of the region's toughest water challenges, increasing water conservation and for his unrelenting efforts to protect and increase the regional groundwater supply.
Locally, groundwater is vital to south Los Angeles County because it is responsible for providing almost half of the water supply to the region's 4 million residents, which represent 10% of the state's population.
The WRD Groundwater Festival event was made possible through the financial support of Aquarium of the Pacific, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Golden State Water Co., KABC Eyewitness News, the Metropolitan Water District, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, Starbucks Coffee, West Basin Municipal Water District, Park Water, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, CH2M Hill and many more.