Catch the Wave!  Water: Take 1 Online Short Film Contest is now open for submissions at
Pipeline March 2013

2013 Water: Take 1
Time To Get Your Camera Rolling

In the spirit of World Water Day, Ventura Water and partners Patagonia and iThentic launched the second year of Water: Take 1 Online Short Film Contest.  Part of a larger effort to highlight our relationship to water, the Water: Take 1 program was created to encourage water efficiency at all levels - from the homeowner to the local business to the industrial company.
Water: Take 1 Online Short Film Contest
With the contest now open, recent short films (under five minutes) that address the topic of water may be entered without charge at and may be any genre, including documentary, drama, comedy, animation, sci-fi or experimental.  A jury-awarded Grand Prize of $1,500, sponsored by Patagonia, will be presented to the Grand Prize Winner at an event hosted by Brooks Institute of Photography later this fall.  New to this year’s contest, an entry filmed here in Ventura will be selected by the jury as the recipient of the Ventura Vision Award, sponsored by the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach.  The special Best Student Short Film Award, sponsored by Kennedy/Jenks Consultants and Carollo Engineers, will also be named by the distinguished jury.  The film submission deadline is September 3, 2013.
Not a filmmaker?
Watchers have an important role in the Water: Take 1 contest.  Viewers visiting have an opportunity to “vote” for their favorite entry online.  The film with the most votes will receive the Audience Choice Award, sponsored by EJ Harrison and Sons.

Water: Take 1 Buzz also encourages viewers to “share” their favorite WT1 films through Social Media channels to create a buzz, here at home and around the world.  Be a part of the water conversation and Like “Water: Take 1” on Facebook and TwitterSign-up here to receive occasional emails about the Water: Take 1 contest and program, including insights from filmmakers and upcoming local special events.  Visit our YouTube for news videos about Water: Take 1.

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Your Ventura Water Rates at Work
2013-2019 Capital Improvement Plan

Earlier in March, the Ventura City Council adopted the 2013-2019 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that includes all of the proposed near-term and future projects to renew and improve our water and wastewater systems and facilities.  The adoption is the culmination of a lengthy process; project development can begin many years earlier through a comprehensive planning effort that must evaluate factors such as available water supply and wastewater collection capacity versus projected needs based on population growth and new housing.

There are a total of 24 drinking water projects in the 2013-2019 CIP that are currently active or scheduled to commence within the next six years.  The total estimated cost for these projects is $97 million, of which $40 million in funds has been identified and is available.  Of the identified funding, $19.5 million is funded with the new 2012 water bonds.  There are 8 projects without full funding identified for a remaining need of about $57 million.  There are another 12 “potential” water projects estimated at another $163 million that are not scheduled to start until sometime after the next 6 years.
There are a total of 14 wastewater projects in the CIP that are currently active or scheduled to start within the next six years.  The total estimated cost for these projects is $109 million of which only $23 million in funds has been identified.  There are 9 projects that do not have full funding.  There are another 15 “potential” wastewater project estimated at another $123 million, which also are not scheduled to take place for at least another 6 years.

Since capital projects are funded 100% from rates paid by our customers, Ventura Water and City Engineers are constantly seeking innovative ways to keep our water and wastewater systems up and running without losing sight of providing quality service to our customers.  Many of the unfunded, partially-funded and longer-term “potential” projects in the newly-adopted CIP may evolve over the coming years.  In the project scope development process, we evaluate different design and construction options through “value engineering” which often results in lower costs than the initial estimate.  In other cases, projects could be removed from the plan altogether in response to changing conditions.  Future CIP Plans will reflect such revisions.  As a living document, the CIP is a planning tool that changes over time and is intended to capture any and all potential projects that may be needed in the long-term.

To learn more about specific water and wastewater projects that are included in the new 2013-2019 CIP, visit

Shana Epstein, Ventura Water General Manager
Dear Valued Customer,

Water is the theme of a number of appreciation days this month.  On a global level, the annual United Nations' World Water Day was celebrated on March 22 to focus attention on the importance of freshwater.   Each year, World Water Day highlights a different aspect of water and 2013 has been dedicated to water cooperation.  As with any finite resource, it’s easy to say "mine" and more difficult to find a way to share that ensures more reliability and higher water quality for the future.  Water travels across man-made boundaries and how we work together will, in large part, lead us to real solutions to water challenges.

The average American household wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water each year from easy-to-fix household leaks.  To remind us to find and fix leaks, EPA’s WaterSense program rolled out their annual "Fix a Leak" week on March 18.  In case you missed it, here’s how to check, twist, and replace:
  1. Check for silent leaks in the toilet with a few drops of food coloring in the tank and check your sprinkler system for damage.
  2. Twist faucet valves, tighten pipe connections, and secure your hose to the spigot.
  3. Replace old plumbing fixtures and irrigation controllers that are wasting water with WaterSense labeled models that are independently certified to use less water and perform well.
We are also a big believer in fixing leaks.  Ventura Water has a strong maintenance program to detect system leaks because thousands of gallons of water can be lost by an aging infrastructure.  You may have noticed our “Leak Detection” signs in your neighborhood while our water distribution staff uses special equipment to “listens” for leaks.  Our wastewater collection system pipelines are also regularly inspected by a closed circuit television camera to identify which pipes need maintenance or repair.

Wasting water was also the focus of the Alliance for Water Efficiency's Never Waste program which launched in March.  This national program addresses the fact that it’s hard for most people to quantify how much water is wasted during every day activities, such as shaving or a leaking toilet.  To help us make the connection, a special “Never Waste” 20-ounce steel water bottle has been created to communicate the quantity of water wasted.  For example, did you know that a broken sprinkler head can waste 384 bottles of water in 10 minutes or that a running toilet can waste 800 bottles in just one day?  Ventura Water is participating in this important program and you’ll be hearing more about this soon.

Finally, in this March Pipeline edition, you’ll read about the opening of the second year of our Water: Take 1 online short film contest and program.  We encourage all filmmakers – from novice to professional – to enter your film about the value of water by September 3, 2013 at

Enjoy this last week of March and let’s all hope for some much-needed April showers.

Shana Epstein
Shana Epstein
Ventura Water General Manager

Alliance for Water Efficiency Never Waste Bottle

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