Located in the hills just south of Westlake Village, the reservoir can hold a three-month supply of treated drinking water for district customers. The total capacity is approximately 9,500 acre-feet. (An acre-foot equals 325,851 gallons, about enough water to serve two average families in and around their homes for one year.) The reservoir was created to assure reliable drinking water delivery to LVMWD customers as well as for seasonal demand. The reservoir is also our “back-up” for scheduled shutdowns for maintenance, in times of drought, or in the event of earthquakes and other emergencies. Las Virgenes Reservoir played an important role after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, when service from MWD was interrupted. Within hours, water from the reservoir was flowing while residents in nearby communities were without water for as long as a week.
With only one source of drinking water serving our arid area, a local storage facility is critical. All drinking water served to LVMWD customers is imported because the local water supplies are scarce and of poor quality. Supplies are purchased from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). This water originates as snowpack in the high Sierras and is transported more than 400 miles through the State Water Project, which is owned and operated by the Department of Water Resources.
Water delivered and stored in Las Virgenes Reservoir is treated potable water from MWD. To help protect water quality, LVMWD owns 360 acres of land immediately surrounding the reservoir. Water is drawn from the reservoir through a concrete tower with inlet and outlet valves located at five different depths, allowing operators to select the highest quality water to be pumped into the treatment plant.