California Receives $30 Million for Water Reuse, Reclamation Projects

Funding through the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Title XVI program will help build drought-resistant water supplies statewide.
California Receives $30 Million for Water Reuse, Reclamation Projects
Water running in the All-American Canal in southeastern California. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation)

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Earlier this month, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor announced more than $30 million in funding through the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI WaterSMART program for seven projects that will provide clean water to California communities and promote water and energy efficiency.

“With California in its fifth year of drought, these investments will build resilience for local communities struggling with limited water supplies — an effort that is more important than ever as the dangers of drought escalate in the face of climate change,” Connor says. “Using the best available science and technology to improve the growing disparity between water supplies and demand, this funding will help local water managers stretch dwindling resources.”

The Bureau of Reclamation identifies and investigates opportunities to reclaim and reuse wastewaters and naturally impaired ground and surface water in western states and Hawaii. Title XVI funding is in place for the planning, design, and construction of water recycling and reuse projects, on a project-specific basis.

Below is a description of the seven projects that were selected.

City of Corona Department of Water and Power
$4 million

The City of Corona, California, is converting potable water irrigation to reclaimed water at parks, schools, common areas, landscaped medians, a municipal golf course, and an industrial park as part of Phase 1 of the Corona Comprehensive Reclaimed Water Conversion Project. Upon completion, the project will make 15,376 acre-feet of reclaimed water available annually. Funding will be used for project planning and design, environmental compliance, and installation of 24,100 linear feet of reclaimed water delivery pipelines. The project will enable the city to reduce imported water purchases and create a sustainable local water supply.

City of San Diego
$5 million

The Pure Water Program is a phased, multiyear program that will ultimately make available 93,000 acre-feet of water per year, or approximately 30 percent of the City of San Diego's water supply, by 2035. The first two phases of the Pure Water San Diego Program are expected to produce more than 33,600 acre-feet of water suitable for potable reuse. Funding will aid in the development of environmental documentation and construction document preparation for the project. Through the Pure Water Program, the city expects to make a new sustainable source of potable water available for San Diego by increasing the amount of reclaimed water, and thereby reducing the amount of wastewater that is released into the ocean.

Eastern Municipal Water District
$1.22 million 

Eastern Municipal Water District's Recycled Water System Pressurization and Expansion Project will enable the transition to a recycled water system to help meet the growing demands of the area. The project is expected to result in the direct use of an additional 8,375 acre-feet per year of recycled water. The project includes design and construction of recycled water tanks, recycled water storage facilities, pumping facilities, and distribution pipelines. As part of the broader project, the district is expanding the existing Temecula Valley Regional Water Reclamation Facility, including the Tertiary Effluent Pump Station to increase facility capacity by 5 mgd.

The district is also constructing a recycled water pipeline in order to provide increased conveyance capacity and reliability to the system. The project will help reduce reliance on imported water from the Colorado River and Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta.

Inland Empire Utilities Agency
$7.2 million

Inland Empire Utilities Agency, in association with the Chino Basin Desalter Authority, is expanding the existing Chino II Desalter to make an additional 10,600 acre-feet per year of treated potable water available. The project includes a raw-water system including wells and pipelines, treatment at interconnected desalters, disposal of brine, and distribution of treated water through pipelines and pump stations. This phase of the project is expected to enhance efficiency of the desalter system through increased recovery of brine that is currently discharged to the Pacific Ocean. Work includes implementation of a 2.75 mgd pellet softening, clarification and secondary reverse osmosis treatment system at the Chino II Desalter facility.

The project will help the Inland Empire Utilities Agency ensure compliance with environmental monitoring and mitigation requirements related to groundwater pumping. The water produced by this project will replace water that would otherwise be imported from the Colorado River and Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta.

Padre Dam Municipal Water District
$4.5 million

Padre Dam Municipal Water District is expanding its recycled water production and implementing the first phase of potable water reuse in eastern San Diego County. Funding will be used to implement the District's Phase I Water Recycling Project, which includes expansion of the Ray Stoyer Water Reclamation Facility and construction of a new advanced water purification facility, potable reuse conveyance pipelines, groundwater injection and recovery wells, and a biosolids digestion facility to process sludge and offset energy demands of the project. The project will produce an additional 1,000 acre-feet per year of tertiary recycled water and 2,450 acre-feet per year of potable water, allowing the district to offset a total of 3,450 acre-feet per year of imported water. In addition to the benefits realized through offsetting imported water demands, the project will divert wastewater flows that would otherwise be treated at the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant and discharged to the Pacific Ocean.

Sonoma County Water Agency
$4.7 million

The North Bay Water Reuse Program in Santa Rosa, California, will provide recycled water for agricultural, environmental, industrial and landscape uses throughout Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties. Phase I of the program includes upgrades of treatment processes and construction of storage, pipelines, and pump station facilities to distribute recycled water. Phase I provides 3,757 acre-feet per year of tertiary treated recycled water for irrigation demands and up to 1,700 acre-feet per year of tertiary treated recycled water for Napa Salt Marsh habitat restoration. The program reduces both reliance on local and imported surface water and groundwater supplies, and reduces the amount of treated effluent released to San Pablo Bay and its tributaries.

Sweetwater Authority
$3.7 million

The Sweetwater Authority Water Reclamation Project in California will expand the Richard A. Reynolds Groundwater Desalination Facility to provide a more secure, local water supply. The authority completed Phase I of the construction of the Reynolds Facility in 2000. Phase II of the project will expand the Reynolds Facility from the current capacity of 3,600 acre-feet per year to a total capacity of 8,800 acre-feet per year of locally produced desalinated groundwater annually. Water that is produced by the Reynolds Facility supplements potable water supplies, and directly offsets imported water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta and Colorado River systems.

Since 1992, Title XVI funding has been used to provide communities with a new source of clean water, while promoting water and energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. In that time, approximately $629 million in federal funding through the Title XVI program has been leveraged with nonfederal funding to implement more than $3 billion in water reuse improvements.


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