$179 million invested in western water reuse projects

Department of Interior officials announce investment in water resuse projects in California and Utah
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  • Biden’s Investing in America agenda funds water reuse projects to combat drought.
  • Four projects in California and Utah will receive funding.
  • Large-Scale Water Recycling Program supports local, drought-resistant water supplies.
  • Over 182,000 acre-feet of additional water supply is expected annually.

May 30, 2024 — The Department of the Interior announced Tuesday a $179 million investment from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to fund innovative water reuse projects in the West. This funding, allocated through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will support four projects in California and Utah, bolstering water security and resilience in these communities.

Large-Scale Water Recycling Program.

The investment aligns with the Department’s Large-Scale Water Recycling Program, initiated in 2023 due to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The program incentivizes large-scale conservation projects to create new water sources by transforming unusable water into clean and reliable supplies.

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda represents U.S. history’s most substantial investment in climate resilience. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law enables Reclamation to invest $8.3 billion over five years in water infrastructure projects, encompassing rural water, water storage, conservation, conveyance, nature-based solutions, dam safety, water purification, reuse, and desalination. Since the law’s signing in November 2021, Reclamation has unveiled over $3.5 billion for more than 530 projects.

Statements from Officials.

Secretary Deb HaalandOpens in a new tab. emphasized the importance of water for various sectors and the necessity of collaborative efforts to address drought conditions and ensure water reliability. “Water is essential to everything we do: feeding families, growing crops, powering agricultural businesses, sustaining wildlife and safeguarding Tribal subsistence practices,” said Haaland. “As the climate crisis drives severe drought conditions across the West, it will take all of us working together to safeguard our communities and enhance water reliability. Through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we have historic new investments that are helping us to build a water supply that will sustain future generations.”

Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton of the Bureau of ReclamationOpens in a new tab. emphasized the significance of these investments in enhancing drought resilience. “These historic investments will add a significant tool to our toolbox to bolster drought resilience in communities across the country,” said Touton. “The projects being funded from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda will diversify our water supplies by taking these currently unusable water sources and turning them into new supplies to help meet growing water needs.”

Funded Projects.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is receiving more than $99 million for large-scale water recycling planning and design for the Pure Water Southern California facility. Upon completion, the project is expected to deliver up to 118,590 acre-feet of recycled water annually – enough to meet the average annual needs of more than 470,000 people. This project is also expected to reduce the district’s reliance on water from the Colorado River. Besides the Metropolitan Water District project, the funding also supports:

  • City of Buenaventura’s Ventura Water Pure Program: $30 million
  • Los Angeles Groundwater Replenishment Project: $30 million
  • Washington County Water Conservancy District, Utah’s Regional Reuse system: $20.5 million

Anticipated Outcomes.

Upon completion, the funded water recycling projects will increase water management flexibility, extend existing drinking water supplies with drought-resistant sources, and result in a combined annual capacity of over 182,000 acre-feet of additional water supply and water security.

Image:

“Commissioner Touton with other principals at the announcement of $179 million for water reuse projects in California and Utah,” Bureau of Reclamation news releaseOpens in a new tab..

Deborah

Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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