Six water reclamation and reuse projects in California have been awarded a total of $35.3 million by the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI program — and five of the six awards go to water projects in Southern California.

Title XVI projects are part of the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART Program. Projects are authorized by Congress and are selected through a competitive process to receive funding for the planning, design, and construction of water recycling and reuse projects in partnership with local government entities.

Bureau Commissioner Brenda Burman announced the awards and said they will be used to improve flexibility during water shortages and diversify the water supply. “Title XVI projects provide opportunities for communities to recycle wastewater and treat water that was previously unusable,” she said. “It is a proven tool that enables communities to access dependable water supplies.”

The Bureau of Reclamation provides funding through the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program for projects that reclaim and reuse municipal, industrial, domestic or agricultural wastewater and impaired ground or surface waters. Reclaimed water can be used for a variety of purposes, such as environmental restoration, fish and wildlife and groundwater recharge as well as for agricultural, domestic, industrial, municipal, power generation or recreational purposes.

Southern California Awardees:

  • City of San Diego — $9 million for the Pure Water San Diego Program. When completed, the phased program will provide one-third of San Diego’s water supply locally by 2035. The Pure Water San Diego Program will use proven water purification technology to clean recycled water to produce safe, high-quality drinking water. The program offers a cost-effective investment for San Diego’s water needs and will provide a reliable, sustainable water supply.
  • Hi-Desert Water District — $8.7 million for Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation Project. The project will protect the District’s groundwater supply by replacing septic tanks across portions of HDWD’s 57-square-mile service area. Construction on the project includes a wastewater treatment and reclamation facility.
  • Padre Dam MWD — $7.4 million for the East County Advanced Water Purification Program. The program will create a new, local, sustainable and drought proof drinking water supply using state-of-the-art technology to purify East County’s recycled water. With a goal of reducing dependence on imported water, the project is expected to produce up to 30% of East County’s drinking water by 2023.
  • City of Escondido — $5 million for Membrane Filtration Reverse Osmosis Facility Project. The project will produce 2 Millions of Gallons per Day (MGD) of desalinated water suitable for agricultural irrigation. The primary driver for this reclamation project is to reduce flows to the existing ocean outfall, which is nearing capacity.
  • Elsinore Valley MWD — $2.7 million for Horsethief Canyon Reclamation Facility Expansion and Upgrade Project. The project will provide an additional 0.3 MGD of treatment capacity, expanding the existing facility from 0.5 to 0.8 million MGD annual average flow.

Source:  Various