Water agencies in Southern California and Arizona have formalized a new agreement to advance the development of one of the largest water recycling plants in the country that could produce up to 150 million gallons daily, enough to serve more than 500,000 homes in the SoCal region.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is making a major investment in its Regional Recycled Water Program to produce a new sustainable, high-quality water supply for Southern California and relieve pressure on the over-stressed Colorado River. Now, the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Central Arizona Project have agreed to contribute up to $6 million to environmental planning for the program that will purify and reuse the region’s largest untapped source of wastewater, currently being sent to the ocean.
“This project could help the entire Southwest. We know that eliminating the supply-demand imbalance that threatens the Colorado River will take both reducing demand, through conservation, and adding new supplies, like recycled water,” said Metropolitan General Manager Adel Hagekhalil.
The initial investment from Arizona could lead to a long-term agreement with the agencies to help fund the project’s construction and operation, helping offset project costs for Metropolitan – in exchange for Colorado River water, Hagekhalil said.
“We are eager to further our partnership with the Metropolitan Water District to collaboratively explore and develop opportunities to improve the long-term reliability and resiliency of our shared resource – the Colorado River,” said Central Arizona Project General Manager Ted Cooke.