The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation has announced the allocation of $29 million in grants from the WaterSMART Program to aid communities in better conserving water.

“Existing water and hydropower resources are being strained as our infrastructure ages and population grows. The WaterSMART program provides critical support to western communities, helping to best conserve limited water resources,” said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.

Grants were awarded in two funding categories, capped at either $1.5 million or $300,000. Eligible projects include: installing advanced metering systems, improving irrigation scheduling by irrigation system monitoring, installing flow measurement for real-time monitoring of water deliveries, and replacing unlined canals with pipe or lining

Twelve projects in the state of California were allocated funding. Of the 12 California water projects receiving the WaterSMART grants, 11 are in Southern California.

One such beneficiary is the Mission Springs Water District in Riverside County. The district will combine $300,000 in federal funding with $3.4 million of its own funding to upgrade 12,967 residential water meters to advanced meters to help inform customers about leaks, breaks and other unusual use patterns. The project is expected to result in annual water savings of 549 acre-feet, thereby reducing the amount of water pumped from the Coachella Valley Groundwater Basin.

These Southern California agencies/cities received $1.5 million in WaterSMART funds for projects that must be completed within three years:

  • Kern Co – North Kern Water Storage District for Calloway Canal Lining and Water Delivery Improvements
  • Los Angeles Co – Long Beach Water Department for Automated Metering Infrastructure Project
  • Orange Co – City of Newport Beach for Newport Beach Advanced Metering Infrastructure Implementation Program (Phase 2)
  • Orange Co – Moulton Niguel Water District for MNWD Advanced Meter Infrastructure Implementation Program (Phase III)
  • San Diego Co – City of Oceanside for Advanced Metering Infrastructure Project (Phase I)

And these SoCal entities received $300,000 in funds for projects that have a completion timeframe of less than two years:

  • Orange Co – City of Santa Ana for Automated Metering Infrastructure Installation Project
  • Orange Co – Yorba Linda Water District for Advanced Metering Infrastructure Project (Phase I)
  • Riverside Co – City of Banning for Advanced Metering Infrastructure Project.
  • San Diego Co – Olivenhain Municipal Water District for Advanced Metering Infrastructure Water Use Efficiency Project
  • Ventura Co – City of San Buenaventura for Ventura Water Advanced Meter Infrastructure Conversion Project (Phase III)

“These water and energy efficiency grants help increase hydropower production and contribute to water supply reliability in the western United States,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “WaterSMART is an opportunity for communities to use water more effectively and reduce risk for future water conflict.”

Source: California Water News