Sacramento, California - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the Bureau of Reclamation has selected seven projects in the Mid-Pacific Region to receive more than $10.6 million in WaterSMART Title XVI water recycling and reuse funding to stretch water supplies and conserve energy in the western United States.
"Strong partnerships are crucial to creating a sustainable water and energy supply," said Secretary Salazar. "The WaterSMART program is designed to foster local partnerships and support innovative solutions to the water challenges of the future. This funding will not only help ensure a stable water supply for businesses and local residents but also create jobs, enhance the environment and strengthen local economies."
Secretary Salazar established WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow) in February 2010 to facilitate the work of Interior’s bureaus in pursuing a sustainable water supply for the nation. The program establishes a framework to provide federal leadership and assistance on the efficient use of water and integrating water and energy policies to support the sustainable use of all natural resources. Since its establishment in 2010, WaterSMART has provided more than $118 million in competitively-awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities and universities.
"Providing sufficient water for agricultural, municipal, industrial, recreational and environmental needs is fundamental to the health and economies of communities across the western United States," said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor. "This funding will support the efforts of several local communities to secure their water supplies and reduce dependence on imported water sources."
Of the seven cost-sharing projects, three are for construction and four are for feasibility studies, which will explore potential water recycling projects. Reclamation is providing up to 25 percent of the funding for the construction projects and up to 50 percent of the funding for the feasibility studies. The construction projects are:
North Bay Water Reuse Program, Sonoma County Water Agency: $3,836,750 — The program will provide recycled water to agricultural, environmental, industrial and landscape uses in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties in northern California. The program will include upgrades in treatment processes and construction of storage, pipelines and pump station facilities to distribute recycled water. It will reduce the reliance on local and imported surface and groundwater supplies, and the amount of effluent released to San Pablo Bay and its tributaries.
San Jose Area Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, City of San Jose: $2,471,417 — This is a joint effort of local municipalities and water districts, administered by the city of San Jose, to serve recycled water in Santa Clara County. Current infrastructure includes more than 120 miles of pipeline, four pump stations and 9.5 million gallons of storage. Recycled water is used for multiple purposes, including environmental restoration, urban agriculture, landscape and industry.
Watsonville Area Water Recycling Project, Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency: $4,000,000 — The project is a joint effort by the city of Watsonville and the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, and is intended to reduce over-drafting of groundwater resources and subsequent seawater intrusion. This project provides 4,000 acre-feet of recycled water per year for irrigation by blending effluent from the City's wastewater treatment plant it with higher quality water to reduce salinity.
The feasibility studies are:
Groundwater Replenishment Project, Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency: $149,791 — The Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency is investigating the feasibility of the development of a Groundwater Replenishment Project that would produce 6,000 acre-feet annually of potable water from the reclamation and reuse of municipal waste water and recycling of return agricultural flows from Monterey County. City of Sacramento Recycled Water Project, Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District/Sacramento Power Authority: $75,000 — The district will evaluate the feasibility of replacing up to 4,200 acre-feet annually of surface and groundwater supplies with recycled water for industrial uses and to irrigate parks, school grounds, golf courses and landscaped street medians.
Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District/South Sacramento County Agriculture and Habitat Lands Recycled Water Project, Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District: $75,000 — The district will evaluate the feasibility of replacing up to 97,000 acre-feet annually of surface and groundwater supplies with recycled water to irrigate up to 27,000 acres of permanent agriculture, habitat mitigation and conservation lands in south Sacramento County.
Water Reuse Expansion, Rancho Murieta Community Services District: $43,209 — The district will identify and evaluate the feasibility of recycled water alternatives and determine the feasibility of expanding the existing water reuse system to provide recycled water to existing and future consumers reducing or eliminating increases in fresh water withdrawals from the Consumes River and disposal of effluents.
The Title XVI program is focused on identifying and investigating opportunities to reclaim and reuse wastewaters and naturally impaired ground and surface water in the 17 western states and Hawaii. Title XVI projects have the potential to stretch water supplies using time-tested methodologies as well as piloting new concepts.
A complete description of the Title XVI program and all selected Title XVI projects and feasibility studies is available at: www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/title/