WASHINGTON, DC – Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes announced today that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has selected eight construction projects in California for funding under WaterSMART's Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program. Together, these two-year projects will receive $11.34 million, which will be leveraged to help fund construction totaling more than $99 million.
"One of the greatest challenges facing the western United States—particularly California—is ensuring the availability of safe drinking water while maintaining healthy aquifers and reliable regional water supplies," said Deputy Secretary Hayes. "This funding will help communities reduce reliance on imported water and protect against drought by utilizing recycled water and advanced water treatment technologies."
Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor noted that eligible projects include construction activities that can start in Fiscal Year 2011 and be completed within 24 months, or construction activities that have been completed previously without federal funding. To be eligible to receive funding for construction activities, a water reclamation and reuse project must be specifically authorized under Title XVI of Public Law 102-575.
“These important efforts will enhance safe and reliable water supplies and create an economic boost for California with significant employment during construction of these much-needed projects,” Connor added.
The construction projects selected for funding in FY 2011 are:
Detailed descriptions of each project are available here: http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/docs/2011TitleXVIProjectDescriptions.pdf
Collectively, these projects will increase water supplies for the State of California. For example, the Inland Empire Utilities Agency proposes to drill three wells in the Chino Creek Area and connect those wells to an existing pipeline that delivers raw water to the Chino Desalter for treatment. The new wells will allow for increased collection of brackish groundwater in southern California that will reclaim an additional 2,900 acre-feet of water a year.
Reclamation selected the eight projects from applicants responding to a December 13, 2010, funding opportunity announcement for Title XVI Construction Activities for Fiscal Year 2011. Eligible applications were evaluated against selection criteria focused on reducing existing diversions or addressing specific water supply issues in a cost-effective manner, addressing environmental and water quality concerns, and meeting other program goals.
Reclamation will work with each successful applicant to develop a financial assistance agreement for each project. Funding will be provided once each agreement has been executed.
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 both time-tested methodologies and piloting new concepts.
WaterSMART is a program of the U.S. Department of the Interior that focuses on improving water conservation and sustainability, and helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. It identifies strategies to ensure that this and future generations will have sufficient supplies of clean water for drinking, economic activities, recreation and ecosystem health. The program also identifies adaptive measures to address climate change and its impact on future water demands. The SMART in WaterSMART stands for “Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow.”
For more information on the WaterSMART program, visit http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/.
A complete description of the projects can be found HERE.