The Bureau of Reclamation will provide a total of $3.5 million to El Paso and four other communities in California and Hawaii will split the remaining $13.48 million to help plan, design and construct congressionally-authorized Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Projects.
Using the funds, the El Paso Water will construct an advanced water purification facility to treat wastewater for potable reuse.
The treated water will be conveyed directly to the city’s distribution system, making this facility the first large-scale, direct-to-distribution potable reuse project in the United States.
The funding announced Thursday will be used for a pilot facility and to complete preliminary, detailed and final design phases for the full-scale project.
Once finished, the project will produce 13,000 acre-feet, or 4.2 billion gallons, per year.
Title XVI is part of Reclamation’s WaterSMART Program that focuses on improving water conservation and helping water-resource managers across the West to make sound decisions about water use.
“The Title XVI program is successful in helping communities to look beyond the traditional surface or groundwater sources,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “This program allows communities to diversify their water supply—exploring water reuse, recycling and other techniques while improving efficiency and flexibility during water shortages.”
This funding is only available to the sponsors of the 53 congressionally-authorized Title XVI projects, provided that they have not reached their statutory federal funding ceiling.
The five projects selected are expected to produce 130,316 acre-feet, or 42 billion gallons, of water annually. This is enough water to support more than 521,000 people each year.
The other selected projects are:
Padre Dam Municipal Water District, San Diego Area Water Reclamation Program, $778,002.75
The Padre Dam Municipal Water District, which provides water, wastewater, recycled water and recreation services to 100,000 residents in the San Diego suburbs of Santee, El Cajon, Lakeside Flinn Springs, Harbison Canyon, Blossom Valley, Alpine, Dehesa and Crest—is implementing the Phase I Water Recycling Project.
It includes the expansion of the Ray Stoyer Reclamation Facility, construction of a new advanced water purification facility, potable reuse conveyance pipelines, a product water pump station, and a biosolids digestion facility to offset energy demands of the project.
It will create 3,900 acre-feet, or 127 million gallons, per year of potable water by capturing wastewater flows that would otherwise be discharged to the ocean.
City of San Diego, San Diego Area Water Reclamation Program, $10,361,379
The San Diego Area Water Reclamation Program, part of the Pure Water Program, is a phased, multi-year program. By 2035 the program will make 93,000 acre-feet, or 30 billion gallons, of water available per year.
This constitutes about 30% of the City of San Diego’s water supply. This project will provide the city with a new reliable source of potable water and will reduce the amount of wastewater that is released into the ocean.
The funding will be used to complete the final design of the project.
Rancho California Water District, Rancho California Water District Project, $1,727,960
The Rancho California Water District, which provides water and wastewater services near Temecula/Rancho, California, will implement components of its Demineralization and Non-Potable Conversion Program.
The funding will be used for the design, materials, and construction activities to convert 54 irrigation sites to accept non-potable recycled water. The funding will also support activities before construction of a small-scale recycled groundwater recharge facility.
It is expected to save 18,400 acre-feet, or nearly 6 billion gallons, of water per year.
County of Hawaii, Hawaii Reclamation Projects, $614,468.68
The County of Hawaii will conduct planning activities to evaluate upgrading the Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plan to implement water recycling for landscape and recreation applications.
It will involve the necessary improvements to the existing secondary treatment process so that the wastewater treatment plant can produce water suitable for reuse per state guidelines. The project is expected to result in recycled water deliveries of 2,016 acre-feet, or 6.5 million gallons, per year.
To learn more about the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program or view more detailed information about the projects selected, please visit www.usbr.gov/watersmart/title/.