In mid-May, new Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that the Bureau of Reclamation awarded $23,619,391 to communities in seven states for planning, designing and constructing water recycling and re-use projects; developing feasibility studies; and researching desalination and water recycling projects.

California communities scored big in this grant cycle, capturing 93 percent of the funding in this cycle. The funding is part of the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse program.

“This funding provides essential tools for stretching limited water supplies by helping communities reclaim and reuse wastewater and impaired ground or surface waters,” Zinke said. “These tools are just part of the toolkit for bridging the gap between water supply and demand and thus making water supplies more drought-resistant (including expanding water storage projects).”

Title XVI Authorized Projects are authorized by Congress and receive funding for planning, design and/or construction activities on a project-specific basis. These six California projects will receive $20,980,129:

  • City of Pasadena Water and Power Department, Pasadena Non-Potable Water Project, Phase I, $2,000,000
  • City of San Diego, San Diego Area Water Reclamation Program, $4,200,000
  • Hi-Desert Water District, Hi-Desert District Wastewater Reclamation Project, $4,000,000
  • Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Lower Chino Dairy Area Desalination and Reclamation Project, $5,199,536
  • Padre Dam Municipal Water District, San Diego Area Water Reclamation Program, $3,900,000
  • Santa Clara Valley Water District, South Santa Clara County Recycled Water Project, $1,680,593

Title XVI Feasibility Studies are for entities that would like to develop new water reclamation n and reuse feasibility studies. Thirteen projects will receive $1,791,561. The California winners are:

  • Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, Pure Water Project Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, $150,000
  • Soquel Creek Water District, Pure Water Soquel – Replenishing Mid-County Groundwater with Groundwater with Purified Recycled Water, $150,000
  • Valley Center Municipal Water District, Lower Moosa Canyon Wastewater Recycling, Reuse, and subregional Brine Disposal Project, $150,000

The Title XVI Program will provide funding for research to expand water reuse markets and streamline the implementation of clean water technology at new facilities. Four projects will receive $847,701. Three from California captured two-thirds of that money:

  • City of San Diego, Demonstrating Innovative Control of Biological Fouling of Microfiltration/Ultrafiltration and Reverse Osmosis Membranes and Enhanced Chemical and Energy Efficiency in Potable Water, $300,000
  • City of San Diego, Site-Specific Analytical Testing of RO Brine Impacts to the Treatment Process, $48,526
  • Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, Pure Water Project Las Virgenes-Truinfo Demonstration Project, $300,000