State funding supports one of the largest water recycling programs in the world, creates new local climate-resilient supply.
By News Desk
State officials presented an $80 million check today to help advance Pure Water Southern California, a large-scale, regional water recycling program that will create a new source of water to benefit 19 million people.
Water is too precious to use just once. So, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is making a major investment in a potential water recycling program that would reuse water currently sent to the ocean. Pure Water Southern California, formerly known as the Regional Recycled Water Program, will take cleaned wastewater from Miramar, LaVerne, and Yorba Linda plants and further purify it to produce a new, sustainable source of high-quality water for Southern California.
State Assemblymember Lisa Calderon (D-Whittier), E. Joaquin Esquivel, State Water Resources Control Board chair, and Carson Mayor Pro Tem Jawane Hilton joined representatives from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts during the event at the Pure Water demonstration facility. Metropolitan and the Sanitation Districts are partnering on work to accelerate the project’s design and construction, with the potential to begin construction as early as 2025 and water deliveries to start in 2032.
“The climate crisis has strained our region’s water supply,” said Assemblymember Calderon. “It’s imperative we continue investing in projects focused on addressing our water needs.
Pure Water could be among the first projects in California to utilize new regulations proposed just last week by the State Water Resources Control Board, which would allow Metropolitan to distribute the purified wastewater to existing water treatment plants where it could mix with its other water sources.
“Pure Water Southern California is a critical 21st century investment in the region’s water future. It will expand the water supply with a climate resilient source and help the entire state respond to hotter, drier conditions,” said SWRCB Chair Joaquin Esquivel. “This project won’t just benefit supply, as this wastewater is recycled, it is also diverted away from the ocean, reducing impacts on marine ecosystems and water quality. This is why water recycling is a pillar of Governor Newsom’s Water Supply Strategy, and the State Water Board invests hundreds of millions of dollars each year in low-interest loans and grants to bring these projects forward.”
Metropolitan board Director Dennis Erdman, who serves as chair of the board’s Engineering, Operations, and Technology Committee, said “This project is critical to the success and well-being of Southern California and the many communities we serve. This funding will help us move forward as expeditiously as possible.”
Metropolitan General Manager Adel Hagekhalil said the Pure Water program is a foundational component of the district’s development of its Climate Adaptation Master Plan for Water. “The way we managed our water resources is no longer sufficient as we encounter longer, hotter periods of drought and increasingly limited water resources. Through collaboration and innovation, we are taking the necessary steps to safeguard our future.”
Robert Ferrante, the Sanitation Districts’ general manager and chief engineer, also emphasized the importance of partnerships. “We can only move forward on a project of this size with a partner like Metropolitan that has the right experience and expertise to make the effort successful.”
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