Two major water projects in San Diego County this week received a major financial boost to enhance the region’s water supply. The East County Advanced Water Purification Project was approved for up to $91.8 million and a project in the City of Escondido was approved for up to $23.4 million.
The San Diego County Water Authority has helped secure nearly $470 million for local supply projects in the past several months in collaboration with member agencies, including the total of $115 million for the East County and City of Escondido projects. Both projects will increase local water supply reliability and reduce future demands on imported water supplies.
Collaboration on water supply projects
On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Board of Directors approved entering into funding agreements from its Local Resources Program for both projects. The Water Authority and its member agencies are able to participate in the Local Resources Program after a final court ruling found MWD had illegally barred the Water Authority from receiving money from MWD’s local water supply program, even though the Water Authority was forced to pay for it.
“Kudos to our member agencies for their strong applications and to MWD’s Board of Directors for approving them,” said Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer. “It is an affirmation of our ongoing efforts to collaborate with MWD and to address shared challenges.”
Potable reuse project in East San Diego County
The East County AWP will be one of the first potable reuse projects in California to use new reservoir augmentation regulations. The program will meet up to 30% of East County’s drinking water demands, almost 13,000 acre-feet of water per year, and eliminate the discharge of 15 million gallons of partially treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean.
The AWP uses four advanced water purification steps to produce water that is near-distilled in quality. After treatment, purified water will be blended with water in Lake Jennings and treated again at the R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant before being distributed as drinking water.
Advanced water recycling in Escondido
The Membrane Filtration Reverse Osmosis Facility in Escondido would provide up to 3,280 acre-feet per year of advanced treated recycled water to irrigate farms.
The project includes the construction of an advanced recycled water treatment facility with microfiltration and reverse osmosis, new pipelines, and a storage and blending tank to convey water for agricultural irrigation. Source water for the project is treated recycled water from the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility. Escondido will own and operate the project and plans to deliver water by 2023.
Regional water supply projects reduce reliance on imported water
In the past several months, the Water Authority has helped member agencies secure three other Local Resources Program agreements to fund water supply projects that increase local supply and reduce reliance on imported water. Those projects are: