WASHINGTON D.C. – May 20, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Reps. Jared Huffman (CA-2) and Mike Thompson (CA-5) today announced a $1.5 million WaterSMART grant to the North Bay Water Reuse Authority for its North Bay Water Reuse Program. This funding will help provide recycled water for agricultural, environmental, industrial, and landscape uses throughout Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties.
“Funding regional water recycling improvements like the North Bay’s program is one of the smartest ways to improve our local and regional water reliability,” said Huffman. “California is already a national leader in developing sustainable alternative water supplies, but this drought is showing us that we still have a lot of work to do. That’s why today’s funding announcement is so important.”
“There are no easy solutions to the multi-year drought facing California. Residents, business and agriculture are all responding by reducing their use of water,” said Thompson. “The North Bay Water Reuse Program represents a regional approach to find long-term solutions, including the appropriate use of recycled water. I applaud the Bureau of Reclamation and the many Cities and local districts that have partnered with the North Bay Water Reuse Authority to move this important project forward.”
With this funding, the North Bay Water Reuse Program, a joint authority made up of three counties and seven water and sanitation agencies, will provide recycled water for agricultural, environmental, industrial, and landscape uses throughout Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties. Phase I of the Program includes upgrades of treatment processes and construction of storage, pipelines, and pump station facilities to distribute recycled water. Phase I also provides 3,757 acre-feet per year of tertiary treated recycled water for irrigation demands and up to 1,700 acre-feet per year of tertiary treated recycled water for Napa Salt Marsh habitat restoration. The Program reduces both reliance on local and imported surface water and groundwater supplies as well as the amount of treated effluent released to San Pablo Bay and its tributaries.
“This project will provide a drought-proof source of water for farmers in southern Napa County to help alleviate severe groundwater problems,” said Napa County Supervisor Keith Caldwell. “The county’s partnership with Napa Sanitation District plus the funding from the Bureau of Reclamation will help irrigate vineyards that might otherwise go dry.”
The North Bay Water Reuse Program is one of nine water and reclamation and reuse projects in California receiving a total of $20 million in funding from the Department of Interior’s WaterSMART program.
“It’s gratifying to know that our hard work continues to pay off,” said Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt, Chair of the North Bay Water Reuse Authority (NBWRA). “The continued support from the Bureau of Reclamation tells me that our regional approach to water reuse is working and they recognize that this really is about creating a safe, reliable and sustainable water supply for a water-scarce region.”
WaterSMART is the U.S. Department of the Interior’s sustainable water initiative that uses the best available science to improve water conservation and help water resource managers identify strategies to narrow the gap between supply and demand. Since its establishment in 2010, WaterSMART has provided more than $180 million in competitively awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities and universities through WaterSMART Grants and the Title XVI Program.
Proposals were ranked through a published set of criteria in which points were awarded for projects that effectively stretch water supplies and contribute to water supply sustainability, address water quality concerns or benefit endangered species, incorporate the use of renewable energy or address energy efficiency, deliver water at a reasonable cost relative to other water supply options, and meet other program goals.