JURUPA VALLEY, CA, Oct. 12. 2012 – "Collaborating to meet our region's water needs for today, tomorrow and the future has taken us one step closer to drought-proofing our region," stated U.S. Congressman Ken Calvert, 44th District of California, at today's Chino Desalter Expansion and Grant Celebration. "The significant amount of state and federal funds awarded for this expansion sends a message that the Inland Empire's water sustainability projects are of critical importance."
The grants fund a portion of the planned Phase 3 Expansion of the Chino I and Chino II Desalter facilities, which will produce an additional 10 million gallons per day of new water benefitting more than 1.5 million people in the Inland Empire. California Department of Public Health's Director and State Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman, who spoke at the event, explained that this project was selected for CDPH's historic $51 million grant because it would have an incredible impact on the area. "This grant provides a boost to one of the hardest hit economies in the nation, and it will supply more than 1 million residents with a local, stable water supply while creating local jobs and supporting the economy," he added. "The Bureau of Reclamation was pleased to grant $4 million in federal WaterSMART funds to such a noteworthy project," said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor.
More than $70 million in grants have been secured including an additional $5.6 million in federal appropriations, to help the region expand the Chino Desalters, a $130 million project. The current Chino I/Chino II Desalters provide 8 billion gallons annually (roughly 24 million gallons daily) of high- quality drinking water to the cities of Chino, Chino Hills, Ontario and Norco as well as the Jurupa Community Services District and the Santa Ana River Water Company.
Western Municipal Water District General Manager John Rossi added that every dollar of the grants will fund reliable local water supplies, which is essential given that the region has and will continue to experience dry years. "California water supplies are always challenged whether by natural elements or legal restrictions. Developing local sources is more important than securing the delivery of those imported supplies."
"We continue to collaborate and look for ways to introduce new technologies that will reduce our reliance on far-off imported water sources," said Curtis Paxton, Chino Desalter Authority general manager. "We're honored to be awarded grants at a statewide and national level that move this important project forward. On behalf of all of our agencies, we thank Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and Congressmen Joe Baca, Ken Calvert, Jerry Lewis, Gary Miller and Ed Royce for their strong support for our grant application," added Tom Love, general manager of the Inland Empire Utilities Agency.”