NM, CA water reuse projects to receive $15.6M through Interior's WaterSMART program

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WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2013 -- Reclamation has selected five Title XVI water reuse projects in California and New Mexico to receive $15.6 million in funding through the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART program, announced by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor.

"This funding can help communities in California and New Mexico stretch their water supplies using time-tested methodologies and piloting new concepts," said Secretary Jewell. "We all want to make sure that we're using water efficiently and sustainably, and the WaterSMART program establishes a cohesive framework to provide federal leadership and assistance to our local partners as we work together to tackle this challenge."

Five congressionally authorized Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse projects in California and New Mexico will receive cost-shared funding for planning, design and construction of their projects. The Title XVI program focuses on identifying and investigating opportunities to reclaim and reuse wastewaters and naturally impaired ground and surface water in the 17 western states and Hawaii.

"Through this program, Reclamation is able to partner with local entities to provide needed water for municipal, industrial, agricultural, recreational and environmental needs," Commissioner Connor said. "This is necessary for a secure water supply that improves the environment, supports jobs and ensures a clean water supply."

The Albuquerque Metropolitan Area Water Reclamation and Reuse Project in New Mexico will use $1.89 million to design and construct an expanded treatment system at the Southside Water Reclamation Plant. The project expects to save 2,500 acre-feet of water annually in addition to the 3,000 acre-feet of reclaimed water produced by other components of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area Water Reclamation and Reuse Project.

The North Bay Water Reuse Program in northern California will receive $4 million to provide recycled water to agricultural, environmental, industrial and landscape uses throughout Marin, Sonoma and Napa Counties. It will include upgrades to the treatment processes and construction of storage, pipelines and pump station facilities to distribute recycled water. It will reduce the reliance on local and imported surface and groundwater supplies and reduce the amount of effluent released into San Pablo Bay and its tributaries.

Other projects receiving funding in California are Long Beach Area Water Reclamation Project ($1.7 million), San Jose Area Water Reclamation and Reuse Program ($4 million) and Watsonville Area Water Recycling Project ($4 million).

Interior established WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow) in February 2010 to facilitate the work of Interior's bureaus in pursuing a sustainable water supply for the nation. Since its establishment in 2010, WaterSMART has provided more than $139 million in competitively-awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities, and universities through WaterSMART Grants and the Title XVI Program.

The 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 that meet other program goals.

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