California district ups desalination and reuse incentive by 36%

Southern California's Metropolitan Water District has increased by 36% the financial incentive for water agencies to develop and produce recycled water, recovered groundwater, and desalinated seawater supplies.

The board approved a series of refinements to the district's local resources programme, including increasing the maximum incentive from US$250 to US$ 340 per acre-foot (US$ 276/Ml) for water produced.

"The increased incentive will go a long way toward making local investments more cost-effective and sustainable throughout our six-county service area," said Metropolitan board chairman Randy Record.

According to Metropolitain, 85 of the 99 projects under the programme are in operation and they have produced more than half of the recycled and recovered supplies in the Southland.

Metropolitan's chief operating officer and assistant general manager, Debra C Man, said: "Revisions to the regional programme will make local projects more viable and help the region meet the statewide goal of reducing residential per-capita water use 20% by the year 2020."

The inclusion of seawater desalination projects under Metropolitan's local resources programme has replaced a separate desalination programme established in 2001.

Since 1982, Metropolitan has offered financial incentives to help develop local water recycling and groundwater clean-up projects. The local resources programme aims to reduce the region's reliance on imported deliveries from Northern California and the Colorado River and help improve the reliability of Southern California's future supplies.
Over the years, Metropolitan has provided about US$ 490 million in incentives to develop some 2.5 million Ml of recycled water and about 750,000 Ml of recovered groundwater supplies that otherwise would not meet drinking water quality standards.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and seeks to help develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource- management programmes.

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