More federal money sought for Chino Desalters

Western Municipal Water District (WMWD) in California, USA, is to seek additional federal money later this financial year for the Chino Desalters Phase 3 expansion.

This follows grants in May of US$ 1.9 million from the US Bureau of Reclamation and US$ 1 million from the state of California.

When completed, the US$ 130 million expansion will create an additional 10.5 MGD (37,500 m³/d) of new water, benefitting more than 1.5 million people in the Inland Empire area of southern California. To date, Western, which is the lead agency in a consortium of inland water agencies representing the Chino Basin Desalter Authority (CDA), has secured US$ 15.7 million in grant awards for the project.

The recent US$ 2.9 million was for the development of new wells in the Chino Creek Well Field, which will supply additional groundwater to be treated at the Chino Desalters. Increased groundwater pumping, coupled with upgraded treatment capacity at the Chino I and Chino II Desalters, will provide much needed water for the cities of Chino, Chino Hills and Norco, Ontario Jurupa Community Services District, Santa Ana River Water Company and WMDC.

WMWD says that desalination facilities will also improve local groundwater quality by removing salts, nitrates and volatile organic compounds from the basin's water, while dramatically reducing the flow of degraded water into the Santa Ana River, protecting downstream water supplies and ecosystems.

The Reclamation award appropriates US$ 2 million of the US$ 26 million authorized under the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which will allow WMWD to seek additional federal appropriations for the Chino Desalter in the upcoming fiscal year.

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