Sweetwater starts US$ 42 million desalination upgrade

Sweetwater Authority has begun its US$ 42 million expansion of the Richard Reynolds Groundwater Desalination facility in Chula Vista.

The expansion will double the output of the reverse osmosis plant - built in 1999 - to produce drinking water at 40 Ml/d a day. An aquifer will provide its feed water. The project is scheduled for completion in late spring 2017 when it will serve 30% of the water demand in the Sweetwater District, which includes National City, Chula Vista and Bonita.

"The cost of this water is going to be quite a bit cheaper than imported water. It's locally controlled and it's drought proof," said Halla Razak, director of public utilities for the city of San Diego.

The expansion is funded in part by grants from the US Bureau of Reclamation and the state of California. The city of San Diego and the Sweetwater Authority will split the remaining cost for The Sweetwater Authority serves western and central Chula Vista, National City and Bonita.

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