Bay agencies band together for water reuse funding

Water reuse, particularly for irrigation, is getting major attention in the San Francisco Bay area of California, USA. Municipalities and water districts are banding together to obtain federal funding.

Most recently successful has been the North Bay Water Reuse Authority, which has received matching funding for several projects in its North Bay Water Recycling Program. Phase 1 includes expanding use of recycled water in Sonoma Valley for irrigating parks, schools and golf courses as well as vineyards, accelerating salinity reduction as part of the Napa Salt Marsh Restoration Project and undertaking projects on the drawing board in Marin and Napa counties.

North Bay Water Reuse Authority is a consortium of agencies in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties that work together on recycled water projects.

In March, the Bureau of Reclamation and Sonoma County Water Agency issued a draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the North Sonoma County Agricultural Reuse Project (NSCARP). This has the following objectives:

  • Provide a reliable, long-term water supply for agricultural interests;
  • Reduce discharges from local wastewater treatment plants to local waterways;
  • Reduce the use of groundwater and surface water for agricultural purposes in north Sonoma County;
  • Provide an environmentally responsible, long-term method of recycled water use;
  • Increase reliability and long-term sustainability of the regional water supply.
  • Under Reclamation’s preferred option, the water supply for NSCARP would be tertiary-treated wastewater generated by the city of Santa Rosa, the town of Windsor and the Airport/Larkfield/Wikiup Sanitation Zone facilities, and would be conveyed to the project primarily through Santa Rosa’s Geysers pipeline.

    Another new grouping likely to obtain recycling funding soon involves Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, Dublin San Ramon Services District, Dublin Unified School District, the cities of Peteluma, Redwood City, Dublin, Concord, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, East Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and Antioch as well as Stanford University and the Ironhorse Sanitary District.