Public meeting set for San Joaquin water reuse EIS

The US Bureau of Reclamation has set a public scoping meeting for 13 May 2014 as part of the environmental impact statement (EIS) process for the proposed North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program (NVRRWP) in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

The NVRRWP is designed to address part of the ongoing California water crisis by making tertiary-treated recycled wastewater available to the drought-impacted west side of the valley south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Under the proposed program, up to 59,000 acre‑ft (72.8 million m³) per year of reused wastewater produced by the cities of Turlock and Modesto would be delivered via the Delta-Mendota Canal. Recycled water would be conveyed from Modesto and Turlock through pipelines from their wastewater treatment facilities, crossing the San Joaquin River, and ending at the Delta-Mendota Canal.

The recycled water would then be conveyed directly to Del Puerto Water District customers or to the San Luis Reservoir for storage during low water-demand periods. In addition it would provide water to Central Valley Project Improvement Act-designated refuges, south of the Delta, to meet their need for water supply.

While the first phase would mostly involve pipeline construction and diversion facilities, Phase 2 would include:

(1) storage facilities that would provide additional recycled water for irrigation while also providing migratory bird habitat
(2) development of stormwater and additional wastewater supplies to increase the total amount of recycled water availability.

Phase 1 alone is estimated to be capable of restoring US$ 29 million in annual agricultural production.