Reclamation Awards $4.5M Contract for Yuma Desalting Plant Support Services

Media Contact: Jack Simes, 928-343-8334

For Release: October 01, 2007

Commissioner of Reclamation Robert W. Johnson today announced the award of a $4.5 million Bureau of Reclamation contract to CH2M Hill to provide a range of support services for the Yuma Desalting Plant (YDP) and associated facilities near Yuma, Ariz.

"Reclamation is delighted to be working with CH2M HILL and we're looking forward to their support of the desalting plant, associated water quality research center and other facilities associated with this project," Johnson said.

Under the contract, the Englewood, Colo., firm will perform contract management, planning, supervision, administration, engineering, and other activities required to meet the plant's operation and maintenance needs. Although the contract is for one year only, it includes four option years; if all option years are exercised, the ultimate contract value could reach approximately $22.6 million.

Located just west of Yuma, Ariz., the desalting plant was built to treat saline groundwater from the Wellton Mohawk Valley. The desalted water from the plant would then be discharged into the Colorado River for inclusion in Treaty-required water deliveries to Mexico.

The plant has been in "ready reserve" since 1993 because the U.S. has been able to meet it's water delivery obligations to Mexico without running it. Recently, the plant successfully underwent a three month demonstration run at 10 percent of capacity to test its operating equipment and allow Reclamation to gather data on potential operating costs. The results of the demonstration run are currently being analyzed. The Yuma Desalting Plant is the largest reverse osmosis plant in the United States. If operated at full capacity, it could produce over 72 million gallons of desalinated water per day. Additional information about the plant is available at

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.