Reclamation Seeks Public Comment on Draft Environmental Assessment for Yuma Desalting Plant Pilot Run

Media Contact: Bob Walsh , (702) 293 8421
Ed Virden , (928) 343-8109

For Release: May 01, 2009

The Bureau of Reclamation, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, has developed a draft environmental assessment (EA) for a proposed pilot run of the Yuma Desalting Plant (YDP).

The proposed pilot run would commence in early 2010, and the plant would be run for 365 days at one-third capacity over a 12 to 18 month period. During this pilot run, the plant will produce an average of 61 acre-feet, or approximately 19.8 million gallons, of desalinated water per day. This water will be blended with untreated water and discharged to the Colorado River near the U.S. -- Mexico international border for inclusion in Treaty-required water deliveries to Mexico.

Over the course of the pilot run, approximately 29,000 acre feet of water (about 9.5 billion gallons) will be discharged to the river. This will consist of about 22,400 acre-feet of desalted water, and approximately 7,000 acre-feet of untreated water. (There are 325,851 gallons of water in an acre foot, which is enough to meet the annual needs of a family of four to six people.)

Reclamation is seeking public comment on the draft EA. The public comment period is open for 30 calendar days, until close of business on June 1. A copy of the draft EA can be downloaded from Reclamation's Yuma Area Office website, at:

Comments should be provided to Mr. Sean Torpey, Environmental Planning and Compliance Group Manager at the Yuma Area Office. Mr. Torpey's contact information is: Yuma Area Office, 7301 Calle Agua Salada, Yuma, AZ 85364; email:; and Office fax: 928 343 8320. Comments must be submitted in writing via U.S. mail, e-mail, or fax, and must include personal identifying information of the submitter.

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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.