Reclamation Provides Funding for Water Recycling and Reuse Studies in Three Western States

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-445-3615

For Release: May 09, 2011

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor announced today the selection of nine Feasibility Studies for funding under WaterSMART's Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program in California, Oklahoma, and Texas. These feasibility studies will receive $1,176,760 from WaterSMART, which will result in a total of $4.9 million in total dollars available to help fund the studies.

"The western United States faces great challenges in providing potable water while maintaining healthy aquifers and reliable regional water supplies," said Commissioner Connor. "These Reclamation-sponsored feasibility studies will examine where project sponsors can stretch available water supplies and protect against drought by using recycled water and advanced water treatment technologies."

A feasibility study prepared under the Title XVI Program looks into the technical, institutional and economical potential as well as the steps towards implementation at each project site. The studies focus on the water and energy efficiencies that can be gained through water reclamation and reuse, resulting in well-planned water projects that are sustainable and use less energy.

One of the proposed reclamation and reuse studies comes from the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, an entity charged with managing groundwater for approximately four million California residents. The District will address the technical, legal and institutional issues necessary to expand the Goldsworthy Desalter saline groundwater reclamation facility from its current capacity of 2.5 million gallons per day to a total of 5 million gallons per day. Through increased reclamation of saline groundwater, expansion of the facility would be expected to improve groundwater reliability and the overall health of the groundwater basin, reduce reliance on imported water and increase the productivity of the groundwater basin.

Another proposal is with the Central Oklahoma Water Conservancy District, which will conduct a feasibility study in collaboration with surrounding entities to assess alternatives to augment the supply of Lake Thunderbird, in Central Oklahoma, through the treatment of effluent or surface water. The study will assess alternatives to help postpone or eliminate withdrawals from the local aquifer and alleviate pressure to secure inter-basin water transfers.

Other new feasibility studies selected for funding under the Reclamation and Reuse Program are:

  • Delta Diablo Sanitation District, Recycled Water Master Plan (California)
  • Pasadena Water and Power, Recycled Water Feasibility Study (California)
  • City of Anaheim, Ball Road Recycled Water Project Feasibility Study (California)
  • Dublin San Ramon Services District, Dublin Recycled Water System Expansion Feasibility Study (California)
  • Groundwater Replenishment Improvement Program Joint Powers Authority, Groundwater Reliability Improvement Program Feasibility Study (California)
  • San Diego County Water Authority, Camp Pendleton Seawater Desalination Project Feasibility Study (California)
  • City of Kyle, Water Reuse Feasibility Study (Texas)

On December 13, 2010, Reclamation posted a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the development of Feasibility Studies under the Title XVI Program. In response, Reclamation received 26 applications, totaling over $2.7 million in funding requests. Eligible proposals received by the February 11, 2011, deadline were evaluated against selection criteria listed in the FOA. As a next step, Reclamation will work with each successful applicant to develop a financial assistance agreement for the proposed study. Funding will be provided once each agreement has been executed.

Title XVI of P.L. 102-575 provides authority for Reclamation's water recycling and reuse program. The Title XVI program is focused on identifying and investigating opportunities to reclaim and reuse wastewaters and naturally impaired ground and surface water in the 17 Western States and Hawaii. Title XVI projects have the potential to stretch water supplies using both time-tested methodologies and piloting new concepts.

WaterSMART is a program of the U.S. Department of the Interior that focuses on improving water conservation and sustainability, and helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. It identifies strategies to ensure that this and future generations will have sufficient supplies of clean water for drinking, economic activities, recreation and ecosystem health. The Program also identifies adaptive measures to address climate change and its impact on future water demands.

For more information on the WaterSMART program, visit

Editor's Note: A complete description of the projects is attached.

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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.

Relevant Link:

WaterSMART Program