Bureau of Reclamation Banner
Commissioner's Office
Washington, D.C.
Media Contact:
Peter Soeth
303-445-3615

Released On: July 25, 2011

Reclamation Awards $2.09 Million to Study New Water Treatment Technologies
Three Projects in California and One Project in Texas Selected
Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor has announced that four projects have been awarded $2.09 million to accelerate the adoption and use of innovative advanced water treatment technologies that increase usable water supplies. Demonstrating the feasibility of new treatment methods for impaired waters is one of the strategies of the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program to work toward a sustainable water future.

"Adequate water supplies are essential for people, ecosystems, energy production and overall economic well-being," said Commissioner Connor. "The WaterSMART grants awarded to these projects will allow them to pilot and demonstrate new water treatment technologies and determine their viability for full-scale implementation, in order to make previously unusable supplies available to local communities."

Four pilot and demonstration projects were selected that address the technical, economic and environmental issues of treating and using brackish groundwater, seawater, impaired waters or otherwise creating new water supplies within a specific locale.

The four projects selected are:

  • Los Angeles Department of Public Works will receive $499,232 to treat arsenic-laden waters to meet drinking water standards. The full-scale project could potentially produce 36,000 acre-feet of treated water annually, or about 98 percent of the projected water imbalance in the immediate area.
  • The city of Glendale in California will receive $400,000 to evaluate two treatment technologies to remove hexavalent chromium from the local impaired groundwater source in the cities of Glendale and Los Angeles.
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will receive $598,000 to test the ability of a biological treatment process to remove nitrates, perchlorate and volatile organic compounds from the groundwater in the area. The full-scale project will provide 77,438 acre-feet of treated water annually; reducing the city's need for imported water from the California State Water Project.
  • Loving County in west Texas will receive $600,000 to study treating brackish groundwater with wind powered vapor compression technology. The funding will be used to examine the ability of this technology to provide a local, sustainable water source.

The WaterSMART Program 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. The SMART in WaterSMART stands for "Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow." Since its establishment in 2010, the WaterSMART Program has provided more than $80 million in funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts and universities.

To learn more about WaterSMART, please visit www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART.

FY 2011 WaterSMART Advanced Water Treatment Pilot and Demonstration Project Grants

California

County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, In-Situ Arsenic Removal on Unsaturated Alluvium
Reclamation Funding: $499,232; Total Project Cost: $998,464

The county of Los Angeles Department of Public Works will use this funding to treat arsenic- laden water to meet drinking water standards, increasing overall water availability in the area. High arsenic groundwater will be pumped from a deep aquifer and infiltrated through a 300-foot thick unsaturated zone to a shallow aquifer in order to reduce the concentration of arsenic. The treated water could serve as a source of recharge to shallow aquifers and later be pumped for public supply. The success of the project would increase the groundwater supply available in the area and reduce variability and potential future shortfalls in the drinking water supply. The full-scale project could potentially produce 36,000 acre feet of treated water annually, which would meet 98 percent of the project water imbalance in the immediate area.

City of Glendale Water and Power, Advanced Water Treatment Demonstration for Hexavalent Chromium in Drinking Water
Reclamation Funding: $400,000; Total Project Cost: $1,620,000

Funding will be used to evaluate two treatment technologies to remove hexavalent chromium from the local impaired groundwater source in the cities of Glendale and Los Angeles. Groundwater supplies throughout California and the rest of the nation are threatened by the presence of hexavalent chromium. The project will help provide Los Angeles County, and other water utilities, with effective treatment options for hexavalent chromium. The project has the support of a broad range of stakeholders, including non-profit research organizations, state and federal regulators, and local public utilities.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Biological Treatment Pilot Test at the Tujunga Wellfield
Reclamation Funding: 598,000; Total Project Cost: $1,196,222

Funding will be used to test the ability of biological treatment to remove nitrate, perchlorate, and volatile organic compounds from the groundwater in the area. The VOCs, nitrate, and percholate are currently at levels that do not meet safe drinking water standards. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will use indigenous microorganisms found in the local groundwater to remove contaminants from this potential source of additional drinking water supply at the Tujunga Wellfield, located in Los Angeles. The full-scale project will provide 77,438 acre-feet of treated water annually; reducing the city's need for imported water from the California State Water Project.

Texas

Loving County, Texas, Loving County Windmill Desalination Demonstration Pilot Project
Reclamation Funding: $600,000; Total Project Cost: $1,200,000

Federal funding will be used by Loving County, located in west Texas, to desalinate brackish groundwater with wind-powered vapor compression technology. While freshwater supplies are very limited in Loving County, brackish groundwater is plentiful. The funding will be used to examine the ability of this technology to provide a local, sustainable water source for the County. This novel technology to desalination presents a scalable solution to both Loving County as well as throughout the western United States where wind power is available.

# # #
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 www.usbr.gov.