Southern California Area Office - Programs and Activities

Title XVI (Water Reclamation and Reuse) Program

Sign showing garden irrigated with reclaimed water

The Bureau of Reclamation's water reclamation and reuse program is authorized by the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act of 1992 (Title XVI of Public Law 102-575). Also known as Title XVI, the act directs the Secretary of the Interior to undertake a program to investigate and identify opportunities for water reclamation and reuse of municipal, industrial, domestic and agricultural wastewater, and naturally impaired ground and surface waters, and for design and construction of demonstration and permanent facilities to reclaim and reuse wastewater. It also authorized the Secretary to conduct research, including desalting, for the reclamation of wastewater and naturally impaired ground and surface waters.

The original act authorized Reclamation to participate in the construction of 5 recycling projects, 3 of which were located in Southern California -- the San Diego Area Water Reclamation Program, Los Angeles Area Water Reclamation and Reuse Project, and San Gabriel Basin Demonstration Project -- and 3 feasibility studies, with 1 located in Southern California -- the Southern California Comprehensive Water Reclamation and Reuse Study.

In 1996, Congress amended Title XVI and authorized Reclamation to participate in an additional 18 projects, 8 of which are located in Southern California - Long Beach Desalination Research and Development Project, North San Diego County Area Water Recycling Project, Calleguas Municipal Water District Recycling Project, Pasadena Reclaimed Water, Orange County Regional Water Reclamation Project - Phase I, Hi-Desert District Wastewater Collection and Reuse Facility (Yucca Valley), Mission Basin Brackish Groundwater Desalting Demonstration Project, and Long Beach Area Water Reclamation and Reuse Project.

Since then, Congress has amended Title XVI several times to authorize Reclamation to participate in many additional projects, including 5 in Southern California: Irvine Basin Groundwater and Surface Water Improvement Projects, Inland Empire Regional Water Recycling Project, Cucamonga Valley Water Recycling Project, Southern California Desert Region Integrated Water and Economic Sustainability Plan, and Eastern Municipal Water District Recycled Water System Pressurization and Expansion Project.

Prior to providing construction funding, a project needs to have an approved feasibility study. The requirements and review process are included in the Reclamation Manual Directives and Standards - WTR 11-01, and its associated Appendices A and B.

The act, as amended, has authorized a total of 43 specific projects, 17 of which are located in the Southern California Area Office's activity boundaries. When all SCAO Title XVI projects are completed, they are expected to produce about 400,000 acre-feet of recycled water annually. (One acre-foot is equal to about 326,000 gallons.)

Need More Information?

If you have any questions on the Title XVI program, contact Meghan Thiemann, Civil Engineer, at or by phone at 702-293-8438. Additional information on agency eligibility for the program is available on the General Services Administration's Online Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (the CDFA number for Title XVI is 15.504).


Last Updated: 1/30/20