Two California Water Agencies Awarded Reclamation Grants for Water Conservation Field Services

By on August 23, 2019

The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded $505,359 in Water Conservation Field Services Program (WCFSP) grants as cost-share grant funding to seven Arizona and California water entities including cities, associations and water districts. Two of the awarded seven are California water districts.

Provided through the WaterSMART Water Conservation Field Services Program the funds are intended for use by local water organizations for the design of more efficient water conservation and infrastructure projects, system optimization reviews and assessments, water conservation planning and demonstration activities.

Reclamation established the WCFSP in 1996 to encourage agricultural and urban water district recipients in preparing and implementing water conservation plans and projects in accordance with the Reclamation Reform Act of 1982. This year’s cost-share funding will be leveraged with local funding sources to accomplish more than $1.2 million in water conservation planning activities.

Reclamation grant funds awarded to California water entities include Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) based in Palm Desert and Rancho California Water District (RCWD) located in Temecula. Both water districts are located in Riverside County. Both water districts received $100,000 from Reclamation toward their projects.

CVWD will use the Reclamation grant award toward a $320,681 total cost Satellite Leak Detection Project to create a demonstration pilot project to evaluate a new leak detection technology that uses raw microwave satellite images. If the technology proves successful in effectively and efficiently identifying leaks, CVWD could expand its use to the entire distribution system and deploy it routinely to quickly identify leaks. The district would then incorporate this modern method to develop a leak repair action plan. This project is a component of CVWD’s 2015 Urban Water Management Plan.

RCWD’s Advanced Water Main Flushing Pilot Program will evaluate the ability of a new, closed-loop water main flushing technology to eliminate water waste and to detect system leakage. To evaluate the technology, RCWD staff will work with a contractor to deploy it within three strategically selected segments of the district’s water distribution system. It is estimated that by eliminating water running to waste during flushing activities will save over ten million gallons (nearly 31 acre-feet) of water within the test area that would have otherwise flowed to the stormwater system. RCWD will decide whether the technology is useful and cost-effective enough to purchase and deploy throughout the entire service area. The Pilot Program will help the district meet its written goals for Blueprint for Water Use Efficiency. The project has an estimated total project cost of $262,231.

“Improving water efficiency projects at the local level is an important part of ensuring communities have a reliable water supply now and into the future,” said Tina Mullis, management and program analyst, with the Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region. “Through our WaterSMART program, Reclamation leverages federal and non-federal funding sources to assist states, tribes, and local entities as they plan, design and implement conservation actions. These actions increase water supply reliability through investments in existing infrastructure and bring increased attention to local water use needs.”

In addition to the two California water districts that received the Reclamation Water Conservation Field Services Program grants five Arizona water entities also received grant funding. Additional information regarding the WCFSP Program can be found at: www.usbr.gov/lc/docs/FY19WSGrant.pdf.