$8.3 Million Awarded by Reclamation to 15 Drought Resiliency Projects

By on June 28, 2018
California Drought Water Reclamation Program

Thirteen California drought resiliency projects are among 15 such projects that will share in $8.3 million awarded this week by the Bureau of Reclamation. The funding provided is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) WaterSMART initiative and will help communities in California, New Mexico and Utah build resilience to drought.

One of the selected projects – the Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s (IEUA) Wineville Basin and Jurupa Basin Improvements – will improve the existing Wineville and Jurupa Basins to improve groundwater recharge in its service area. The project will include the expansion and modification of existing recharge basins, installation and expansion of pump stations, and an intertie between the Wineville and Jurupa Basins for stormwater and dry weather runoff recharge. The $15,866,646 project will enable the agency to divert, capture, and recharge an additional 2,760 acre-feet to the Chino Groundwater Basin thanks in part to Reclamation’s $750,000 award to IEUA. This project is part of IEUA’s 2013 Recharge Master Plan Update, a local plan aimed at long-term, sustainable management of groundwater supplies in the Chino Basin. The agency has identified the capture and recharge of stormwater and dry weather runoff as an opportunity to both improve water supply reliability and contribute to the region’s drought resilience.

Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman made the announcement citing that the selected projects increase water management flexibility and water supply reliability. They also reduce the need for drought emergency response actions.

“By proactively planning for drought, communities are able to reduce its impact and improve their ability to recover once the rain and snow start to fall,” said Commissioner Burman. “Helping western states prepare and build resiliency for future drought is an essential part of Reclamation’s 116-year history.”

Drought resiliency projects are part of Reclamation’s Drought Response Program. It helps communities recognize the next drought in its early stages, learn how droughts will impact them, and how to better protect themselves during the next drought. Selected projects are structured to encourage an open and inclusive planning effort to build long-term resiliency to drought.

The 12 other California drought resiliency projects selected to receive Reclamation funding include:

Agencies receiving $300,000 awards from Reclamation are –

Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD), Palomar Well Replacement Project

Total Project Cost: $1,152,649 — The Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District in Southern California will construct a new potable water well with pumps, motors, discharge piping, and other appurtenant infrastructure. The project is expected to yield approximately 1,937 acre-feet per year of new potable groundwater. The additional water supplies represent approximately 7 percent of the District’s annual average demand. The project was identified as a mitigation action in EVMWD’s recently completed Drought Contingency Plan, developed through Reclamation’s Drought Response Program. This project is part of the district’s long-term strategy to provide a reliable and redundant water supply to customers by optimizing the use of local water supply sources.

Mojave Water Agency (MWA), City of Adelanto Connection to R3 Pipeline

Total Project Cost: $2,500,000 — The Mojave Water Agency, located in San Bernardino County, will construct a 5,800-foot, 24-inch ductile iron water main that will connect the storage facilities of the city of Adelanto to the existing Upper Mojave River R3 Project. The pipeline will add the city of Adelanto as a direct turnout to the R3 Project, providing a supplemental supply of 2,340 acre-feet per year to reduce the city’s dependence on an over-drafted groundwater supply. California’s recent drought further exacerbated the groundwater production limitations. This project supports objectives identified in multiple planning efforts including Urban Water Management Plans from both the city of Adelanto and MWA, and the Mojave Integrated Regional Water Management Plan.

San Juan Water District (SJWD), North American Basin Regional Drought Mitigation Interties Project

Total Project Cost: $622,185 — San Juan Water District and Sacramento County Water Authority (SCWA), in the Sacramento area, will complete two interties that were identified as mitigation actions in the North American Basin Regional Drought Contingency Plan recently completed under Reclamation’s Drought Response Program. This project will construct an intertie by SJWD to receive water from Placer County Water Authority and complete an intertie by SCWA to deliver groundwater to the city of Sacramento. These combined projects will provide water managers increased flexibility in delivering up to 9,521 acre-feet per year in water supplies. The interties will address water deficits during times of drought and allow for the offset of surface water supplies in winter months, leaving the water supplies in Folsom Reservoir.

Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District (SWID), Recovery and Return Improvements to District Spreading

Grounds for Drought Resiliency

Total Project Cost: $1,176,885 — The Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District in the southern San Joaquin Valley will construct two recovery wells and a conveyance pipeline in the District’s Kimberlina Spreading Grounds Facility to connect the well supply to the district’s north mainline. The project will add 952 acre-feet per year of water over the 30-year project lifespan. This project will drill two deep wells and equip the pumps, motors, discharge piping, electrical equipment, and conveyance pipeline necessary to allow for recovery of banked groundwater supplies and return to the north mainline. The project, supported by the District’s Agricultural Water Management Plan, provides access to an alternative water supply in times of drought – improving drought resiliency, and water supply management within the region.

United Water Conservation District (UWCD), Iron and Manganese Treatment Project

Total Project Cost: $4,210,650 — The United Water Conservation District in Ventura County will construct an iron and manganese filtration system for deep wells at the El Rio Water Treatment and Groundwater Recharge Facility. Since 2012, Ventura County has experienced substantial drought Conditions; the county is currently experiencing a severe drought, as indicated in the U.S. Drought Monitor. Shallow wells are increasingly impacted by elevated nitrate levels due to drought-related groundwater level declines and deep wells utilized for blending are limited by high levels of iron and manganese. The treatment of deep groundwater will allow for increased water blending with shallow groundwater, resulting in greater use of both shallow and deep groundwater. Additional upgrades to tanks and pumps will also improve the operational flexibility and drought resilience of the UWCD resulting in the better management of 11,757 acre-feet of water per year. This project was identified in the District’s Urban Water Management Plan as a plan to maintain water supply reliability during future droughts.

Agencies receiving $750,000 awards from Reclamation are –

City of Anaheim, CA, Modjeska Park: Urban Model for Storm Water Detention and Infiltration

Total Project Cost: $3,421,443 — The city of Anaheim in Orange County is implementing its first project of a larger citywide effort to capture and infiltrate stormwater as an approach to drought resiliency. The project will utilize the underground footprint of an existing 37,000 square foot city-owned parking lot to install underground storage modules, in order to capture and infiltrate 182 acre-feet per year of dry weather and urban storm runoff into the City’s groundwater. The project will prevent contaminated runoff from entering Bolsa Chica Channel, a local waterway. Drought resiliency will be improved by capturing more water within the basin and reducing runoff to the ocean. The basin often experiences severe drought and the project will increase the basin’s overall water supplies. Several local and Federal planning studies, including Reclamation’s Santa Ana Watershed Basin Study, have identified stormwater capture as an important component for increasing water reliability in the region.

City of Santa Ana, CA, Well 32 Rehabilitation Improvements

Total Project Cost: $5,290,000 — The city of Santa Ana will rehabilitate the existing Well 32 that was decommissioned in 2004 due to high nitrate concentrations and operational inefficiencies. The city will retrofit the well to meet current standards and will also construct approximately 3,250 feet of new pipeline to convey the well’s flow to Garthe Reservoir where the water will be blended with other water sources to lower nitrate levels. This project will provide the city with an additional 4,000 acre-feet of water per year for municipal and industrial use. Rehabilitating Well 32 will assist the city in building long-term drought resilience by increasing local water supplies. This project supports goals identified in the city’s Drought Action Plan.

Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD), San Jacinto Valley Raw Water Conveyance Facilities – Phase 1

Total Project Cost: $13,457,500 – EMWD will provide dedicated imported raw water conveyance for recharge operations. The first phase of the project includes the construction of approximately 2.25 miles of 60-inch transmission pipeline, a new service connection with Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and a pumping station/chlorination facility. The project will interconnect the new transmission pipeline with an existing pipeline in order to convey imported water to existing and future recharge facilities. The project will make available an additional 5,467 acre-feet per year for recharge. This project supports the goal identified in a regional Water Surplus and Drought Management Plan of utilizing surplus water supplies during dry-year deficits.

North Kern Water Storage District (NKWSD), Return Capacity Improvements for Regional Drought Resiliency Project Cost: $1,547,121 –The North Kern Water Storage District, located north of Bakersfield, supplies farmers with irrigation water for approximately 60,000 acres of orchards and vineyards. In addition, NKWSD operates a groundwater recharge facility that serves as a water bank for neighboring districts. The district proposes to expand the recovery and return capacity of the groundwater recharge facilities by constructing two new recovery wells. The new recovery wells, along with three existing wells, will be connected via manifold pipelines to the Friant-Kern Canal to return previously stored water to its neighboring districts. The project will yield an additional 11,032 acre-feet of water for return in critically dry years, providing water supply reliability in times of drought. The project supports the goals of relevant planning efforts completed in the region including the Poso Creek Integrated Water Management Plan.

Semitropic Water Storage District (SWSD), Cox Canal Pumping Plant and Intertie

Total Project Cost: $2,522,561 – SWSD, in the southern San Joaquin Valley, will install permanent pumping facilities to convey surplus surface water supplies from Buena Vista Water Storage District to Semitropic. The SWSD’s service area has experienced abnormally dry to exceptionally dry conditions over the past several years. The pumping plant and intertie will provide an additional 3,075 acre-feet per year to the district. The district has an Agricultural Water Management Plan that identifies addressing drought resiliency by supporting groundwater banking and pumping.

Westlands Water District (WWD), Pasajero Groundwater Replenishment Project

Total Project Cost: $1,687,516 — Westlands Water District in Fresno County will construct a 60-acre groundwater recharge basin and pump station to increase flexibility to facilitate the transfer or exchange of water supplies, by allowing the WWD to deliver 10,000 acre-feet or more of groundwater in place of surface water for irrigation. The project will help reduce groundwater overdraft by recharging the aquifer with surface water during times of flood flows and recovering this water later during dry periods. WWW has identified and prioritized the project as key to groundwater sustainability efforts to mitigate future droughts.

Yuba City, CA, Groundwater Well Construction

Total Project Cost: $3,983,159 — Yuba City will construct a groundwater well, which will produce 2,400 acre-feet per year of water. Currently, the city draws 90 percent of its total water use from the Feather River. The use of groundwater will reduce the amount of surface water the city uses and will provide a more reliable source of water during droughts. The city’s Urban Water Management Plan supports the development of a groundwater well to increase the city’s water supply reliability.

Through DOI’s WaterSMART, Reclamation works cooperatively with states, tribes and local entities as they work to increase water supply reliability through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts. For additional information about WaterSMART, visit: https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart.