DWR Announces $14 Million in Grant Funds for Three Water Desalination Projects

By on June 20, 2019
Millions in water infrastructure funding left unspent

Three California entities will share in more than $14 million in grant funding as was announced by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) earlier this week. The funds are for increasing water quality, supply, and infrastructure in California communities through desalination or the removal of salts and dissolved solids from brackish or ocean water.

Funding for these projects was made possible by Proposition 1 — the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act –which was passed by California voters in November 2014. Proposition 1 provides grants to local agencies for the planning, design, and construction of potable water desalination facilities.

The awarding of the $14 million is the second round of Water Desalination Grant Program awards, as part of the Continuous Application Process (CAP). CAP funds are awarded on a first ready, first served basis to public agencies, non-profit organizations, Indian Tribes, investor-owned utilities, and mutual water companies that pass the review process until all grant funds are exhausted.

A total of $14,037,405 will be used to construct and test potable water desalination facilities from groundwater sources through the second round of Water Desalination Grant Program awards including:

  • The California American Water Company will receive the largest portion of the $14 million — $10,000,000 in grant funding will be used for the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, to support construction of a desalination plant on the Monterey Peninsula for municipal uses. The plant will improve the reliability of the regional water supply portfolio.
  • Southern California Edison Company is receiving $3,610,575 in grant funding for construction on the Catalina Desalination Plant 2, to provide additional drinking water and improve water supply reliability for the city of Avalon on Santa Catalina Island in the California Channel Islands.
  • The city of Thousand Oaks will receive $426,830 in grant funding for the Los Robles Golf Course Groundwater Utilization Pilot Project, a project that will construct a pilot test facility to evaluate the potential to treat the brackish water from an unused golf course well for irrigation and potable water supply for the Thousand Oaks community.

Draft funding recommendations are expected to be released in late-summer 2019 for the next round of awardees, which will be referred to as CAP3. DWR is reviewing the remainder of the applications which have been accepted. For additional  information on the Water Desalination Grant Program  go to: https://water.ca.gov/Work-With-Us/Grants-And-Loans/Desalination-Grant-Program or contact Sean Sou at 916-651-9269 or Sean.Sou@water.ca.gov.