Waterboard to fund projects on Tijuana, New Rivers

Waterboard to fund projects on Tijuana, New Rivers

The State Water Resources Control Board has said they will spend $34 million on six projects aimed at addressing water quality in the Tijuana and New Rivers along the U.S.-Mexico border. Five of the projects will take place in the U.S. and one will take place across the border in Mexicali, Mexico.

“The water quality in our border watersheds have been degraded by sewage, trash and other pollutants for decades, posing a constant threat to the health of people, wildlife, and our economies,” said Joaquin Esquivel, chair of the State Water Board. “This funding comes at a critical time, as these challenges are exacerbated by extreme weather patterns in our changed climate. These projects will help improve water quality for our border communities while we continue our collaboration at the local, state and federal levels, and with our Mexican partners, to protect our water resources.”

Three of the projects benefit the Tijuana River and three will help improve conditions in the New River. Funds are being awarded to city and county governments and nongovernmental organizations.

The six projects awarded assistance are:

  • The New River Improvement Project will install a trash screen and water diversion structure downstream from the border; an underground bypass pipe to convey polluted river water from the diversion structure; a 350 square-foot energy dissipater with adjacent riprap at the outlet of the bypass pipe to control erosion; and a pump-back system to return water to the river after it is treated at the Calexico Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • The Sonoran Institute Fluye Project includes removal of trash and other solid waste, modification of channel morphology, along with infrastructure (check dams, gates, spillways, etc.) and the replanting of native vegetation.
  • The New River Preliminary Engineering Report Project will evaluate options for a Wastewater Treatment Plant in Imperial County to treat pollution from Mexico and ensure the river meets California water quality standards.
  • The Smuggler’s Gulch Improvement Project will construct a full-scale sediment and trash control basin and dredging to remove accumulated sediment, trash, and debris in Smuggler’s Gulch and the Tijuana River Pilot Channel.
  • The Tijuana River Trash Booms Project involves the design, construction and operation and maintenance of a floating trash boom system for two consecutive storm seasons in the concrete-lined portion of the main Tijuana River Channel immediately downstream of the border. This is a demonstration project; the information gathered will be used to develop permanent trash control
  • The Brown Property Habitat and Hydrology Restoration Project will remediate a contaminated property adjacent to and within the Tijuana River and restore floodplain and habitat.

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