Proposed Groundwater Replenishment System to Receive $37 Million From State Water Bond

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif.-The Groundwater Replenishment
System, a proposed Orange County water project that would take highly
treated wastewater and purify it to distilled water quality, will receive
$37 million in funding, thanks to voters overwhelmingly passing Proposition
13.
Funding for the Groundwater Replenishment System was
included in the State Water Bond, which passed with nearly 65 percent of the
vote.
"We are thrilled with the passage of Proposition
13," said Irv Pickler, chair of the Groundwater Replenishment System's
Joint Cooperative Committee. "It is especially positive for us here in
Orange County, since the bond has earmarked funds specifically for projects that
benefit us."
Proposition 13 is the first state water bond to
specifically earmark funds for Orange County projects and to specify that 60
percent of the money in key funding categories must be spent in Southern
California. Specifically, the bond will provide $250 million for the Santa Ana
River Watershed, which will directly and indirectly benefit Orange County water
by improving the quality of Santa Ana River water. The Santa Ana River recharges
the county's groundwater basin, which provides north-central Orange County with
75 percent of its water.
Included within the Santa Ana River Watershed Program is
$37 million for the Groundwater Replenishment System. Also included is $6
million for environmental and water quality improvements to Upper Newport Bay,
$4 million for a Huntington Beach Pollution Study and competitive loans and
grants to individual cities and water districts throughout Orange County to help
fund water quality, water conservation, water recycling, watershed protection
and pollution prevention programs.
The Groundwater Replenishment System would take highly
treated wastewater that is now discharged to the ocean and purify it to
distilled water quality through 100 percent reverse osmosis, microfiltration and
ultraviolet disinfection technologies. The water will then be recharged into the
county's vast groundwater basin. Groundwater Replenishment System water also
will be used to prevent seawater intrusion into the groundwater basin as the
county continues to use more groundwater each year.
SOURCE: Orange County Water District

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