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The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has awarded $30 million in grant funding to the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWR System).
Proposition 13, also known as the Water Bond 2000, made the Groundwater Storage Construction Grant possible.
The GWR System grant represents the single largest DWR award from $91 million in Groundwater Storage Program funds available statewide. The grant program used a competitive process to decide how to allocate the funds among 12 finalists from the 43 applications submitted for funding. The latest award brings the total grant funding for the GWR System to $92.5 million.
DWR recognized the GWR System for its potential to lessen overall impact on the Bay-Delta system in Northern California by reducing imported water demands an estimated 75,000 acre-feet per year and for its ability to compensate for future cutbacks in the state supply of the Colorado River by having a new, local source of water available.
"The Groundwater Replenishment System project embodies the innovative technologies and interagency cooperation that will be required to assure a reliable water supply for Orange County businesses and families," stated California State Assemblyman Lou Correa.
Once completed, the GWR System will take highly treated sewer water that is currently released into the ocean, and purify it through microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide advanced oxidation treatment, producing water similar in quality to bottled water.
The purified water will become part of a seawater barrier and be pumped through a 13-mile pipeline to spreading basins in Anaheim where it will percolate into deep aquifers and blend with other sources of groundwater, following the same natural filtering path rainwater takes through the ground.
"The Groundwater Replenishment System is an innovative project that will improve local water quality, make our water supply more reliable, and provide us with local control over part of our water future," said Irv Pickler, chairman of the Groundwater Replenishment System Joint Cooperative Committee.
The $30 million grant specifically provides funds for construction of the Advanced Water Treatment facilities and pumping stations and the 13-mile pipeline from the treatment facilities to existing spreading basins.
Future work on the GWR System includes demolition of the existing world-famous Water Factory 21 water purification facility in Fountain Valley; construction of the new water purification facility; constructing new injection wells, a pump station and a 13-mile pipeline from Fountain Valley to Orange County Water District's groundwater basin recharge facilities. The project is scheduled to produce purified water by 2006.
Orange County Water District is a special district that was created by the California State Legislature in 1933 to maintain and manage the groundwater basin under northern and central Orange County.
Orange County Sanitation District is the third largest wastewater treatment system west of the Mississippi River, serving 2.2 million residents in northern and central Orange County.