California commits $291.8M to Harvest Water project

July 6, 2023
The California Water Commission is committing grant funding to support Regional San’s project to recycle wastewater for agricultural use and groundwater recharge.

Regional San announced that the California Water Commission is committing $291.8 million from the Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP) to support Harvest Water, Regional San’s project to recycle wastewater for agricultural use and groundwater recharge.

The state’s investment supports Regional San’s effort to deliver up to 50,000-acre feet per year of tertiary-treated recycled water to approximately 16,000 acres of farm and habitat lands in southern Sacramento County.

Once operational, Harvest Water will supply billions of gallons of drought-resistant, recycled water per year for agricultural use and groundwater recharge near the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Construction of the infrastructure needed to make Harvest Water a reality is projected to begin in late 2023 and be completed in early 2026. Regional San will conduct public outreach along the project area as construction begins on a series of recycled water pipelines and a new pump station, located at the EchoWater Resource Recovery Facility (EchoWater Facility) near Elk Grove.

“Harvest Water provides a variety of long-term environmental benefits,” said Regional San General Manager Christoph Dobson. “Not only does the project increase water supply reliability, but we are also positively impacting local ecosystems. The funding confirmation for Harvest Water is both an investment in Sacramento’s future and a testament to Regional San’s unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability.”

Initial studies and planning for Harvest Water began a decade ago in conjunction with Regional San’s facility upgrade known as the EchoWater Project. The EchoWater Facility will produce the high-quality tertiary-treated recycled water needed for Harvest Water. Ultimately, Harvest Water will deliver this safe and reliable supply of recycled water to facilitate groundwater recovery, boost sustainable agriculture and strengthen local habitats.

By reducing the need to pump groundwater, the project has the potential to increase groundwater storage by 370,000 acre-feet.

The project will also sustain a healthy water supply for more than 5,000 acres of riparian and wetland habitats, supporting a longer migration window for fall-run Chinook salmon through increased streamflow volume in the Cosumnes River and improving regional water quality by reducing the salinity load to Sacramento River and Delta waterways.

In addition to the Prop 1 grant funding, Regional San has been conditionally awarded a $30 million grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program.