Harvest Water Program Awarded $277.5 Million in Prop. 1 Funds

Multi-purpose Project Will Use Up to 50,000 Acre-feet of Recycled Water for Irrigation in South Sacramento County


Regional San’s new Biological Nutrient Removal facility uses bacteria to remove nearly all the ammonia from wastewater in the Sacramento region. Photo by Regional San.

The California Water Commission on Wednesday awarded the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (Regional San) $277.5 million to help construct the Harvest Water Program, a conjunctive-use project that will supply treated wastewater to agricultural lands that also provide habitat to wildlife in southern Sacramento County. It is the first project in the Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP) to complete the Proposition 1 requirements and appear before the Commission for a final award hearing.

Prop. 1, also known as the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014, dedicated $2.7 billion for investments in the public benefits of water storage projects, and designated the California Water Commission as the agency responsible for allocating the funds through a competitive process.

The Harvest Water Program will produce multiple ecosystem benefits while providing a reliable irrigation source for local agriculture. Building on the recently completed Echo Water Project — a state-funded, $1.7 billion upgrade to the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant that equips it to produce wastewater to recycling standards for irrigation — the project will increase the streamflow volume in the Cosumnes River and extend the migration window for fall-run Chinook salmon; reduce the salinity load to the Sacramento River and Delta waterways; improve groundwater conditions for 5,000 acres of wetland and riparian forest; and enlarge the habitat for sandhill crane and many other threatened and endangered species. The recycled water will offset a significant portion of local groundwater use, contributing to sustainable use of the basin and the recovery of groundwater elevations.

The project will help advance California’s long-term water supply strategy, which includes the goal of […]

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