Included in the sweeping $1 trillion infrastructure bill approved by the Senate is funding for Western water projects that farmers, water providers and environmentalists say are badly needed across the parched region.
The Senate voted this week in favor of the legislation that seeks to rebuild U.S. roads and highways, improve broadband internet access and modernize water pipes and public works systems. The bill’s future in the House is uncertain.
Federal officials have announced an additional $1.7 million grant for the construction of Pure Water Oceanside, a project that will turn wastewater into a new local source of drinking water beginning in 2022.
San Antonio built a pipeline to rural Central Texas to increase its water supply. Now local landowners say their wells are running dry – Texas
When the water finally arrived, San Antonio’s leadership could relax. The roughly 150-mile long water pipeline to the northeast guaranteed the city’s economic future and freed residents from the stress of droughts.
“We have water security for decades to come,” said Robert Puente, president and CEO of the San Antonio Water System. Puente called the project, which came online in April 2020, the “biggest achievement in our lifetimes” to secure water for the city.
The Desalination Development Act would provide $260 million over five years for desalination projects across the country, including Oceanside’s Mission Basin Groundwater Purification Facility, which converts brackish flows into potable water, said Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano).
Environmentalists say desalination decimates ocean life, costs too much money and energy, and soon will be made obsolete by water recycling. But as Western states face an epic drought, regulators appear ready to approve a desalination plant in Huntington Beach, California.
After spending 22 years and $100 million navigating a thicket of state regulations and environmentalists’ challenges, Poseidon Water is down to one major regulatory hurdle – the California Coastal Commission.
Sacramento politicians worry about what they always focus on—where will money come from for that next election. Of course they focus on Big Oil and Gas donations. The people can’t afford to fund elections anymore with million dollar and up price tags.
Notably, the governor’s emergency proclamation did not impose water conservation mandates. Instead, Newsom is leaving water conservation to each region — a smart and necessary approach that incentivizes regional investments in water supply.