FAIRFIELD, CA – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a Member of the House Natural Resources Committee and former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior, today is happy to announce that the Bureau of Reclamation awarded $150,000 to two worthy Sacramento County water recycling projects through the WaterSMART program. The grants were awarded after Congressman Garamendi sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar supporting the projects (text of the letter is included below).
"California simply does not presently have enough available water to meet the needs of everyone in the state. We must invest in American-made water recycling – along with conservation and additional storage – and that's why I’m excited by these projects," Congressman Garamendi said. "These projects bring us one step closer to saving the Delta while meeting the needs of all California cities, farmers, and fishermen."
The grants will provide funding for the following projects:
- $75,000 to the SRCSD, Sacramento Power Authority, City of Sacramento Recycled Water Project Feasibility Study. The federal funding will match $240,000 in local funding. This project will evaluate the feasibility of replacing up to 4,200 acre-feet annually of surface and groundwater supplies with recycled water for industrial uses and to irrigate parks, school grounds, golf courses and landscaped street medians.
- $75,000 to the SRCSD South Sacramento County Agriculture and Habitat Lands Recycled Water Project Feasibility Study. The federal funding will match $678,000 in local funding. The project will evaluate the feasibility of replacing up to 97,000 acre-feet annually of surface and groundwater supplies with recycled water to irrigate up to 27,000 acres of permanent agriculture, habitat mitigation and conservation lands in south Sacramento County.
Secretary Salazar established WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow) in February 2010 to facilitate the work of Interior's bureaus in pursuing a sustainable water supply for the nation. The program establishes a framework to provide federal leadership and assistance on the efficient use of water and integrating water and energy policies to support the sustainable use of all natural resources. Since its establishment in 2010, WaterSMART has provided more than $118 million in competitively-awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities, and universities through WaterSMART Grants and the Title XVI Program.
For more information on the WaterSMART program, please visit http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART.
Text of Congressman Garamendi's letter to the Interior Department is included below:
March 27, 2012
Secretary Ken Salazar
Bureau of Reclamation
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240
Dear Secretary Salazar:
The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (SRCSD) has requested my support for its application for funding under the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Grants program for the South Sacramento Country Agriculture and Habitat Lands Water Recycling (SSCAHLWR) Project.
I understand that, through this project, the SRCSD plans to send tertiary treated water from its regional wastewater treatment plant through a pipleline to agricultural areas and conservation lands. As a result, approximately 2,000 to 8,000 acres of agricultural land could be irrigated with recycled water, instead of groundwater, thereby enabling 10,000 to 40,000 acre feet of water to be put to additional beneficial uses yearly. I further recognize that this project would improve Bay Delta water quality; be put towards the goal of regional self-reliance; and bolster critical habitat.
I am aware that the SRCSD is dedicated to protecting the enviroment through cost-effective, reliable, and safe treatment and disposal of wastewater; and I recognize the importance of revitalizing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta thus ensuring reliable future water supplies throughout Califronia.
I support this application and hope that the SRCSD's grant request will be given full and fair consideration consistent with applicabale laws and regulations. I understand that this funding would enable the SRCSD to enhance safe and reliable water supplies for our region and help improve Bay Delta sustainability.
Should you have further questions, please feel free to contact my Walnut Creek district office at 925-932-8899.
Member of Congress, CA-10