North San Diego Water Reuse Coalition Recommended for Over $6 Million in Federal Funding to Further Improve Local Water Supply Reliability

On June 13, the United States Bureau of Reclamation recommended to Congress that the North San Diego Water Reuse Coalition receive over $6 million in grant funding from the federal Title XVI program to develop recycled water infrastructure in San Diego’s North County.

“This federal investment to strengthen our region’s recycled water infrastructure is crucial to meet demand and reliability,” said Representative Scott Peters. “Multi-agency projects allow us to stretch public resources and help accelerate results that will benefit the entire region.”

The coalition is a group of nine water and wastewater agencies in San Diego County working beyond jurisdictional boundaries to maximize recycled water use and reduce demand for imported water.

The proposed funding will support the coalition’s Regional Recycled Water Program: 2020 Project, which is a joint effort between coalition members to expand recycled water infrastructure to increase water reuse in the region. The project includes connecting the agencies’ recycled water systems, installing new pipelines, and increasing recycled water storage capacity.

“It’s great to see the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law making a difference,” said Congressman Levin. “This investment will have a direct impact on the expansion of recycled water infrastructure and contribute to lessening our dependance on imported drinking water supplies. The collaborative approach taken by neighboring agencies is an exemplary way to strengthen the region’s resiliency to future droughts.”

Upon completion of all long-term project elements, an estimated 11 billion gallons per year of recycled water and potable reuse water will be added to northern San Diego’s water supply portfolio.

“Despite the recent wet winters, California water supplies remain in a very challenging position,” said Christy Guerin, Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board President. “This financial support from the Bureau of Reclamation will allow us to continue developing recycled water infrastructure to further reduce our dependence on imported drinking water.”

Upon congressional approval, this will be the third grant that USBR has awarded the coalition in the last three years. USBR previously committed $6.1 million in funds in August 2021, and another $17.8 million in August 2022. The three grant awards, totaling nearly $30 million, will help cover costs for work performed through September 2025.

“For the Vallecitos Water District, the grant funding will be used to increase the size of the chlorine contact stage at our Meadowlark Water Reclamation Facility in Carlsbad,” noted Tiffany Boyd-Hodgson, Vallecitos Water District Board President. “We will be able to increase the capacity of Meadowlark from 5 million gallons a day to 6.5 million gallons a day. This additional reclaimed water supply will be passed along to our water reuse partners with the City of Carlsbad and the Olivenhain Municipal Water District. Expanding our Meadowlark Water Reclamation Facility isn’t just about increasing capacity; it’s about enriching partnerships and empowering sustainability. This growth means more than just gallons; it means a deeper commitment to enhancing water reuse with our valued partners.”

Construction is already complete on many of the facilities funded by the grant. Examples include the construction of nearly 9 miles of recycled water pipelines in the northern part of Carlsbad, the replacement and upgrade of 850 feet of treatment plant pipeline in Leucadia, a new pump station located in the Encinitas Ranch community, a new flow meter and control valves in Fairbanks Ranch, as well as the construction of more than 8,700 ft of pipeline in Encinitas and San Diego providing additional customers with recycled water.

“The Leucadia Wastewater District is extremely pleased with the Bureau of Reclamation’s grant award” said General Manager Paul Bushee. “The grant will certainly enhance the District’s ability to implement water recycling projects with the overall goal of fortifying the region’s water supply.”

Construction is underway or starting soon for several additional project components, including an upgrade to Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District’s Beethoven & North Iris Pump Stations that will help distribute recycled water to the most northern and southern portions of Escondido. Carlsbad Municipal Water District is building a new 1.5-million-gallon storage tank in the Aviara community to serve recycled water customers in the area.

“Rincon Water’s recycled water pump station upgrade program will improve the overall efficiency and reliability of the District’s recycled water distribution system. This will allow us to better meet the irrigation demands of existing, planned, and future developments,” said Clint Baze, Rincon Water’s General Manager.

“This award allows Carlsbad to keep recycled water rates more affordable and competitive with potable water rates,” said Dave Padilla, Carlsbad Municipal Water District Engineer/Utilities Assistant Director. “We are pleased to be able to expand our system and reduce demand on potable water for irrigation needs. Ultimately, this grant award helps keep Carlsbad green, in more ways than one.”

In addition, Olivenhain Municipal Water District is constructing several new recycled water pipelines in Encinitas’ Village Park community, La Costa, and 4S Ranch. The City of Oceanside is building a 2.2-million-gallon storage tank, a supporting pump station, and installing over 6.5 miles of pipelines to provide recycled water to the Fire Mountain area. San Elijo Joint Powers Authority will use the funding to convert an existing 3-million-gallon reservoir to recycled water, expand its recycled water distribution pipeline system, and construct stormwater capture and reuse at the San Elijo Water Campus in Encinitas.

“We greatly appreciate this federal grant, which will be combined with local funding to build infrastructure that diversifies our water supplies, enhances system resiliency, and maximizes our stewardship of natural resources,” said Kellie Shay Hinze, San Elijo JPA Board Chair.

“We are proud of our collaboration with the North San Diego County Water Reuse Coalition and grateful for this award from the US Bureau of Reclamation,” said Lindsay Leahy, Oceanside Water Utilities Director. “This award will support the building of a 2.2-million-gallon tank, pump station, and pipelines to increase recycled water use in Oceanside and further increase local, reliable supplies for our community.”

In addition to federal funds, the project has previously received funding at the state level from California’s Department of Water Resources. The project received grant funding on several occasions through DWR’s Integrated Regional Water Management Program—administered locally in partnership with San Diego County Water Authority, County of San Diego, and City of San Diego—which supports collaborative water management to increase regional self-reliance throughout California. These IRWM awards to the coalition have totaled nearly $6.2 million.

Through the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, USBR provides financial and technical assistance to local water agencies for the planning, design, and construction of water reclamation and reuse projects. These projects are designed to provide growing communities with new sources of water which increases water management flexibility and makes water supplies more reliable.

More information about the coalition and the project is available at