North County Agencies Secure $2.8 Million for Recycled Water Projects

The California Department of Water Resources approved a grant package that will provide $2.8 million in state grant funding to three North County water and wastewater agencies to expand and upgrade recycled water infrastructure.

The grant-funded effort is a collaboration between Olivenhain Municipal Water District, San Elijo Joint Powers Authority, and the City of Oceanside. Projects constructed by each agency will add approximately 80 million gallons of recycled water to the region’s supply portfolio each year. This will offset the potable water demand of nearly 500 households annually.

“Maximizing the use of regional recycled water resources reduces North County’s dependence on increasingly scarce and expensive imported water,” said OMWD Board Director Christy Guerin. “We are grateful to DWR for this funding, which allows us to help our community become more sustainable, assists local businesses and associations in reducing their water and sewer costs, and conserves a valued resource.”

OMWD will receive $750,000 to install 3,700 linear feet of recycled water pipeline along El Camino Real in Encinitas, allowing more customers to convert to recycled water. The project will offset nearly 15 million gallons per year of potable water to irrigate landscape, such as school playing fields, green space, and homeowner association common areas.

SEJPA’s project will expand the capacity of its regional recycled water system that serves OMWD, San Dieguito Water District, Santa Fe Irrigation District, and the City of Del Mar. DWR will provide $370,000 for increased storage and delivery capacity of the system to cost effectively meet local water supply needs. 

“This grant award recognizes the value of cities and districts working together to create sustainable local water supplies that reduce the region’s dependency on imported water,” said Jody Hubbard, SEJPA Board Chair and City of Encinitas Council Member.  “We are committed to developing integrated water solutions.”

The City of Oceanside will receive $1.45 million to increase the size of the recycled water pipeline from its San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility and install 36,000 linear feet of new recycled water pipe. This project will enable the city to deliver over 65 million gallons of recycled water each year for non-potable uses.

“Improving local water supply reliability is imperative for the San Diego Region,” said Cari Dale, Water Utilities Director for the City of Oceanside. “Oceanside’s City Council set a goal of providing a 50 percent local water supply by 2030. This funding allows Oceanside and our partners to continue to increase water sustainability for our communities.”

The grant funding is available through the state’s Integrated Regional Water Management Program, which supports collaborative water management to increase regional self-reliance throughout California. The San Diego IRWM Program is managed by the San Diego County Water Authority, who submitted the grant package to DWR as San Diego’s water wholesaler.

Each of the project partners participates in the North San Diego Water Reuse Coalition. Since 2010, the coalition has worked to increase the supply of local safe and reliable drinking water across multiple cities and watersheds in the region by expanding recycled water through its North County Recycled Water Project. Other coalition partners include Carlsbad Municipal Water District, Vallecitos Water District, Leucadia Wastewater District, Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District, Santa Fe Irrigation District, and the City of Escondido.

The regional approach has proven successful: This grant will be the coalition’s third major award from the IRWM program in the past decade. Previous grants were for $1.5 million in 2010 and $3.5 million in 2014, significantly reducing the costs of water recycling projects for North County water ratepayers.

The OMWD, SEJPA, and City of Oceanside collaboration is one of eight projects included in the Water Authority’s regional grant package, which the California Department of Water Resources awarded a total of $15.3 million in state funding. These funds result from Proposition 1, a bond measure approved by voters in 2014 to improve water infrastructure statewide.

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