California Construction News staff writer
Metropolitan’s Pure Water Southern California project – anticipated to be one of the world’s largest water recycling facilities when complete – will receive $80 million from the FY 2022/23 state budget, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced. Funding will help accelerate the project’s design, construction and operations.
“Metropolitan has been making vitally important investments in new local supplies and projects that will improve the flexibility of our water delivery system, but every day of this drought is a reminder that we have to move faster. The state’s support will help us get there.”
In addition, $50 million has been provided to Metropolitan for drought emergency mitigation projects to move locally stored water into parts of Southern California that depend on extremely limited supplies from the State Water Project from Northern California. Without access to alternative supplies, these communities have faced significant mandatory conservation measures since June.
“The state legislature and Gov. Newsom are essential partners in our efforts to protect Southern California’s people, economy and environment by making our water supply more reliable and resilient,” Metropolitan board Chairwoman Gloria D. Gray said. “I want to extend my deepest appreciation to the Governor and our legislative leaders for prioritizing water in this budget and helping us respond to this water crisis and those we will face in the future. We are grateful for their support and these investments.”
Last year, the legislature authorized $5.2 billion in multi-year funding to minimize the impacts of the drought and help water agencies prepare for a warmer and drier future. The FY 2022-23 budget allocated an additional $2.7 billion.
“Metropolitan has been making vitally important investments in new local supplies and projects that will improve the flexibility of our water delivery system, but every day of this drought is a reminder that we have to move faster,” said Metropolitan General Manager Adel Hagekhalil said. “The state’s support will help us get there.”
About half of the water used in Southern California is imported from the Colorado River and the Northern Sierra, via the state project. The availability of both of those imported supplies has been dramatically reduced as a result of drought and climate change, the effects of which are expected to worsen in coming decades.