WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor announced that four projects were awarded $2.09 million to accelerate the adoption and use of innovative advanced water treatment technologies that increase usable water supplies. Demonstrating the feasibility of new treatment methods for impaired waters is one of the strategies of the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART Program to work toward a sustainable water future.
"Adequate water supplies are essential for people, ecosystems, energy production, and overall economic well-being," said Connor. "The WaterSMART grants awarded to these projects will allow them to pilot and demonstrate new water treatment technologies and determine their viability for full-scale implementation, in order to make previously unusable supplies available to local communities."
Four pilot and demonstration projects were selected that address the technical, economic, and environmental issues of treating and using brackish groundwater, seawater, impaired waters, or otherwise creating new water supplies within a specific locale.
The four projects selected are:
•Los Angeles Department of Public Works will receive $499,232 to treat arsenic-laden waters to meet drinking water standards. The full-scale project could potentially produce 36,000 acre-feet of treated water annually, or about 98 percent of the projected water imbalance in the immediate area.
•The city of Glendale, Calif., will receive $400,000 to evaluate two treatment technologies to remove hexavalent chromium from the local impaired groundwater source in the cities of Glendale and Los Angeles.
•Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will receive $598,000 to test the ability of a biological treatment process to remove nitrates, perchlorate, and volatile organic compounds from the groundwater in the area. The full-scale project will provide 77,438 acre-feet of treated water annually, reducing the city’s need for imported water from the California State Water Project.
•Loving County in West Texas will receive $600,000 to study treating brackish groundwater with wind-powered vapor compression technology. The funding will be used to examine the ability of this technology to provide a local, sustainable water source.
The WaterSMART Program focuses on improving water conservation and sustainability and helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. It identifies strategies to ensure that this and future generations will have sufficient supplies of clean water for drinking, economic activities, recreation and ecosystem health. The program also identifies adaptive measures to address climate change and its impact on future water demands. The “SMART” in WaterSMART stands for "Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow." Since its establishment in 2010, the WaterSMART Program has provided more than $80 million in funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, and universities.
To learn more about WaterSMART, visit www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART.