The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s (MWD) Board of Directors recently approved the East County Advanced Water Purification Program for its Local Resources Program (LRP), providing approximately $86 million in funding for this important water supply project.
“MWD’s Local Resources Program is absolutely essential to the success of the East County AWP Program. The MWD Board’s approval is a crucial piece to making this important water supply project a reality for East County and we thank the Board for their continued commitment to the LRP program and local supply development,” remarked Allen Carlisle, East County AWP Joint Powers Authority (JPA) Program Administrator and Padre Dam Municipal Water District CEO/General Manager. MWD provides LRP financial incentives to agencies in its service area for the development of local supply reliability projects that reduce imported water demands. The LRP provides a financial incentive for the volume of eligible water produced by the East County AWP Project.
The East County AWP Program is a regional water and wastewater solution and has significant regional benefits. The Program will be one of the first potable reuse projects in the State of California to use the new Reservoir Augmentation regulations. The Program will provide up to 30 percent of East County’s drinking water demands, almost 13,000 acre-feet of water and eliminate the discharge of 15 million gallons of partially treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean.
The Program uses four advanced water purification steps to produce water that is near-distilled in quality. After treatment, the purified water will be blended with water in Lake Jennings and treated again at the R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant before being distributed as drinking water.
The East County AWP Program has successfully competed for more than $200 million in low interest loans and grants from the State of California and is committed to meeting operational start dates of early 2025. The Program’s financing plan assures ratepayer affordability through the mix of LRP incentives, grant funding and low interest loans from the state and federal government as well as financing from the municipal bond market.
East County AWP Program partners have invested tens of millions of dollars over the last five years to advance this Project. The MWD Board’s decision to approve targets for local supply development has inspired and encouraged these investments. The East County JPA is currently in the process of awarding almost $400 million dollars in contracts for three design and construction packages for Project infrastructure.
This Program is a collaborative partnership between Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the County of San Diego, the City of El Cajon and Helix Water District. It will create a new, local, sustainable and drought proof drinking water supply using state-of-the-art technology to purify recycled water and diversify East County’s water supply while reducing our dependence on imported water.