Posted: March 8-11, 2013,
www.constracostatimes.com and www.mercurynews.com
Media Contact: Paul Burgarino, Contra Costa Times
Recycled Water Coalition Grows in Size, Influence
New members from the Delta and Central Valley are trickling into a coalition of Bay Area public agencies looking to increase the state's water supply with recycled water.
Brentwood, Ceres, Modesto, Fresno, Turlock, and Patterson's Del Puerto Water District recently joined the Western Recycled Water Coalition, boosting the group to 21 members.
Formerly called the Bay Area Recycled Water Coalition, the group started in the mid-2000s with a half-dozen members. It now represents about 3.2 million people.
Recycled water use reduces the amount of fresh water pumped from the Delta and provides a sustainable, water supply that can withstand droughts, low snowpacks and restrictions on water withdrawals, Gary Darling, Delta Diablo Sanitation District's general manager, said.
"Every drop of recycled water we produce reduces the amount of fresh water we have to draw from the Delta and our groundwater. It really is the low-hanging fruit of water development," Darling said.
Establishing a group of like-minded water utilities allows them to speak with "one voice" when lobbying for money from state and federal officials, Darling said.
"(U.S. Senator Dianne) Feinstein told us in 2007 that we must show these projects as resolving a regional need," Darling said. William Wong, a senior civil engineer in Modesto, said the city joined the coalition because of its clout and success in obtaining funds. Modesto, along with Turlock, Ceres, Stanislaus County and the Del Puerto Water District, is trying to create a $100 million regional water project allowing recycled water to be used for irrigation in drought-impacted areas of the San Joaquin Valley. It would also reduce the amount of wastewater discharged into the San Joaquin River, which feeds into the Delta, Wong said.
But, previous efforts to obtain federal funds for the project have been unsuccessful.
"(Coalition membership) will help us better present our case," he said.
The group also is able to collaborate.
Over the past few years, officials say there has been more public acceptance and understanding of the use of recycled water, or as Wong puts it, people are getting over the "Ew factor."
"It's treated to a high quality; cleaner than what comes out of the river before it's treated," Wong said.
Recycled water uses in Northern California range from industrial cooling of Silicon Valley's data centers and East Contra Costa's power plants, to landscaping in parks, golf courses and trails in cities throughout the East Bay. A large recycled water program in Monterey is used for raw food crop irrigation.
Despite steep startup costs, cities are starting to see long-term savings from making the water switch.
Pittsburg has saved about $75,000 per year on its general operating costs since turning the spigot on reused water in 2009, said Walter Pease, the city's water utilities director. It cost the city $7 million, including $2.5 million in redevelopment money for the program.
Using recycled water also reduces the need for new system capacity by about 1 million gallons per day, Pease said. Calpine's two major power plants in Pittsburg both use Delta Diablo recycled water to cool its machinery.
Coalition members are planning 20 new recycled water projects over the next few years, while trying to bring in members from Monterey, the Sierra foothill communities, as well as Oregon and Nevada.
Recycled Water Coalition Expands Membership to Delta, Central Valley; Plans 20 New Projects
For immediate release: February 21, 2013,
Media Contact: Sue Stephenson, Dublin San Ramon Services District 925-875-2295 (office), 925-570-5739 (mobile), email@example.com
Recycled Water Coalition Expands Membership to Delta, Central Valley; Plans 20 New Projects
The Western Recycled Water Coalition (WRWC), previously known as the Bay Area Recycled Water Coalition, has expanded its membership beyond the Bay Area to include the Delta region and Central Valley and now represents 3.2 million people. Coalition members are planning 20 new recycled water projects that would reduce the pumping of fresh water from the Delta and provide a sustainable, drought-resistant water supply for industrial, agricultural, and municipal uses. When funded and built, the projects would annually produce 82,000 acre-feet of water that does not depend on the limited and variable surface and groundwater sources used for drinking water.
The cities of Brentwood, Ceres, Modesto, Fresno, and Turlock, and the Del Puerto Water District in Patterson recently joined the coalition, which is comprised of cities, public water and wastewater treatment agencies, and an investor-owned water utility. The coalition has grown from seven members in 2008 to 21 today and is in discussions with additional potential members in California’s central coast and Sierra foothill communities, as well as in Oregon and Nevada. Other coalition members include the cities of Hayward, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Pleasanton, Redwood City, San Jose, and Sunnyvale; the Town of Yountville; and the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, Delta Diablo Sanitation District, Dublin San Ramon Services District, Ironhouse Sanitary District, San Jose Water Company, Santa Clara Valley Water District, and Zone 7 Water Agency.
“California’s water supply crisis is an issue without boundaries. The more agencies can work together on regional solutions, the more effective we can be,” said Gary Darling, general manager of Delta Diablo Sanitation District, the lead agency for the coalition. “Coalition projects will have a significant impact on water reliability, protecting our Bay and Delta and creating a sustainable water supply for the entire region. Every drop of recycled water we produce reduces the amount of fresh water we have to withdraw from the Delta, our rivers and our groundwater.
With one acre-foot of water equal to 325,851 gallons, the new WRWC projects represent a volume of water equivalent to the annual water needs of up to 245,000 households (or a supply equivalent to the amount of water used by the cities of Fresno and Modesto combined). The projects will use the latest in water resource recovery and recycling technology, treating wastewater to high standards that allow it to be reused for many purposes. WRWC projects will supply clean water for irrigation of parks, school grounds, and government facilities; for cooling processes for power plants, data centers in Silicon Valley, and other manufacturing facilities; for growing crops in the fertile Central Valley and grapes in the Napa Valley; and for environmental restoration.
“Clean water is an increasingly limited resource, and recycled water is the one new supply that we can rely on even in the face of decreased precipitation, dwindling snowpack, and restrictions on Delta withdrawals,” Darling said. “Water is critical for California’s economy, and construction of the WRWC projects will provide necessary water supplies and support more than 10,000 jobs.”
Collectively, coalition members are seeking a federal partnership that allows federal funds to be leveraged with local and state funds to improve the security of water supplies in the western United States for years to come.
From 2009-2012, the Bay Area Recycled Water Coalition secured $38.1 million in federal Title XVI funds, which were combined with $114 million in state and local resources to build eight recycled water projects and prepare feasibility studies for 14 more. The constructed projects now produce over 35,000 acre-feet of recycled water annually for irrigation and industry.
More information is available at www.westernrwc.org
Successful Bay Area Recycled Water Coalition is Expanding Across Mid-Pacific Region and Open to New Member Agencies (Dec 2012 Newsletter)
Program Manager Jane Strommer
Posted: 01/16/2013 11:45 PM
ANTIOCH, CA - Since 2009, the Bay Area Recycled Water Coalition has secured $38 million in Federal Title XVI funding for water reuse projects, resulting in the successful development of over 30,000 acre-feet per year (AFY) of recycled water, with another 30,000 AFY available when the new projects are constructed. Funding included $34.7M for construction of eight authorized projects or programs, and $3.4M for feasibility studies and environmental documents for fourteen new projects.
Originally formed with seven agencies, this independent group has grown in four years to fifteen public agencies and an investor owned water utility. Working together under a Memorandum of Agreement, this growing Coalition is in the process of expanding membership eligibility and changing its name to reflect the Mid-Pacific region being represented. New membership is expected from the Central Valley, and interest has been shown from the central coast to the Sierra foothills.
Benefits of Coalition membership include broad congressional delegation support, a funding approach endorsed by California senators and the House Appropriations Committee, shared costs for a dedicated Washington, D.C. based lobbyist and lead agency support, organized trips to Washington, D.C., promotion of Coalition projects to the media, increased project profile with Reclamation, and monthly meetings to share information and collaborate on our approach to Federal funding.
Public agencies or investor-owned water utilities that are planning water recycling projects and have an interest in pursuing Federal Title XVI funding are invited to join this Coalition. Joining before January 2013 will ensure that your project is included in new federal authorizing legislation in the new congressional session. Please contact Jayne Strommer (JayneS@ddsd.org or 925-756-1910) at Delta Diablo Sanitation District for more information on how to join.
Why Cleaned Wastewater Stays Dirty In Our Minds
Congressman George Miller Press Release
Posted: 08/3/2011 1:15 PM
WASHINGTON, DC – Bay Area water recycling efforts that will create jobs and expand water supplies got a boost this week after the federal Bureau of Reclamation announced more than $2 million in grants for these innovative projects. U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), a leading champion in Congress for water recycling praised the decision, saying the grants will help local economies. “Water recycling is no longer a pipe dream, it is the way of the future in drought plagued states like California,” said Miller. “Water recycling projects create jobs, stretch water supplies, and drive the development of innovative technologies. These federal grants are critical to keeping this important part of our economy moving forward. There are already projects up and running in the Bay Area, that got off the ground through a partnership with the federal government,” Miller added. “Now, providing start-up funding for these new water recycling projects will help provide certainty for water managers and Bay Area communities. These local projects can have a significant impact on our regional water supplies, protecting our Bay-Delta and creating a sustainable water supply. Investing in innovative water recycling projects and clean water infrastructure is one of the smartest investments the federal government can make.” The Bay Area Recycled Water Coalition (BARWC), a partnership of fourteen San Francisco Bay Area water recycling agencies, is proactively pursuing highly leveraged, locally-managed projects that will help ensure the security of water supplies in the Bay-Delta region. To date, projects undertaken by Coalition members have resulted in over 22,000 acre-feet of recycled water being supplied to Bay Area communities and businesses, which is equal to the annual water used by 66,000 single family homes. “Partnering with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reflects the successful collaborative approach we are taking to address future San Francisco Bay Area’s ecosystem health, water supply reliability and water quality” says Gary Darling, spokesperson for the BARWC. “The Title XVI funding received today allows us to begin planning for the next 18,000 AFY of recycled water for the San Francisco Bay Area.” "I am happy to learn that continued investments are bringing numerous water recycling projects in the East Bay closer to reality,” said U.S. Rep. Pete Stark (D- CA) of the announcement. “California needs sustainable solutions to meet our state's water needs. Water recycling is a critical part of our water future." “As our population continues to grow, California needs lasting solutions to our water needs, and water recycling is among our most important investments,” U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) said. “I want to thank the Bureau of Reclamation for making these critical investments in Northern California water recycling feasibility studies. When we stop the needless waste of finite water resources, more water can be kept supporting recreation, fishing, fragile habitats, and Delta and river communities.” This $2 million grant is the first step in getting these particular water recycling projects underway. Water recycling allows local water managers to treat wastewater and use the clean, recycled water for irrigation at places like city parks. Reusing this treated water helps preserve river and groundwater supplies in the Bay Area. In addition, treating and reusing wastewater allows urban water systems to improve the reliability of the local water supply. The following projects were awarded funding. Each dollar awarded by the federal government will be matched by non-federal funding, including from local sources. Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, Concord Recycled Water Project: $97,000 The Central Contra Costa Sanitary District in Martinez will assess the feasibility of providing about 255 acre-feet per year of recycled water to 40 sites for irrigation at local businesses, office parks, and landscape medians within the City of Concord. Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, Refinery Recycled Water Project: $180,000 The Central Contra Costa Sanitary District will assess the feasibility of providing up to 22,500 acre-feet per year of recycled water to the Shell and Tesoro refineries in Martinez for use in cooling towers and as boiler feed water. The study will address new construction, including a new recycled water treatment facility that would include ammonia removal, filtration, and disinfection. Delta Diablo Sanitation District, Recycled Water Master Plan: $71,000 The Delta Diablo Sanitation District in Antioch will assess options for expanding and improving the District's current recycled water system. The feasibility study will examine the operations of the overall system for ways to maximize recycled water production and conveyance, while minimizing operations costs. Dublin San Ramon Services District, Central Dublin Recycled Water Distribution and Retrofit Project: $253,400 The Dublin San Ramon Services District in Dublin will assess the feasibility of extending the current recycled water system to provide about 215 acre-feet of recycled water for landscape irrigation within central Dublin and to plumb retrofits to connect existing irrigation systems to the recycled water distribution system. City of Hayward, Recycled Water Project: $156,500 The City of Hayward will assess the feasibility of a recycled water project that would serve up to 3,760 acre-feet per year of recycled water to over 20 customers, including Calpine Corporation’s Russell City Energy Center. Ironhouse Sanitary District, Recycled Water Project: $133,100 The Ironhouse Sanitary District in Oakley will assess the feasibility of constructing a recycled water distribution system to provide up to 1,365 acre-feet per year of recycled water for existing and future landscape, agricultural, commercial, and industrial uses in and around the City of Oakley. The project could include about 15 miles of distribution and transmission pipeline, a distribution pump station, storage, and the retrofit of user connections. City of Mountain View, Recycled Water System Expansion: $100,000 The City of Mountain View will assess the feasibility of expanding the current recycled water distribution system to new customers within the city and surrounding communities; and to connect with the City of Sunnyvale’s recycled water distribution system to maximize water reuse while minimizing construction costs. City of Palo Alto, Recycled Water Pipeline Project: $268,800 The City of Palo Alto will assess the feasibility of expanding the current recycled water distribution system to deliver recycled water to additional customers within the City of Palo Alto. The proposed project would include a transmission pipeline, a booster pump station, laterals, and site retrofits. City of Pleasanton, Recycled Water: $177,750 The City of Pleasanton will assess the feasibility of a new recycled water system to serve recycled water to customers within the City of Pleasanton and surrounding communities. The recycled water would mostly be used for landscape irrigation. But other uses such as reverse osmosis groundwater recharge, agricultural irrigation, and industrial applications will be analyzed. Redwood City, Central Redwood City Recycled Water Project: $94,700 Redwood City will assess the feasibility of expanding the current recycled water distribution system to provide about 507 acre-feet per year of recycled water to over 20 customers for commercial, residential, and municipal irrigation. The project could include about 9.5 miles of distribution pipeline and would enable Redwood City to become a regional recycled water supplier to neighboring communities. City of San Jose, Improvements and Expansions for South Bay Water Recycling Facilities: $268,000 The City of San Jose will assess the ability of the existing recycled water distribution system to meet current and future recycled water demands and recommend capital improvements to enhance system reliability, maintain water quality, and increase recycled water use. The study will also evaluate regional opportunities and recommend agreements and partnerships necessary to promote the regional coordination of recycled water use in northern Santa Clara County. San Jose Water Company, San Jose Water Company Recycled Water Master Plan, $249,950 The San Jose Water Company in San Jose will assess the feasibility of expanding the current recycled water distribution system to serve recycled water to additional customers for landscape irrigation and industrial and cooling uses. Town of Yountville, Recycled Water Feasibility: $80,700 The Town of Yountville will assess the feasibility of expanding the current recycled water distribution system to serve recycled water to urban and agricultural uses. The project could include additional distribution pipeline, seasonal storage ponds, and pumping and control facilities. The study will also assess the feasibility of decreasing discharges to the Napa River, which flows through the Napa-Sonoma Marsh and Mare Island Strait to San Pablo Bay and San Francisco Bay.