Final approval for $3.5 million in funding for studies and pilot projects aimed at ensuring the future of Southern California’s water supply was given last week. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s board of directors approved the funding of 15 projects across 11 Metropolitan member agencies.
When combined with matching funds from the member agencies, and other local, state and federal resources, an additional $8 million will be infused into the projects. Selected projects include improving seawater desalination technology, using stormwater and recycled water to increase the development of local water supplies, analyzing a reverse osmosis process in brackish groundwater treatment, and piloting artificial intelligence technology in the control systems of a water treatment plant.
In August, Metropolitan invited member agencies to submit proposals requesting up to $500,000 of funding. A panel composed of Metropolitan staff and independent experts evaluated the proposals based on how projects could help increase the potential for the development of local water supplies and provide regional benefits, in addition to the effectiveness of proposed work plans, schedules and costs.
California faces an uncertain water future. By investing in studies by member agencies, Southern California will benefit from increased knowledge and data available throughout the region, “helping us all make more informed decisions about the potential for new water resource programs,” says Metropolitan general manager Jeffrey Kightlinger.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provide water for nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage, and other resource-management programs.