Press Releases

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) have reintroduced a bill to increase the supply of non-drinking water for California’s Bay Area. Similar legislation was introduced by Senators Feinstein and Boxer in the 110th Congress.

Specifically, the bill would help six Bay Area communities increase their municipal water supplies through innovative and much-needed water recycling projects. It would make six additional Bay Area recycled water projects eligible for a 25 percent federal cost-share, and increase the authorization levels for two more, totaling $38,075,000.

The activities authorized by the new legislation include installing new piping, storage tanks, and pump stations to convey the recycled water to a number of cities across the Bay Area.   These projects collectively will save 2.6 billion gallons per year of regional water supply by providing a new water supply of clean treated wastewater for irrigation and industrial use.  It will free up the amount needed to supply 24,225 households in the growing Bay Area region.  And to the regional agencies, over 3,500 local green jobs will be supported by this legislation.

“California is facing phenomenal water supply challenges that are affecting our economy, our communities and our environment. Our water infrastructure is woefully out of date. Drought, population growth, climate variability, ecosystem needs and a broken Delta are making it even more difficult to manage our water system and deliver reliable supplies,” Senator Feinstein said. “Increasing the capability for, and use of, recycled water will help address California’s cycles of drought and reduce dependence on water from the troubled Bay-Delta ecosystem. The adoption of water recycling technology is an invaluable conservation method which will result in 8,000 acre-feet of new and reliable water – and reduce demand on fresh water from the Delta.”

“Providing a clean, safe and sufficient water supply is a tremendous challenge in California – one that affects our cities, our agricultural economy and our natural resources,” Senator Boxer said. “California is currently in the grip of an unprecedented drought, and our state’s water supply will continue to be impacted by climate change.  Recycled water represents a tremendous opportunity to improve the reliability and quality of water supplies for communities across California.”

The following projects are included in the bill:

  • Central Dublin Recycled Water Distribution and Retrofit Project 
  • Petaluma Recycled Water Project 
  • Central Redwood City Recycled Water Project 
  • Palo Alto Recycled Water Pipeline Project 
  • Ironhouse Sanitary District-Antioch Recycled Water Project 
  • Central Contra Costa Sanitary District-Concord Recycled Water Project 
  • Antioch Recycled Water Project (project adjustment)
  • South Bay Advanced Recycled Water Treatment Facility  (project adjustment)

Companion legislation was introduced in the House on May 14, 2009, by Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Mike Honda (D-Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.),  Jerry McNerney(D-Calif.), George Miller (D-Calif.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Pete Stark (D-Calif.), Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.). 

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