The City of Oceanside was notified this week that it will receive $2.623 Million in funding from the Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART’s Desalination Construction Projects under the WIIN Act, subject to Federal appropriations. The funding will be used to construct two extraction wells within the Mission Basin as well as brine minimization treatment components. The project will increase the supply of locally-sourced water as well as reduce the volume of brine discharged to the Pacific Ocean via the Oceanside Ocean Outfall. By implementing both project components, well expansion and brine minimization, the supply of locally-sourced potable water supply will increase by an estimated 881 acre-feet per year at a lower cost than alternatives such as purchasing imported water or desalinating seawater. “This is a great opportunity for the City of Oceanside,” said Mayor Peter Weiss, “We want to thank Congressman Levin for all of his support. It is another step towards Oceanside’s water independence.”
To be eligible for funding, work must be completed by September 2021 and be an ocean or brackish water desalination project. The project will be included in the City’s proposed FY 19/20 Capital Improvement Budget, which will be considered by the Oceanside City Council in June. The City’s cost-share requirement is $7.8 Million, which is 75% of the project cost of $10.4 Million.
Reclamation selected four projects from applicants responding to a May 2018 funding opportunity announcement. Eligible applications were evaluated against selection criteria focused on water availability during periods of drought, water supply reliability, cost effectiveness and meeting other program goals and performance measures. The Bureau of Reclamation will work with each successful applicant to develop a financial assistance agreement for each project and funding will be provided once each agreement has been executed.
The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN) was enacted in December of 2016 to address water resources infrastructure that is critical to the Nation’s economic growth, heath and competitiveness. The Oceanside project builds upon several earlier partnerships between the Bureau of Reclamation and the City. In 2012, the Bureau provided $3.35 Million to fund a portion of the cost of the Mission Basin Groundwater Purification Facility and in 2016, the Bureau provided $35,905 in grant funding to operate a pilot plant to test technologies to recover brine for potable use.
The City Council has set an ongoing goal to develop 50% of the City’s water supplies locally by 2030. The citywide plan to achieve the supply goal includes an Indirect Potable Recharge Project in the Mission Basin as well as recycled water pipelines supplying the El Camino Real corridor and the agricultural area of Morro Hills.
“We are absolutely thrilled to partner once again with the Bureau of Reclamation,” said Cari Dale, Water Utilities Director. “We have a long-standing relationship with the Bureau and their support in helping Oceanside achieve water supply reliability is a win-win for everyone.”