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Pure Water Monterey Recognized by U.S. Department of Interior with $15,498,985 Federal Grant

Pure Water Monterey Recognized by U.S. Department of Interior with $15,498,985 Federal Grant

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Monterey, Calif., Jan. 4, 2021: Pure Water Monterey is a critical water supply project supporting communities along the Monterey Peninsula. The project’s collaborative and innovative approach to strengthening the area’s water supply has been nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation (BOR). Through BOR’s WaterSMART Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, the Pure Water Monterey Project has been awarded a $15,498,985 grant.

The BOR WaterSMART initiative promises investments into technologies, such as Pure Water Monterey, that enable broader scale use of recycled water to supplement supplies. With limited water resources in the western United States, funding was prioritized for projects that develop and supplement urban and irrigation water supplies through water reuse, thereby improving efficiency, providing flexibility during drought or water shortages, and diversifying the water supply. A competitive review process was used to rank projects, and of the 19 applicants, Pure Water Monterey and six additional projects were awarded a total of $40,000,000. The benefits of the Pure Water Project earned it 39% of this allocation, the largest grant amongst Title XVI projects.

Monterey One Water (M1W), the operator of Pure Water Monterey, has actively sought grant opportunities to help fund this community project. With this appropriation, Pure Water Monterey has now received $39,348,154 in grant funding, representing approximately 28% of design and construction costs. Ron Stefani, M1W Board Chair, said, “The Pure Water Monterey Project highlights the regional benefits of working together to solve complex issues. The project benefits both the urban and agriculture sectors by effectively re-using the water resources in our area.”  Stefani went on to add, “Obtaining grant funding is challenging but an important effort that directly benefits our community. We are grateful for the Bureau of Reclamation’s support of our innovative and multi-beneficial project.”

Using advanced technology and a proven, multi-stage treatment process, Pure Water Monterey turns wastewater into a safe, reliable, and sustainable water supply that complies with or exceeds strict state and federal drinking water standards. Verified through a constant and rigorous sampling and monitoring program, the purified water is released back into the environment through replenishment of the Seaside Groundwater Basin – a key drinking water source for the Monterey Peninsula. This regional project also provides secondary community benefits including the collection of new wastewaters that can be recycled for agricultural irrigation, the removal of polluted waterways from the environment, and improvements to local river habitats.

The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD), a central partner in implementing Pure Water Monterey, provided additional financial resources to keep the project moving forward. In response to this federal recognition, MPWMD Chair, Alvin Edwards, stated “The District appreciates the hard work of staff at both agencies to build relationships with federal staff and for telling the Pure Water Monterey story in a compelling way. We sincerely thank the Bureau of Reclamation for their commitment and support for helping our community develop a key water supply project.”

As part of the application package, Monterey One Water gathered 26 letters of support for the Pure Water Monterey Project. These letters were from a variety of local organizations, agencies, and elected officials, including Congressman Jimmy Panetta. In response to hearing about the award, Congressman Panetta stated, “Understanding the importance of the Pure Water Monterey Groundwater Replenishment Project for the water needs of the Monterey Peninsula, I was pleased to provide my support early on for potential Title XVI funding. I now am glad and grateful that the Department of Interior recently recommended a $15,498,985 grant for the project. Such a significant amount of federal funds will not only help further the development of the project; it also will further our goal for sustainable water sources for our home."

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