IEUA will receive $7.2 million grant to help fund significant water project

June 16, 2016
In The News

Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor announced recently that the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) will be receiving a $7.2 million grant from the Bureau of Reclamation's WaterSMART Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse program, which is the U.S. Department of the Interior's sustainable water initiative.

Seven California projects received a total of $30 million to provide clean water to communities across California.

IEUA will use the grant to help fund the Chino Desalter Phase 3 Expansion of the Lower Chino Dairy Area Desalination and Reclamation Project.

The project will improve both the quality of the groundwater and surface water in the Chino Basin by removing salts, nitrates and other volatile organic compounds. As a result, this will significantly reduce the flow of degraded water into the Santa Ana River, thereby protecting downstream water supplies and ecosystems.

The expansion is expected to create 10,600 acre feet per year of additional drinkable water -- one acre foot serves the annual needs of two California families with four family members -- which will no longer need to be imported into the area from the State Water Project.

All five members of IEUA's congressional delegation, along with Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, continue to strongly support IEUA's efforts to receive the Title XVI funds. In a letter to the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the delegation urged support, stating, "While there is no one project or program that will provide a solution to the drought ... there is capacity to conserve water as well as create additional water supply in the middle of a drought."

"The $7.2 million grant is the largest received by any other agency during this round of funding. We are proud of our track record of being good stewards of public dollars, and look forward to continuing our work with the Bureau of Reclamation," said IEUA Board President Terry Catlin.

The Inland Empire Utilities Agency covers 242 square miles, distributes imported water, provides industrial/municipal wastewater collection and treatment services, and other related utility services to more than 850,000 people through its member agencies which include Fontana, Fontana Water Company, Chino, Chino Hills, Cucamonga Valley Water District, Montclair, Monte Vista Water District, Ontario, and Upland.

"I'm glad to see federal funds come back to our region to support important projects operated by the Inland Empire Utilities Agency. The Inland Empire Utilities Agency's work to combat California's historic drought and their commitment to ensuring clean water, energy efficiency and environmental consciousness makes their services invaluable to our community," said Rep. Pete Aguilar (CA-31).

"Our latest drought wasn't our first, and it won't be our last. I am thrilled to see IEUA receive this funding, because projects like this help address our current water shortage and ensure a clean, environmentally sustainable water source for our region for generations to come," said Rep. Norma Torres (CA-35).

"I'm pleased that the Bureau of Reclamation has chosen to invest in the Lower Chino Dairy Area Desalination and Reclamation Project. As California continues to struggle with the ongoing drought, it's critical that we cultivate all available water sources for our families and farms. I'll continue to work with my colleagues from both parties to find constructive solutions to Southern California's water shortages," said Rep. Ed Royce (CA-39).