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EMWD receives $4.5 million funding authorization for desalination program

  • EMWD receives $4.5 million funding authorization for desalination program

About the entity

Eastern Municipal Water District
Eastern Municipal Water District is the water, wastewater and recycled water service provider to nearly one million people living and working within a 558-square mile service area in western Riverside County.

Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) this month was awarded nearly $4.5 million by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to further expand EMWD’s groundwater desalination infrastructure.

EMWD has long been one of the most successful agencies in the nation at working with state and federal funding partners to secure external funding opportunities, helping to reduce the cost of infrastructure construction that would otherwise be paid for by customers.

The latest funding provides $4,496,000 for the completion of a study for future well sites and brine pipeline access improvements. EMWD and the USACE in Los Angeles, South Pacific Division and Headquarters enjoy a productive relationship that serves the nearly one million residents in EMWD’s service area. The $4.5 million award was made possible through additional funding the USACE received in its civil works program through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which is commonly referred to as the bipartisan infrastructure package.

EMWD is completing work on its Perris II Desalter, which is anticipated to start producing water this year and will greatly expand the use of groundwater in its local communities. The groundwater in this area is salty and must be treated through reverse osmosis desalination before being utilized in the drinking water system.

EMWD’s desalination program includes desalters, groundwater wells, pipelines, and connections to the Inland Empire Brine Line, which removes tens of thousands of tons of salt from the region each year and ultimately discharges it into the ocean. EMWD has received more than $124 million in external funding commitments from federal, state and local agencies to support its extensive desalination program.

“EMWD would like to thank the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which has been a tremendous funding and technical partner in our successful desalination program,” EMWD Board President Phil Paule said. “I would like to also express EMWD’s sincere gratitude to our entire Congressional Delegation for their outstanding support of our desalination efforts.

“The success we achieved through this funding announcement – as well as past awards – would not have been possible without their enthusiastic endorsement of this important initiative. Because of this continued support, our customers have a more reliable and cost-effective local water supply source.”

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