At an event near Marina, California, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox joined City of Monterey Mayor Tyller Williamson and other local officials to announce a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to Monterey One Water. This $76 million loan will expand existing water reuse capacity from 5 million gallons per day to 7.6 million gallons per day while ensuring residents and businesses in the surrounding areas have a climate resilient water supply.
Since its creation, EPA’s WIFIA program has announced $19 billion in financing to support 113 projects that are strengthening drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure and creating tens of thousands of jobs.
“Congratulations to Monterey One Water for securing this $76 million WIFIA loan to expand water reuse. This project will provide vital drinking water and strengthen nearby water resources — including the Carmel River and the Seaside Groundwater Basin — while creating family-supporting jobs,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “With EPA’s WIFIA loan, additional funding from President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and investments by the State of California, this project exemplifies how federal, state, and local partnership can benefit communities.”
EPA’s WIFIA loan will save Monterey One Water approximately $15 million while construction and operation are estimated to create 650 jobs. Additionally, Monterey One Water and Monterey Peninsula Water Management District have secured a combined $42 million in state and federal grants, including over $10 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which they estimate represents all construction-related costs for this project.
“Following years of historic drought, it is imperative that treatment plants like Monterey One Water have the resources they need to provide clean water and protect the public health of thousands of California residents and businesses,” said Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif). “I applaud today’s significant EPA loan to Monterey One Water, which will allow the plant to safely reuse and reintroduce 50 percent more water in order to bolster the region’s climate resilient water supply.”
“Congratulations to Monterey One Water for the impressive accomplishment of providing half of its drinking water supply from recycled water to benefit the community and to help restore steelhead in the Carmel River,” said Senator Laphonza Butler (D-Calif). “I also appreciate EPA’s approval of a low-interest loan which makes funding this project possible.”
“Our water sources across our 19th Congressional District are very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and droughts,” said Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-19). “Through this sizable federal loan to Monterey One Water, we are ensuring that the federal government plays its part by investing in our local infrastructure to bolster our water supply and enhance our sustainability efforts. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided historic investments in our nation’s water resiliency, and I will continue to fight for the funding that our community deserves to ensure a diversity of sustainable water sources.”
“Monterey One Water is proud to be the first potable reuse producer in northern California and to be optimizing local resources to create sustainable and cooperative water solutions,” said Paul Sciuto, General Manager of Monterey One Water. “Purified recycled water will represent more than 50% of a local water supply and will help create a more climate resilient community.”
“We are immensely grateful for the federal government’s support for California’s water resilience through the WIFIA program and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help fund innovative projects that strengthen our water supplies, like Monterey One Water’s expansion of its water recycling program,” said E. Joaquin Esquivel, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board. “The board is complementing the WIFIA loan with a $15 million water recycling infrastructure grant for this project, illustrating how our combined efforts are keeping up the momentum we’ve built in the state to achieve our statewide recycling goals by 2030.”1
With this funding, Monterey One Water will increase production capacity at its Advanced Water Purification Facility and groundwater injection well site with additional treatment technology and infrastructure. Together, these upgrades will ensure a drought-proof supply of potable water and help protect the local aquifer from saltwater intrusion.