City of Santa Barbara Awarded $10 Million Desalination Grant
First skid unit for MPD-A (modular process design) lifted into position
Source: City of Santa Barbara
In March 2018, the City of Santa Barbara was awarded a $10 million grant by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to offset the $72 million cost of reactivating the Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant.
The Desalination Plant has been a permanent part of the City’s water supply portfolio since 1994 and in its reactivated state has been supplying water to City water customers since May 2017. The Plant serves a critical role in providing a high quality, local, drought-proof supply that is available for health and safety needs despite rainfall conditions. During reactivation, state-of- the-art technology and design practices were incorporated to minimize electrical demand and environmental impacts. The Plant currently produces three million gallons of drinking water per day. This is equivalent to 3,125 acre-feet of water annually or about 30 percent of the City’s demand.
“This grant provides a direct financial benefit to our customers,” said City Water Resources Manager Joshua Haggmark. “Now in the 7th year of drought the cost of providing water service has risen dramatically to ensure sufficient water is available to meet the needs of the community. This grant will go a long way in helping to minimize the need for a large rate increase in the near future while providing much needed funding for water infrastructure.”
DWR’s Water Desalination Grant Program is funded by Proposition 1 which was passed by California voters as part of the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. Proposition 1 provided $7.5 billion in funding to improve California’s water reliability through increased water supplies, protection and restoration of watersheds, water quality improvement, and increased flood protection. $100 million in grants were set aside for brackish or seawater desalination projects.
The City would like to acknowledge and thank Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson for her support of Proposition 1 and her tireless efforts in supporting Santa Barbara’s work toward drought resiliency and desalination. Senator Jackson was instrumental in making it possible for the City to compete for these garnt funds given the accelerated scheduled for reactivation of the Desalination Plant. “As we work to address our region’s ongoing drought, it is critical that we invest in maintaining a reliable and safe water supply. I am proud that I was able to assist the City of Santa Barbara with securing this grant, as it helps ensure the City has a diverse and drought-resilient water system,” said Senator Jackson.
For more information on the Desalination Plant, visit the City’s website at www.SantaBarbaraCA.gov/Desal or call the Water Resources Division at (805) 564-5378.