Monday, October 19, 2009

Long Beach to Receive $1.3 Million in Federal Funding for Seawater Desalination and Recycled Water Projects

WASHINGTON DC – Yesterday, the United States Senate voted to approve the $33.5 Billion FY 10 Energy & Water Appropriations Conference Report, which funds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Interior, including the Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Energy and several independent Agencies. Included in the bill is $670,000 for the Long Beach Seawater Desalination Project and $634,000 for the Long Beach Reclaimed Water Expansion Project. The United States House of Representatives voted to pass the FY 10 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill two weeks ago. The bill will now go to President Obama for a final signature before it becomes Public Law.

“On behalf of my fellow commissioners, I want to say thank you to all of our federal representatives who continue to provide great leadership and support for these critical water supply projects” said Paul Blanco, President of the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners. “Their dedicated commitment to improving the reliability of our region’s water supply is what makes these projects possible,” added Blanco.

Earlier this year, more than $3 million in stimulus funds were awarded to the Long Beach Seawater Desalination Project. Once the President signs and approves the FY 10 Energy & Water Appropriations bill, Long Beach will have received a total of $4.3 million in federal funds this year for its two Title XVI water supply projects.

“With these funds, we will now be able to complete the third and final phase of our Seawater Desalination Research and Development Project,” said Kevin Wattier, General Manager of the Long Beach Water Department. “We will also be able to continue to expand the city’s use of recycled water, which reduces our consumption of potable water, and makes Long Beach less dependent on outside sources of water, which everyone knows are becoming more and more unreliable,” added Wattier. “Add in our tremendous conservation effort and Long Beach is well on its way to becoming self-reliant when it comes to its water supply.”

With the addition of the FY 10 appropriations, the Long Beach Seawater Desalination and Recycled Water projects have now received approximately $11.4 million and $12.4 million, respectively, in federal funding through annual appropriations dating back to the year 2000. The federal funds for these projects have been supplemented by both state and local funding sources as well.

The Long Beach Water Department is an urban southern California water supply agency and the standard in water conservation and environmental stewardship.

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