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By Eric Heinz

On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California approved funding intended to offset the cost of a project for the Santa Margarita Water District. The funding comes from the district’s Local Resources Program.

The project approved for funding Tuesday will receive up to $475 per acre-foot of recycled water produced, which can help bring the costs of new water projects in line with the cost of water from the State Water Project and Colorado River Aqueduct.

The SMWD project that received funding was the Advanced Water Purification project, which “fills Lake Mission Viejo with highly treated recycled water instead of drinking water,” the press release stated. “SMWD built a new plant to treat the water for the lake after residents approved the project. The project is expected to save 300 acre-feet of water annually, or enough to serve 750 families.”

Other South County projects that could receive funding, if the funding is approved, are the South Coast Water District desalination plant and the SMWD/San Juan Basin project. In the near future, the SMWD is planning to install inflatable dams in San Juan Creek during the first phase, stated Jonathan Volzke, the Municipal Water District of Orange County public information officer.
“The dams would keep water in the creek longer, allowing it to percolate into the groundwater basin, where it can be pumped out and used for drinking water,” Volzke stated.

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