Recycled Water Project for Water Stability: Collaborative Funding, Part 3

Anthea Hansen on Collaborative Funding

By Brian German, Associate Editor

Part 3 of our ongoing coverage of the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program with Anthea Hansen, general manager of the Del Puerto Water District, described how the district was able to secure funding for a project of this magnitude.

“In our partnership with the cities of Modesto and Turlock and what I’ll call ancillary partners in Stanislaus County and the City of Ceres, we have leaned heavily on our partners for advanced funding,” Hansen said. Turlock and Modesto will be providing the Del Puerto Water District with treated, recycled water transported by direct pipeline to the Delta-Mendota canal for temporary storage. From there, the water will be distributed to agricultural customers within the Del Puerto service area.

Acknowledging the shared financial burden of getting the project off the ground, Hansen shared, “We have very solid agreements in place and the cities have assisted the district by fronting a great portion of the effort thus far—on the condition that once the project comes to fruition, they will recoup all of their input costs, plus a guaranteed revenue stream on the water supply over the life of the partnership. So it’s worked very well,” she said.

NVRRWP map recycled water
NVRRWP map (Source: www.nvr-recycledwater.org/description.asp)

Hansen also noted her appreciation for the collaboration among the people in her area and for their understanding that comprise is a much more effective way to achieve water goals, particularly given that many sectors of the community are competing for limited water supplies. “Del Puerto ratepayers have certified they are willing to pay the entire cost of the project,” Hansen said, “including all costs incurred thus far. So, agriculture will fund the delivery system and the water supply,” adding again that upfront funding by cities at the beginning of the project aided the situation.

Forging strong community partnerships to achieve a more stability water supply is key, according to Hansen, “because we haven’t been in a position to put up the risk capital and the money in advance of water deliveries, so it’s been a truly remarkable public-private partnership that we’ve developed,” she said.

 

Recycled Water Project for Water Stability, Part 1

North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program: A New Water Source for Valley Farmers

Part One of a Five-Part Series

By Brian German, Associate Editor

Anthea Hansen, general manager of the Patterson, Calif.-based Del Puerto Water District, described the exciting work to bring more water stability in the form of recycled water to multiple Central Valley cities—in our five-part series on the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program (NVRRWP)

“After six and a half years of effort,” Hansen said, “we have fully completed all of our environmental documentation, and most of the permitting is in hand.” Recently, the partners have interviewed and selected the preferred firm to construct the Modesto component of the project, so that process is underway.”

cropped-cropped-SLDMWA200x200Logo101714NVRRWP is a collaborative partnership that includes the cities of Modesto, Turlock and Ceres along with the Del Puerto Water District and Stanislaus County to solve the region’s water supply and reliability problemsThe program will provide a new source of water for agricultural customers in the Del Puerto Water District (DPWD), whose supplies have been severely impacted by drought and by environmental restrictions on pumping water from the Delta. Hansen noted the collaboration was the largest obstacle they were able to overcome.

“One of the biggest things that happened recently, a day we were all looking forward to,” noted Hansen, “is when the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) executed the record of decision for our project, a document that supports not only the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation but also the signing of a long-term contract. It will allow us to convey and store the recycled water in federal facilities,” she said, “and it will also support the sharing of a portion of the water with the wildlife refugees south of the Delta. That was a big milestone for our project.”

The cities of Turlock and Modesto will provide treated, recycled water to the Del Puerto Water District through a direct pipeline into the Delta-Mendota Canal. The district will then distribute that water to the agricultural customers within its service area.

After so many years already invested in the project, Hansen is excited the plan is coming together. “We worked lockstep with Reclamation for over three years,” Hansen said, “and we did some very extensive and thorough analysis. We had a great team and a good working relationship, and it looks like we are nearing the end of assembling all of the different pieces of this very complicated puzzle.”

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Resources:

Del Puerto Water District

North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program Map

Recycled Water Uses Allowed in California 

The Citizen’s Guide to the National Environmental Policy Act

San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority Member Agencies Map

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See also, “Recycled Wastewater Could Help Growers in Del Puerto Water District, June 9, 2015.