Rep. Susan Davis Announces $3.7 Million to Expand Sweetwater Drinking Water Facility
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) announced $3.7 million in federal funding for the Sweetwater Authority to expand a desalination facility. The grant from the Department of the Interior will go toward increasing the desalination capabilities of the Richard A. Reynolds Desalination Facility. In March, Davis led a San Diego Congressional Delegation letter in pushing for the funding.
“This funding will provide some much needed relief from the drought conditions we have been experiencing in California,” said Davis. “Increasing sources of reliable drinking water and our region’s water independence must be a priority. California is in the grips of a historic drought and improving our water infrastructure will be key to surviving this drought and any future water shortages. Congress needs to enact comprehensive legislation to provide immediate relief and long-term improvements to our state water infrastructure.”
The water produced by the facility provides drinking water to residents of Bonita, Chula Vista and National City. The City of San Diego is partnering with the Sweetwater Authority in the expansion and will receive half of the water produced.
In 2015, Davis worked with local leaders to bring over $5 million federal grant money for Sweetwater’s expansion effort. This year’s funding will allow the Authority to continue the project, which will increase the desalination capabilities facility from 3,600 acre-feet per year (AFY) of water to 8,000 AFY.
In response to the worst drought in California’s history, Davis is an original cosponsor of a comprehensive water bill in the House to upgrade California’s water infrastructure. Using the Reclamation Fund, which is flush with a $10 billion surplus, the Drought Relief and Resilience Act would fund wastewater-recycling projects, provide a $2,000 tax credit to homeowners for the purchase and installation of water-capturing systems, increase water use efficiency, and provide relief to farming communities.