Huffman Announces Funding for Local Projects to Develop Drought-Resilient Water Supply

Part of a $28.97 million nationwide investment to assist with planning and feasibility study development for 31 water recycling and desalination projects

September 28, 2023

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Jared Huffman (CA-02) announced that two projects in his district have been selected by the Bureau of Reclamation to receive $827,366 in appropriated funding to support potential new water reuse and desalination projects to help create new sources of water supply less vulnerable to drought and climate change. The recipients will use the funding to prepare feasibility studies and undertake other planning efforts like preliminary project design and environmental compliance activities. Congressman Huffman championed provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that made this funding possible.

“For years, the federal government has been deafeningly silent as water wars wage on in the West. That’s why I made it a priority to push for this funding as we shaped Democrats’ landmark infrastructure law last Congress,” said Rep. Huffman. “California has been leading with a lot of innovative water recycling and re-use technologies, but we’ve needed resources to get promising projects off the ground. Cloverdale and Windsor have two of those great initiatives, and I’m pleased that we could secure this funding for them – the future of everyone’s water interests depends on solutions like these.”

“These projects currently under development will supplement existing freshwater supplies in urban and agricultural areas in the Western United States,” said Deputy Commissioner David Palumbo. “The funding announced today will provide needed assistance to communities and entities as they undertake the development of feasibility studies and other planning necessary to facilitate project development.”

“The funding support allows the Town of Windsor to take a significant step toward recycling 100% of our treated wastewater and supports the region by preserving valuable water supplies from the Russian River,” said Windsor Councilmember Debora Fudge.

Details on the projects for which Rep. Huffman secured funding:

  • City of Cloverdale, Recycled Water Planning Program Reclamation: $577,500
    • The City of Cloverdale (City), located in northern California, will assess the feasibility of utilizing recycled water from its wastewater treatment facility to supply an estimated 260 acre-feet of recycled water annually. Based on current and projected water use, approximately 30 percent of the City’s water demands could be met with recycled water, which would significantly reduce strain on existing surface water supplies. Advancing the use of recycled water will improve drought resiliency by allowing the City to offset a portion of its potable water use. Planning activities will include a feasibility study, a basis of design and pre-design report, and public outreach to foster support of using recycled water as a sustainable option to enhance water supply reliability and combat the escalating impacts of drought. The study will focus on potential agricultural sites and existing large, landscaped areas that can be converted to recycled water for irrigation. Additional potential recycled water uses, such as cooling tower use and other industrial uses, will also be investigated.
  • Town of Windsor, Reclaimed Water Expanded Use Feasibility Study Reclamation: $249,866
    • The Town of Windsor (Town), located in northern California, will develop a feasibility study that meets Title XVI program requirements to support the expansion of reclaimed water use. The expansion will include infrastructure to produce tertiary-treated recycled water for beneficial reuse, increasing the Town’s capacity to generate and store recycled water. It is estimated that the increased capacity will make approximately 1,000 additional acre-feet of recycled water available each year. The Town depends almost entirely on water supplies from the Russian River. Increasing available recycled water will offset the need to divert an equivalent amount of surface water from the Russian River that is rain-fed and extremely vulnerable to abnormally dry conditions and drought.

Congressman Huffman has championed water and drought resiliency solutions throughout his time in congress and as the Democratic leader of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries. On top of his comprehensive FUTURE Drought Act, which was included in-part in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, he has led legislation to improve water use data collection, invest in large-scale water recycling, and drive floating solar panel development, More information of Rep. Huffman’s work can be found here.

Today's announcement complements the many historic investments the Biden-Harris administration is implementing as through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which represents the largest investment in climate resilience in the nation’s history and is providing much-needed resources to enhance Western communities’ resilience to drought and climate change. To date, the Bureau of Reclamation has invested $310 million from the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act for projects that advance water recycling and reuse.

To learn more about the selected projects or get more information on these funding categories, please visit Reclamation's WaterSMART program webpage.