Federal funds help desalting plant increase local water output

OCEANSIDE — The Mission Basin Desalting Facility will soon supply residents with an additional 1,600 acre-feet of local water per year thanks to $1.38 million in grant funds that will go towards a facility pump. The pump will allow the facility to operate at full capacity year-round and increase water output by about 25 percent.
“This is a big win for the Oceanside ratepayers,” said Water Utilities Director Cari Dale. “These federal dollars will help offset overall project costs and stretch our capital improvement dollars.”
The total cost of the pump project is $5.4 million. It’s one of eight California water projects to win a grant from the Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program. The competitive grant is limited to Title XVI projects that have previously received awards. The limited application pool gave Oceanside a leg up in receiving grant funds, Dale said.
Oceanside currently supplies 4,400 acre-feet of local water to residents per year. This is 15 percent of the total water supply. Other desalination projects are being developed, in addition to the Mission Basin Desalting Facility.
“Right now, they are a very cost effective source of water as rates go up,” Dale said. “The local water supply is something we can control and keep the costs low.”

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