The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing a $614m loan under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) to the City of San Diego, California, to support Pure Water, a water purification project.
EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said: “This WIFIA loan will help San Diego construct a state-of-the-art water purification facility that will produce 30 million gallons of clean drinking water each day.
“Through WIFIA, EPA is playing a leading role in President Trump’s efforts to upgrade our nation’s water infrastructure, create well-paying jobs, and ensure all Americans have access to clean drinking water.”
This loan from EPA to San Diego City will help in the construction of a new facility to produce 30 million of gallons of quality drinking water per day. This additional drinking water supply is expected to save the city money in the form of reduced imported water costs, can benefit the environment through reduced discharges into the ocean and will provide reliable and sustainable water supply for generations to come.
It is estimated that the total cost of the project is $1.4bn. EPA’s WIFIA loan will help in financing nearly half that amount. The city expects to save nearly $184m, in the form of low interest rates, compared to issuing a typical bond.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said: “This federal funding is validation that our Pure Water Program is cutting edge technology and a worthy investment for San Diego’s future water independence.
“This is going to be one of the most significant infrastructure projects in San Diego history and will deliver clean, reliable water to our residents for decades to come.”
In August, the agency provided a loan of $135m for a new groundwater replenishment project expansion in Orange County, California.
The loan will support the project which will purify treated wastewater from the Orange County Sanitation District to produce an additional 30 million gallons per day of drinking water, which will be stored in the Orange County Groundwater Basin.
This additional reserve of drought-proof drinking water can reduce the region’s need to import water, while increasing the replenishment of the local groundwater source.