Major California water recycling program gets $99M boost

By Jennifer Yachnin | 05/29/2024 01:35 PM EDT

The project for the Los Angeles area could end up costing up to $8 billion.

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton.

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton on Capitol Hill. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The Biden administration on Tuesday announced it would invest $99 million in taxpayer funds to support the creation of the world’s largest water recycling center, a project aimed in part at easing California’s reliance on the drought-stricken Colorado River.

Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton announced the funds at an event at the Grace F. Napolitano Pure Water Southern California Innovation Center in Carson, California, along with congressional lawmakers, local officials and major water management agency officials.

“Investments in water recycling and reuse are key to stretching limited water supplies, making systems more resilient to the effects of aridification in the American West,” Touton said Tuesday. “Water recycling plays a critical role in improving sustainable water supplies.”


The Metropolitan Water District (MWD) projects its recycling program, Pure Water Southern California, could produce up to 150 million gallons of water daily — recycling wastewater that currently flows into the ocean — and provide water for up to 1.5 million people annually once completed.