By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley) — Three projects in the Mojave Desert region are the recipients of grants totaling $10.1 million from the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) Proposition 84 Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Fund program. They include a region-wide conservation program, the Hesperia Reclaimed Water Distribution System, and the Hi-Desert Capital Water Main Replacement Program in Yucca Valley, announced the Water Mojave Water Agency (MWA) today.
The IRWM grant funds are part of legislation that Governor Brown signed last March to assist drought-affected communities and provide funding to better use local water supplies. Statewide $221 million was awarded to various projects. The three local projects in the region that received funding were selected by involved citizens and stakeholders from a multitude of potential projects that are included in the region’s 2014 updated Integrated Regional Water Management plan.
Beverly Lowry, MWA Board President said, “This is excellent news. The two capital projects are integral to the region’s long-term water supply that includes the use of reclaimed water, and the new conservation funding will ensure we continue to save every drop of water we can.”
The City of Hesperia Recycled Water Pipeline project is a 10-mile pipeline that will begin at the new Victor Valley Wastewater Regional Authority’s Sub-regional Recycled Water Facility and will terminate at the Hesperia Golf Course. The total cost for this project is estimated to be $14.6 million.
“Hesperia is pleased to be the recipient of a $2 million grant from the Department of Water Resources for our Recycled Water Pipeline Project,” said Mike Podegracz, Hesperia City Manager. “Mojave Water Agency was instrumental during the application process for this grant and we are proud that this inter-agency collaboration will help to build vital recycled water infrastructure in our community.”
The Hi-Desert Water District’s $7.254 million project involves replacing more than 100,000 feet of old 4-inch to 12-inch steel water mains, and serves as the initial phase of the District’s planned wastewater treatment plant.
“This project will improve water quality and reliability, increase fire flow, and eliminate all leaks in the area,” said Ed Muzik, General Manager of Hi-Desert Water District.
In addition to the two capital projects, the Mojave Water Agency will receive $922,000 to fund its new Large Scale Cash for Grass Program. Since 2008, the Agency has run a successful residential turf removal program that offers residents a rebate of 50 cents a square foot for turf removed. The new program will offer $1 per square foot for turf removed for large scale commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential projects.
In previous funding cycles, the Mojave region secured some $8 million in IRWMP funding for water conservation projects and groundwater recharge projects. Neighboring planning regions such as Antelope and Coachella Valley also were successful in this round of grants. Representatives from the Mojave region and the Antelope and Coachella valleys worked together to develop a grant submittal plan to ensure critical projects in each of the areas received funding. In the past, regions competed against one another with the result of some regions receiving no grant funding.
Lance Eckhart, MWA Principal Geologist, who participated in the collaborative grant submittal said, “We continue to see the fruits of collaboration. That’s the key to successfully ensuring a sustainable water supply.”