OCEANSIDE — The city of Oceanside is receiving more than $2.6 million in federal funding to increase its local water supply and to reduce brine discharge into the ocean.
The city was notified in late February when Rep. Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano) announced the city will receive $2.623 million in funding from the Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART’s Desalination Construction Projects under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN), subject to federal appropriations.
According to the city, the funding will be used to construct two extraction wells within the Mission Basin as well as brine minimization treatment components. The project is expected to increase the supply of locally sourced, potable water and to reduce the volume of brine discharged to the Pacific Ocean via the Oceanside Ocean Outfall.
“This is a great opportunity for the City of Oceanside,” said Mayor Peter Weiss in a city news release. “We want to thank Congressman Levin for all of his support. It is another step towards Oceanside’s water independence.”
The local, potable water supply will increase by an estimated 881 acre-feet per year at a lower cost than purchasing imported water or desalinating seawater would, according to the city.
“One of my top priorities in Congress is ensuring that communities in our district receive the federal support they need to maintain our high quality of life, and I know Oceanside’s residents will benefit thanks to the hard work of city officials on this project,” Levin said in his announcement.
Work has to be completed by September 2021 and be an ocean or brackish water desalination project in order for the city to be eligible for funding. The project will be included in Oceanside’s proposed Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Capital Improvement Budget to be considered by City Council in June.
The entire project will cost $10.4 million, of which Oceanside is to pay 75 percent — or $7.8 million.
The WIIN Act was enacted in December 2016 to address critical water resources infrastructure throughout the nation. Oceanside has teamed up with the Bureau of Reclamation in the past, having received $3.35 million from the federal agency to fund a portion of the Mission Basin Groundwater Purification Facility in 2012 and $35,905 in grant funding to operate a pilot plan to test brine recovery technologies in 2016.
City Council set a goal to develop 50 percent of Oceanside’s water supplies locally by 2030. This plan, according to the city, will include an Indirect Potable Recharge Project in the Mission Basin and recycled water pipelines supplying the El Camino Real corridor and Morro Hills’ agricultural area.
Samantha Nelson covers Oceanside, Camp Pendleton and the decommissioning San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. She earned her journalism degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and has previously reported for The Athens Messenger in Athens, Ohio, and USA Today in McLean, Virginia. Follow her on Twitter: @samm1son