Washington, D.C.—Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06) has introduced legislation that would allow the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (Regional San) to expand its water recycling programs by making a portion of its recycled water available for environmental and agricultural supply needs. Congressmen John Garamendi (CA-03) and Ami Bera (CA-07) are co-sponsors of this legislation.
The legislation authored by Congresswoman Matsui would increase Regional San’s wastewater recycling programs for habitat and agricultural purposes in southern Sacramento County. It would authorize the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to provide up to $30 million through their Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act (Title XVI) to Regional San to build needed infrastructure.
“The current drought has highlighted the water insecurity of the Sacramento region. This requires us to seek and develop more innovative and sustainable sources of water, including recycled water,” stated Prabhakar Somavarapu, District Engineer for Regional San. “Congresswoman Matsui’s continued support can help make this goal a reality.”
“As the State of California faces yet another dry year, a variety of sustainable approaches are needed to solve our state’s water problems. This legislation will allow Regional San to leverage federal investment to implement a water recycling project that will deliver benefits to the Delta and our region,” said Congresswoman Matsui. ”The District’s water recycling project, and this legislation, will help our region conserve water in the future, especially when we have crippling droughts like the one we are currently experiencing.”
The project, known as South County Ag, could provide up 52,000 acre feet per year of recycled water to irrigate up to 18,000 acres of agricultural land. A project feasibility study illustrates the project could not only supply recycled water for agricultural irrigation, but also help restore flows to the Cosumnes River by recharging the groundwater basin and raising groundwater levels up to 20-30 feet.
“Regional San is a leader in environmental stewardship and sustainability, and the South County Ag project reflects that vision,” stated Regional San Board Chairman and Sacramento County Supervisor, Don Nottoli. “This bill will help leverage the huge investment made by our ratepayers and assist Regional San in meeting its goal of protecting the Delta while implementing solutions that address federal, state and local objectives.”