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Water Supply Alert
Water Alert

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May 2010

New Ocean Outfall Anchors Water Supply Reliability Program in Ventura County

Calleguas Municipal Water District

Following nearly a decade of planning, Calleguas Municipal Water District is in the final stages of completing a new ocean outfall in the city of Port Hueneme.

The facility is a key component of the district’s Salinity Management Pipeline (SMP) project designed to boost the region’s annual water supply by an estimated 40,000 acre feet. Constructed of a combination of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and steel pipe, the outfall is 30 inches in diameter and approximately one mile in length, with about half the length installed through horizontal directional drilling from the Port Hueneme beach parking lot and half laid on the ocean floor using barges.

Construction of the $15 million outfall began in earnest in September 2009 and is scheduled for completion by this summer. When complete, the SMP will collect and convey both high salinity concentrate generated by various groundwater desalting facilities and excess recycled water within the district’s service area for reuse.

In addition to allowing for increased groundwater yield to assist in meeting urban demands, potential uses of SMP water include wetlands restoration and irrigation of salt-tolerant crops. The outfall will serve only to provide a point of discharge into the ocean for project water during periods of low demand.

"This project is critical to the future vitality of Ventura County," said Eric Bergh, acting general manager. "High salinity levels of the region’s surface and groundwaters greatly limit our ability to maximize use of local water resources and have led to an increase in the region’s dependence on imported water supplies."

Bergh further added, "By providing a disposal mechanism, municipal and agricultural water suppliers will soon be able to treat water supplies that have either been constrained or entirely abandoned due to high salt levels. Also, municipal wastewater dischargers will now have a means to meet regulatory requirements related to ‘total maximum daily loads’ (TMDLs)."

The roughly 30-mile pipeline is being constructed in phases through various cities of southern Ventura County. The initial reach of the approximately $200 million SMP will be operational in 2011, with additional phases following through the decade. Further details on the SMP are available on the District’s web site at www.calleguas.com/projects.htm.

This newsletter is produced by the:
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
700 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012