Metropolitan invests in future development of local water supplies

News for Immediate Release__
Metropolitan invests in future development of local water supplies

Agency provides $3 million for research into potential recycled water, groundwater, stormwater capture, seawater desalination projects

July 10, 2024

The potential future production of more local water supplies received a $3 million boost this week from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Metropolitan’s Board of Directors Tuesday (July 9) gave final approval to fund eight planning studies and pilot tests aimed at reducing the technical and regulatory barriers to advance future recycled water, stormwater, seawater desalination and groundwater capture projects under Metropolitan’s Future Supply Actions Funding Program. The projects are being led by Metropolitan member agencies: Western Municipal Water District, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, city of Long Beach, San Diego County Water Authority, Foothill Municipal Water District, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Las Virgenes Municipal Water District.

“Creating a future in which we continue to have clean and reliable water supplies takes creativity and ingenuity,” said Metropolitan board Chair Adán Ortega, Jr. “As water agencies that are tasked with ensuring our water resiliency in the face of climate change and other challenges, we must work together to increase the available knowledge and data throughout the region about potential future supplies.”

“This information will be critical in supporting smart, informed decisions about the investments needed to secure our future,” Ortega said, adding that those decisions will be guided by Metropolitan’s Climate Adaptation Master Plan process.

Selected projects include studies on a more cost-effective technology to treat arsenic contamination in groundwater; improving groundwater well construction to reduce PFAS contamination; the impacts of using recycled water to boost groundwater resources; the effectiveness of oxygenation systems to limit harmful algal blooms; and a submerged water filtration system for seawater desalination.

“Metropolitan has for decades invested funding to advance local water supply projects throughout the region,” said Water Resource Management Interim Group Manager Brandon
Goshi. “The Future Supply Actions Funding Program is a valuable asset as we evaluate the potential for water resource programs in the years ahead to adapt to increasingly severe drought cycles and weather extremes.”

In October 2023, Metropolitan’s board authorized two rounds of funding for the Future Supply Actions program totaling $6 million. In December 2023, Metropolitan released a request for proposals for the first of the two authorized funding cycles. Metropolitan’s member agencies could request up to $500,000 for one or more proposals, which they must match dollar-for-dollar with other funds.

A panel composed of Metropolitan staff and external experts evaluated the proposals based on how projects could help increase potential for development of local water supplies and provide regional benefits, in addition to the effectiveness of proposed work plans, schedules and costs.

The latest agreements represent the third round of funding under Metropolitan’s Future Supply Actions program. The program has previously helped to fund more than two dozen technical studies and pilot tests totaling $6.5 million.

“The research and knowledge gained from past studies have produced valuable regional benefits,” Goshi said. “New technologies and approaches are constantly improving, so we look forward to the results of these latest projects.”


The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provides water for 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.