The City of Antioch has announced its award as only one of four California cities or water agencies to receive $10 million in state grant funding to establish a ground-breaking, first-of-its-kind, local brackish water desalination treatment facility. It will allow the City to generate its own clean, safe, quality water. Many prominent cities and water agencies competed for the highly-sought after grants from the State Department of Water Resources to fund drinking water production and other uses. Only Antioch, Santa Barbara, Camarillo and the South Coast Water District were awarded grants for construction of water treatment plants.
“Creating millions of gallons of clean, reliable, quality water will allow our community to protect our city residents and businesses from fluctuating water costs and water shortages in the long-term,” said Mayor Sean Wright.
Brackish water is salt water and fresh water mixed together and found in estuaries. The grant will help defray the total estimated cost of $62 million for the brackish water plant for which the City will continue to pursue other grant funds that could be obtained as soon as this summer. (See related articles, here and here).
“Antioch is leading statewide innovation on these clean water quality and local water control issues,” said City Manager Ron Bernal. “With so many high-profile cities and water agencies competing for these grant awards, I couldn’t be more pleased that our city’s innovation, creativity and leadership was recognized by the awards panel – making our city successful in securing Antioch’s fair share of these state funds.”
The highly competitive state grant from Prop. 1 Water Bond funds, which the voters approved in 2014, will help establish a local, water desalination facility within the city’s current water treatment plant. It will turn salty river water into six million gallons per day of clean drinking water, using a safe, secure, reverse osmosis treatment system and positioning the City as a local and regional clean water provider and statewide innovator.
“Establishing Antioch’s own local water plan allows our city to treat and store our own water locally, expanding our ability to be self-reliant, keep water costs down, and attract industries that need a reliable local water supply,” Wright added.
The clean water that is needed by industry will help attract businesses to locate in the city. While seawater reverse osmosis has a conversion rate of 35 percent to 40 percent, the conversion rate of brackish water could be more than 90 percent, with only 10 percent returning to the river. That will help maximize the use of the City’s rights to river water of as much as 16 million gallons per day.
“This is a tremendous economic development engine which allows Antioch to competitively attract and retain all manner of businesses and industries who need a reliable local water supply,” said Bernal. “Antioch is one of the few communities in the state able to offer this benefit to our residents and business stakeholders.”