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Water Replenishment District Awarded $25 Million WaterSMART Grant For Brackish Groundwater Cleanup Project

Lakewood, CA – June 18, 2024 – The Water Replenishment District (WRD) has been awarded a $25 million WaterSMART grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation for the construction of a groundwater desalination project – the largest desalination grant awarded in this round.

This project will significantly increase the locally sustainable drinking water supply for the South Bay by doubling the capacity of WRD’s Desalter located in the city of Torrance.

The Torrance Groundwater Desalter Expansion project will be designed to extract and purify approximately 10 million gallons a day from a salty groundwater plume. The removal of this salty groundwater will create groundwater storage capacity for excess local freshwater and recycled water for the region to use in future drought years.

The saline plume located under the South Bay is the result of the over-extraction of groundwater in the early 1900s. This caused seawater to intrude into the groundwater basin where it mixed with freshwater; making that groundwater too salty to be used. The expansion will create a new source of clean drinking water for the region.

Joy Langford, President of the WRD Board, expressed her gratitude and optimism for the project, stating “This grant underscores WRD’s commitment to sustainable water management and will continue our efforts to ensure a reliable and resilient water future for southern Los Angeles County.”

Rob Katherman, WRD Board Vice President concurred and stated, “We are excited to continue our collaboration with federal, state, and local partners to deliver innovative drought-proof solutions that meet the needs of our residents and safeguard our precious groundwater resources.”

WRD is committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability and reliability of water supplies for southern Los Angeles County. By reducing the reliance on imported water and developing locally sustainable solutions, WRD is leading the way in innovative water management strategies. For further information on WRD’s Brackish Groundwater Reclamation Program, please visit www.wrd.org/brackish-groundwater-reclamation-program.