This regional project was envisioned to:
The agencies, comprised of EBMUD, the Contra Costa Water District, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the Santa Clara Valley Water District, were original partners in the project. The Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District - Zone 7 joined in 2010.
The agencies identified three sites (eastern Contra Costa County, Oakland near the Bay Bridge and San Francisco) that met feasibility criteria. A six-month pilot test confirmed the viability of a project in East Contra Costa County along the Delta. Costs for the preliminary technical studies, about $2.5 million, were supported by state grant funds, and the remaining costs were shared among the original four partners. The cost to plan, design and construct a regional desalination facility would depend on the use and the location of facilities. A project at the East Contra Costa location that could deliver 20 million gallons per day to Bay Area homes and businesses would cost $150 million or more, with construction occurring in phases.
In early 2014, a site analysis was completed to study potential impacts on the Delta environment and confirm that the potable water produced at the East Contra Costa location could be delivered to other Bay Area regions. The partners continued public and stakeholder outreach to share the findings and seek input.
To cope with the severe drought California is facing, the Bay Area regional partnership shifted its efforts in 2014 and going forward. It was recognized that each agency had recently completed infrastructure projects that, when pooled together, could enhance regional water supply.
Completed projects that could be used to improve regional water reliability include:
That leveraging approach also interested three other local agencies (Marin Municipal Water District, the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency, and the Alameda County Water District). The group is advancing the Bay Area Regional Reliability approach and is seeking state and federal support to fund a feasibility study to further this concept.
The benefits of a regional approach include:
Once funding is secured, a feasibility study could be completed within a short timeframe. While Regional Desalination remains of interest, the regional reliability approach is of greater interest during the present drought.
Alice Towey, Senior Civil Engineer for Regional Projects
The pilot test report and other available reports can be viewed on the Bay Area Regional Desalination Project website.
|Seawater Desalination in California||<1 MB|
|Membrane Filtration Process||<1 MB|
|Desalination Sites Considered for Regional Pilot Study||<1 MB|
|Bay Area Regional Reliability 2014 - Fact Sheet||3.0 MB|