Nossaman Congratulates City of Ventura on Securing $173 Million WIFIA Loan to Support Drought Resistant Water Projects
We congratulate the City of Ventura on securing two Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans totaling $173 million. The City will use the loans to establish a new, local drought-resistant water supply that enhances its resilience to climate change while protecting the ecology of the Santa Clara River Estuary in accordance with best available science. The project also will create stable, well-paying jobs in the community. The loans were announced by Radhika Fox, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water, during an event in Ventura, CA on May 23, 2023.
The VenturaWaterPure Program will divert tertiary treated flows away from the Santa Clara Estuary to the Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF), protecting valuable habitat for numerous listed native species and supporting compliance with the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility (VWRF) National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit requirements and a consent decree between the City, Heal the Bay and the Wishtoyo Foundation’s Coastkeeper Program.
In addition, due to local drought conditions, the City is facing a projected water supply shortfall by 2035. The WIFIA loans will support the City in constructing its VenturaWaterPure (VWP) program—that will design and construct projects to increase the City’s potable water supplies by 20% by diverting tertiary treated water to a purification plant and then augmenting local groundwater supplies with purified local recycled water. A new AWPF will produce up to 5,400 acre-feet of potable water per year that will be injected into the local groundwater aquifer via new injection wells for later extraction, treatment and potable use. We are proud to have worked closely with the City for more than 10 years to help conceive, plan, environmentally review, permit and now finance and construct the multi-benefit water supply project.
Speaking at the event on May 23rd, U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal said, “I’m pleased to see those efforts result in more than $170 million for the City of Ventura exactly for these purposes: guaranteeing a reliable and drought-resistant water supply for our neighborhoods and protecting a key estuary and its habitats. As weather patterns continue to swing to heavier extremes – like we’ve seen with historic drought giving way to nearly three months of atmospheric rivers – the more we will need forward-looking investments in resiliency for the Central Coast.”
Ventura Mayor Joe Schroeder added that the City is “grateful to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for awarding the City of Ventura a transformative $173 million WIFIA loan. This funding is a vital investment in our community’s water infrastructure, ensuring the well-being and prosperity of our residents. With the EPA’s support, we can now embark on crucial projects that will enhance our drinking water systems, improve wastewater treatment and promote sustainable water practices. This partnership exemplifies the power of collaboration and sets us on a path towards a resilient, thriving future.”
VenturaWaterPure (VWP) is a multi-benefit water reuse program that will recover, treat and reuse water that is currently discharged into the Santa Clara River Estuary, creating a new, local, drought-resilient water source that isn’t dependent on rainfall. Learn more at www.venturawaterpure.net.