INLAND EMPIRE, CA – The Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA/Agency) was recently announced as a conditional funding recipient of two competitive grant programs sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program and the United States Bureau of Reclamation’s (USBR) WaterSMART Water Recycling and Desalination grant program. The selections, both in support of improvement projects under the Chino Basin Program, will help enhance water resource sustainability throughout the region and provide environmental benefits at the State and local levels.
On August 28, FEMA announced the selection of 124 projects for further review for this year’s BRIC grant opportunity. The BRIC grant program provides annual funding for hazard mitigation planning and projects to increase resiliency and reduce the risk of damage before a disaster. IEUA’s Inland Empire Recycled Water and Aquifer Storage Project was selected to receive more than $46 million in climate resilience funding as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.
“Water recycling is a critical component of the water resources management strategy for IEUA and the Chino Basin,” stated IEUA Board President Marco Tule. “The Inland Empire Recycled Water and Aquifer Storage Project aims to support drought resiliency efforts by increasing our ability to develop recycled water for groundwater recharge. Application of these funds will aid in conserving potable water supplies and increasing stored water in the Chino Basin.”
Furthermore, on September 27, USBR announced the Agency was among 31 project applicants throughout California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah selected to receive Water Recycling and Desalination Planning Funding. The project, titled Chino Basin Advanced Treated Recycled Water, Storage, and Production, was conditionally awarded over $2.8 million for planning and pre-final design activities in support of the Chino Basin Program (CBP). Once constructed, the CBP will include an advanced water purification facility to provide an additional 15,000 acre-feet per year of treated water for recharge purposes within the Chino Basin, allowing for more flexibility during future extended droughts.
“The potential to receive funding through these competitive grant programs moves us closer to a sustainable water future,” continued Tule. “IEUA is grateful for the consideration and support of FEMA and USBR as we continue our infrastructure planning and resiliency efforts as we continue to face cyclical droughts and extreme weather events. We look forward to expanding upon our water storage capabilities while remaining committed to exceptional water quality and efficiency as we serve our community.”