This single project both maximizes the amount of recycled water available for potable reuse in the City of Ventura and enhances the ecology of the Santa Clara River Estuary for the protection of native, sensitive species that rely on it.
The VenturaWaterPure projects augment local water supply in an environmentally responsible and cost-efficient manner; provide a drought- and disaster-resilient water supply; protect, maintain, and improve ecological resources and related beneficial uses of the estuary and its watershed; improve municipal supply groundwater quality within the service area; and maintain compliance with the City of Ventura’s NPDES permit.
The City’s existing water supplies may be insufficient to meet future dry-year demands. If the City cannot provide the water needed to meet the needs of planned future growth, it would need to implement water rationing, would not be able to improve water quality, and would continue to discharge tertiary-treated water into the estuary in violation of the Enclosed Bays and Estuaries Policy and the Recycled Water Policy.
ESA prepared an EIR evaluating the Ventura Water Supply Projects, which include VenturaWaterPure. A key component of our studies involved the impacts of reduced discharge into the estuary, including the potential impacts to sensitive species such as the California steelhead, tidewater goby, and several birds.
The project diverts tertiary-treated water, which currently flows into the estuary, to a new advanced water treatment facility that would include reverse-osmosis technology. The purified water would be injected into the groundwater basin to augment the City’s potable water supplies. The VenturarWaterPure Project would be designed to treat water to quality criteria that exceed compliance with the Groundwater Recharge Reuse Regulations (Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations).
As demands increase and water sources are constricted by climate change and increasing environmental awareness, water supply planners in the state continue to manage the co-equal goals of water supply reliability and environmental protection. Find out how recycled water plays into this equation.
During the recent multi-year drought, each of the the City of Ventura’s supplies—groundwater, the Ventura River, and Lake Casitas—experienced cutbacks that threatened the need for substantial rationing in the city. It became evident that a new reliable, locally controlled water source was required to meet existing and future demands.