The San Diego County Water Authority received $3 million from California's Department of Water Resources (DWR) for the installation of high-efficiency toilets and smart irrigation controllers.
State officials announced the funding last week as a part of $46 million in grants the DWR awarded to nine projects in six counties through the Urban Community Drought Relief Program. The program intends to “address drought impacts in California’s communities while furthering water conservation,” according to a statement from the department.
The projects in San Diego County are expected to provide 1,323 acre-feet in water savings per year and transform up to 333,420 acres into more water-efficient landscapes, according to DWR. The program is expected to install about 7,000 new toilets and roughly 4,000 irrigation devices that regulate flow according to weather conditions throughout San Diego County, according to officials.
“California is facing the real-time impacts of a changing climate, as evidenced by our state's historic drought and recent flood emergency,'' said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “Preparing for a future impacted by climate change not only means supporting new water supply efforts, but also strategies that capture excess flows during extreme wet events.”
“Today's funding — with more than half invested in underrepresented communities — will help strengthen water supply reliability across the state by supporting recycled water and groundwater recharge infrastructure while promoting wise water use,' she continued.
The funds are expected to run through at least 2025.
Officials said $28 million of the total funds will advance drought relief projects to improve water supply reliability in underrepresented communities.
The second phase of awards will be announced in spring 2023.