VenturaWaterPure is paving the way for a sustainable future

VenturaWaterPure is now running pipes into the ocean. Photos by Steve Mimiaga Project Manager

by Gina Dorrington Ventura Water General Manager

The City of Ventura is developing a sustainable, drought-proof water supply with VenturaWaterPure. This program includes designing and constructing new water infrastructure and upgrading existing wastewater facilities. Last month, U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland visited Ventura Water’s facilities to celebrate progress on VenturaWaterPure, at the ocean outfall construction site, which is a vital component of the City’s planned purified recycled water program.

VenturaWaterPure will recover, treat, and reuse water currently discharged into the Santa Clara River Estuary, creating a new, local water supply that doesn’t depend on rainfall. Once fully operational, VenturaWaterPure will provide up to 20 percent of the City’s water.

Water is a highly precious resource that we cannot afford to waste. Programs that recycle and reuse water, such as VenturaWaterPure, are becoming the trusted solution to protect against drought and water shortages.

Communities such as San Diego, Orange County, and Monterey are advance-treating recycled water for drinking water purposes. Neighboring communities such as Carpinteria, Calabasas, and Pismo Beach are in the process of designing and developing their reuse programs. We expect to see more programs in the future, as the State Water Board recently published new regulations to expand the scope of water reuse projects throughout California.

While it provides long-term water supply benefits, VenturaWaterPure was developed in response to a 2012 legal settlement with the Chumash, Wishtoyo Foundation and its Ventura Coastkeeper Program, and Heal the Bay. The settlement requires the City to divert a portion of its treated water away from the Santa Clara River Estuary by 2025 and find a beneficial reuse for this diverted recycled water.

Over the past decade, Ventura Water explored several project alternatives to overcome its water and wastewater challenges, including expanding its recycled water irrigation system (purple pipe), sending water to the City of Oxnard’s Purification Facility, building a pipeline to United Water’s Spreading Grounds for groundwater recharge, and developing an Ocean Desalination Plant to supplement the City’s water supply.

VenturaWaterPure emerges as the sole financially viable solution in navigating Ventura’s evolving water landscape, aligning with our legal obligations and effectively tackling the city’s long-term water supply challenges. Our dedicated team is diligently exploring avenues to mitigate the impact of costs, seeking potential savings in program design, and pursuing state and federal assistance.

VenturaWaterPure has already secured $18 million in grant funding and an additional $173 million in low-interest financing through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). Staff has applied for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Large Scale Water Recycling Program, which could potentially result in an additional $83 million for the program.

As stewards of public funds and the future sustainability of water resources, the City and Ventura Water are resolute in our commitment to manage program costs responsibly. We are dedicated to providing our residents with consistently safe, sustainable, and high-quality water and wastewater services. Through collaborative efforts, we seek to balance financial prudence and our obligation to ensure Ventura’s flourishing water future.

Join us at an upcoming City Council or Water Commission meeting to learn more about the proposed next steps for VenturaWaterPure. Ventura’s City Council meetings occur on Tuesday nights at 5:00 p.m., and Water Commission meetings occur monthly every 4th Monday at 5:30 p.m. For meeting details, agendas, and dates, please visit the City of Ventura’s website at

For additional information regarding the VenturaWaterPure Program, visit

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