The City of Ventura secures grant for VenturaWaterPure

Water recycling project awarded $48 million in federal grants to date

The City of Ventura has announced that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) has awarded the City an additional $30 million under its WaterSMART large-scale water recycling program to support the VenturaWaterPure project.

USBR Commissioner Camille Touton and Senator Alex Padilla announced this historic award in a formal ceremony alongside the Metropolitan Water District, Pure Water Southern California, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. These agencies received $159 million funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“Securing our water future goes beyond infrastructure; it’s about investing in our community’s resilience and prosperity in the face of environmental unpredictability,” stated Ventura Mayor Joe Schroeder. “The USBR funding is vital to the City’s long-term goal of drought-proofing our region. It offers much-needed support amidst inflation and rising costs. The assistance will contribute to our mission to deliver affordable, safe, and reliable water to our ratepayers while staying dedicated to environmental stewardship and ensuring a resilient water supply for all Ventura residents.”

VenturaWaterPure joins the many communities throughout California and globally in delivering purified recycled water, including San Diego, Monterey, Pismo Beach, and Orange County, which has operated a potable reuse facility for the last 40 years. VenturaWaterPure is a multi-benefit program that will recover, treat, and reuse water currently discharged into the Santa Clara River Estuary. This will create a new, local, drought-resilient water source that meets legal and regulatory requirements and is resilient to changing climate conditions.  

“VenturaWaterPure is expected to deliver up to 20 percent of the City’s annual demand when fully operational,” said Ventura Water General Manager Gina Dorrington. “We are honored to receive this grant alongside leading water and wastewater agencies. This support allows us to continue progressing and delivering drought-resilient water supply.”

Federal support and financial backing continue to grow for VenturaWaterPure. In addition to the newly awarded $30 million grant, the program has received $18 million in funding from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and a $173 million low-interest loan from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These funds strengthen Ventura’s efforts to invest in locally developed water supply infrastructure.

“Grants like this are crucial in helping offset project costs, ensuring the successful implementation of VenturaWaterPure while minimizing the financial impact on local Ventura Water ratepayers,” said Ventura City Manager Bill Ayub. “The City remains committed to exploring all options, including pursuing outside funding and identifying cost-saving opportunities throughout the design and construction phases of the project.”

The history of the VenturaWaterPure Program began over two decades ago with a legal settlement with Heal the Bay and Ventura Coastkeeper – Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation in 2012.

VenturaWaterPure Program also supports compliance with federal and state regulations to divert wastewater discharges away from the Santa Clara River Estuary, restoring the area’s natural hydrology and environment, protecting endangered species by reintroducing natural habitats and preserving coastal ecosystems. 

The VenturaWaterPure Program continues to move forward on critical components such as the ocean outfall, with the next step being to initiate the design of its Advanced Water Purification Facility. Meanwhile, Ventura Water is simultaneously preparing for critical structural upgrades to its reclamation facility through a membrane bioreactor project. 

Learn more about the history, benefits, and environmental partners of this program at 

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