Carbajal Touts New $173 Million Investment in Ventura Water Infrastructure Upgrades

Program funded by Carbajal’s votes in Congress backs new water purification facility, upgrades to existing water systems, and improved protections for the Santa Clara estuary

Today, Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) touted a new $173,000,000 investment from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – funds provided through his votes in Congress – which will support upgrades to Ventura’s water infrastructure, enable the city to establish a new local, drought-resilient water supply, and help protect the Santa Clara Estuary.

“Climate change has made access to clean water and the health of our waterways two of the most critical issues facing the Central Coast. That's why, as my colleagues and I have crafted laws like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, Water Resources Development Act, and our recent federal budgets, we have made sure to include robust investments in the drought resiliency and environmental preservation efforts that will help our communities," said Congressman Carbajal. "I'm pleased to see those efforts result in more than $170 million for the City of Ventura exactly for these purposes: guaranteeing a reliable and drought-resistant water supply for our neighborhoods and protecting a key estuary and its habitats.

“As weather patterns continue to swing to heavier extremes – like we've seen with historic drought giving way to nearly three months of atmospheric rivers – the more we will need forward-looking investments in resiliency for the Central Coast."

EPA is providing two Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans totaling $173 million that will support the city in designing and constructing projects to increase the city's potable water supplies by 20% with a combination of purified local recycled water and groundwater.

“We are grateful to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for awarding the City of Ventura a transformative $173 million WIFIA loan. This funding is a vital investment in our community's water infrastructure, ensuring the well-being and prosperity of our residents. With the EPA's support, we can now embark on crucial projects that will enhance our drinking water systems, improve wastewater treatment, and promote sustainable water practices,” said Ventura Mayor Joe Schroeder. “This partnership exemplifies the power of collaboration and sets us on a path towards a resilient, thriving future.”

Last year, Carbajal backed a nearly 10% increase to funding for the WIFIA program in its Fiscal Year 2023 budget. He also voted to approve billions in new funding for drought resilience and water infrastructure through landmark laws passed last Congress like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.

The City of Ventura is facing a projected water supply shortfall by 2035 due to local drought conditions.

The WIFIA loans will support the city in designing and constructing projects to increase the city's potable water supplies by 20% with a combination of purified local recycled water and groundwater. A new Advanced Water Purification Facility will produce up to 5,400 acre-feet of potable water per year. The project will upgrade the existing Ventura Water Reclamation Facility with up to six new groundwater injection and extraction wells, and an ocean outfall and discharge pipeline. Additionally, the project will divert flows away from the Santa Clara Estuary to be treated at the new Advanced Water Purification Facility, protecting a valuable habitat for numerous sensitive and native species and supporting compliance with a consent decree.

These WIFIA loans will save the City of Ventura approximately $53 million. Construction and operation are estimated to create approximately 1,100 jobs.

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