March 11, 2020

Rep. Mike Levin’s Desalination Development Act Passes House Natural Resources Committee

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Natural Resources Committee passed U.S. Representative Mike Levin’s (D-CA) bill to raise the funding authorization for the Bureau of Reclamation’s desalination grant program. The Desalination Development Act authorizes $260 million over the next five years for desalination projects and creates new environmental safeguards for the funded projects.

The bill could help deliver federal funding for local projects like the South Coast Water District’s Doheny Ocean Desalination Project and the City of Oceanside’s Mission Basin Groundwater Purification Facility Well Expansion and Brine Minimization project.

“The Southern California communities I represent are particularly vulnerable to worsening droughts, and we must support their efforts to diversify our water supply,” said Rep. Levin. “It’s critical that we advance environmentally-thoughtful desalination projects that provide a reliable and independent source of local water for our communities. My Desalination Development Act would accomplish just that, and I am thrilled that it has advanced to the full House.”

The Desalination Development Act, cosponsored by Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA), would require projects to comply with all state environmental laws, such as California’s Ocean Plan; and prioritize projects with subsurface intakes, projects that use renewable energy and more efficient desalination processes, and projects that reduce imported water use.

Full text of the Desalination Development Act is available here.