Officials from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) notified AVEK on March 21, that they have been awarded $5 million in grant funds for phase II of their South North Intertie Pipeline Project (SNIP Phase II)
The proposed project involves construction of a 48-inch diameter, 6.5-mile potable water pipeline that will interconnect the Agency’s Westside Water Bank with its Quartz Hill Water Treatment Plant, enabling full utilization of the recovery capacity in the bank to all customers within the distribution system. SNIP Phase II also includes a new pump station. The Project is considered to be “shovel ready”, having received the environmental clearances necessary to begin construction.
SNIP Phase II will help the Agency address water supply reliability issues resulting from drought by connecting customers to multiple existing sources of water, thereby diversifying the supply portfolio for roughly 280,000 consumers. Additionally, the Project will mitigate water quality issues through the blending of water sources and safeguard against natural disasters that may impact the State Water Project such as earthquakes.
Funds for the grant are coming from $180 million DWR received to aid communities statewide for drought relief projects. AVEK’s share was included in the second phase of funding from DWR’s Urban and Multibenefit Drought Relief Program intended to address immediate drought impacts on human health and safety, protect fish and wildlife resources, plus other public benefits such as ecosystem improvements.
AVEK was one of only two State Water Contractors awarded grant funds from this round of funding.
“With minimal precipitation and a depleting snowpack, our focus remains on helping our communities respond to ongoing drought condition,” stated DWR Director Karla Nemeth in a news release.
AVEK has been actively seeking grant funding for SNIP Phase II and its other projects. In 2020, the Agency was awarded $1.23 million in Proposition 1 grant funds for SNIP Phase II and the Rosamond Water Treatment Plant Blending Intertie Project from the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan, a group of stakeholders in the state’s Lahontan Region. AVEK’s Board and Staff members have been proactive in identifying and advocating for funding for SNIP Phase II, engaging legislators and other groups to inform on the need for developing the project and applying for a number of state and federal grants.
SNIP Phase II Project costs are estimated at $50 million.