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Posted on: February 5, 2024 | Last Modified on: February 7, 2024

East County AWP Program is Awarded $2 Million Grant from San Diego River Conservancy

Photo of Package 2

The East County Advanced Water Purification (AWP) Program has been awarded a $2 million grant from the San Diego River Conservancy.

The California State Budget (FY2022-23) appropriated the $2 million grant to the San Diego River Conservancy for the benefit of the East County AWP Joint Powers Authority (JPA).

Construction of the East County AWP Program water treatment facility in Santee began in June 2022. Once complete, the project will provide up to 30% of East County’s drinking water demands while reducing wastewater discharge into the ocean.

“We appreciate the continued support from the Conservancy and the commitment to fund a critical element of the project,” said Padre Dam Municipal Water District CEO/General Manager Kyle Swanson. “Since the inception of the East County AWP Program, we have actively pursued low interest loans, grants, subsidies and other funding opportunities to ensure ratepayer affordability. These efforts have saved hundreds of millions of dollars in financing costs to date with this award marking another success.”

The Program has secured over $169 million in grant funding and $766 million in low interest loans. East County AWP JPA owns and operates the Program which is a collaborative partnership between Padre Dam, the City of El Cajon, the County of San Diego, and Helix Water District. The overall cost for the project is $950 million. 

It will create up to 11.5 million gallons of purified water per day to East County residents and businesses beginning in 2026.

The Program will use four advanced water purification steps to produce water that is near distilled in quality. Following the advanced water purification process, the purified water will be discharged into Lake Jennings and treated again at Helix Water District’s R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant before being distributed as drinking water.

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