Recycled water project to help West Side reaches milestone

The North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program – in which Modesto and Turlock will send highly treated wastewater to Del Puerto Water District farmers – has reached a major milestone.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation approved what is called the record of decision for the project during a ceremony Friday at the district’s Patterson office. That means the agency has approved the final federal environmental reports for the project, which will allow the two cities to send the water via the bureau’s Delta-Mendota Canal to the water district.

It also means the district can store unused water it receives from the two cities during the rainy season at the Grasslands Wildlife Area, the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, the Los Banos Wildlife Area and other wetlands.

“This is the largest new block of water developed for San Joaquin Valley wetlands in a quarter century,” Audubon California Working Lands Director Meghan Hertel said in a news release. “The drought has shown how vulnerable these wetlands are, as well as the wildlife that depends on them. This project shows how cooperation can provide effective solutions.”