Soledad will build a pipe system that will deliver recycled water from the Wastewater Treatment Facility to local parks and school fields. (City of Soledad)

SOLEDAD — City of Soledad has received nearly $17 million in grant funding to build a pipe system that will deliver recycled water from the treatment plant to parks and school fields.

Soledad’s Recycled Water Conveyance Project will replace 180 acre-feet — 59 million gallons — of groundwater pumping per year with recycled water. The objective is to offset the use of potable water to irrigate sports fields as a “commonsense way to reduce groundwater use,” according to Public Works Director Don Wilcox.

“The scope of the project is to construct the infrastructure needed to irrigate most if not all of City of Soledad and Soledad Unified School District turf areas, such as ballfields and parks, with recycled water and realize the City’s longstanding effort to preserve groundwater,” Wilcox said.

The project is fully funded by an Urban Community Drought Relief Grant from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), which announced the multimillion-dollar award Feb. 2.

Wilcox said the grant was made possible thanks to the support of MNS Engineers Inc., an engineering consultant.

“Congratulations to the #MNSGOV team for winning over $16M in grant funding for the City of Soledad – Government’s Recycled Water Pipeline System,” said MNS Engineers Inc. in a social media post Feb. 10. “The funding will help replace current groundwater irrigation systems in parks and green spaces with recycled water pipelines.”

Construction is estimated to begin in April 2024 and end two years later in 2026.

California’s Urban Community Drought Relief Program provides support to implement drought relief projects that build long-term drought and climate resilience in communities across the state.

The program is one of several financial assistance programs under DWR’s emerging “Go Golden” program, which is a statewide effort designed to help large organizations, water agencies and communities build long-term water conservation and water resilience planning.

“California is facing the real-time impacts of a changing climate, as evidenced by our state’s historic drought and recent flood emergency,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “Preparing for a future impacted by climate change not only means supporting new water supply efforts, but also strategies that capture excess flows during extreme wet events.”

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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