The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s board of directors Tuesday voted to invest nearly $20 million over a 25-year period for a recycled water and groundwater recovery project in Santa Monica that is expected to produce up to 750 million gallons of water a year.

The Sustainable Water Supply Project — which would begin in 2023 and produce 2,300 acre-feet per year of recycled water — will increase the amount of drinking water in the city’s supply and help the region through drought, climate change and other emergencies, the district reported. An acre-foot is the amount of water needed for about three Southern California families per year.

“The Local Resources Program is a critical tool to help plan for a future filled with uncertainties,” said Metropolitan Water Resource Management Group Manager Brad Coffey. “What is certain is that our region will increasingly see the effects of climate change, including challenges to our imported water supplies. When we integrate local supply projects like Santa Monica’s, we are helping to secure reliable water for Southern California while decreasing the burden on our conveyance infrastructure and lowering system costs.”

The $19.6 million investment will include the construction of the underground Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project Advanced Water Treatment Facility, which will be able to purify a million gallons of wastewater each day, which will then be injected into the Santa Monica Groundwater Basin to be used later. The project will also upgrade the city’s Arcadia Water Treatment Plant, which treats impaired groundwater.

“Though this project will serve Santa Monica residents, it also benefits our entire region because it lessens the strain on our imported water sources, making them available to other agencies and areas that may need them in the future,” said Metropolitan board Chairwoman Gloria Gray.

“With all of the challenges we face, including persistent drought and climate change, we must advance projects that diversify our water sources, especially recycled water, which creates a new supply that would otherwise be lost to the ocean,” she added.

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