A $1.5 million federal grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will help the city of Oceanside complete its $4.5 million project to replace more than 11,000 water meters to help conserve water and better monitor usage, it was announced Monday.

According to the city’s water utilities department, the upgrades will save 784 acre-feet of water, or more than 255 million gallons. It will also reduce Oceanside’s dependence on imported drinking water, 85% of which comes from the Sacramento Bay Delta and the Colorado River, hundreds of miles away.

The advanced meters also provide residents with insight on abnormal usage, patterns associated with leaks and breaks.

“The implementation of advanced metering infrastructure will allow Oceanside to provide increased efficiency and upgraded services to the city’s water customers,” said Water Utilities Division Manager Rosemarie Chora. “Automation will allow information to be available in real time, enabling customers to better manage their water needs.”

The grant is part of the WaterSMART program, which provides water and energy efficiency grants to water districts to allow them to conserve and use water more efficiently.

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