Antioch to receive $27 million settlement from California’s Department of Water Resources

To be used for brackish water desalination plant

By Rolando Bonilla, PIO, City of Antioch

On April 14th, the Antioch City Council will consider the adoption of a resolution approving a historic settlement agreement between the City and California Department of Water Resources (DWR). (See related articles here and here)

The agreement pays Antioch $27 million, which guarantees that they will be able to utilize its 150-year old water rights and remain in the Delta for the long-term.  The $27 million, in addition to $43 million in State grants and loans, completes the financing for the $70 million brackish water desalination plant.

In 1968, the City of Antioch and DWR entered into a settlement agreement in which DWR pays Antioch one-third the cost of supplemental water needed when the Delta became too salty as a result of DWR’s upstream diversions.

“This agreement is a major milestone for Antioch because it will be invested into the construction of the City’s Brackish Water Desalination Project,” said Ron Bernal, City Manager, City of Antioch. “Adoption of this resolution will improve water quality for our residents, improve water reliability for our residents, and stabilize future water cost increases for our residents.” Bernal emphasized, “The impacts of climate change will be significantly mitigated by the project for the foreseeable future. Antioch is committed to using our water rights and staying in the Delta.”

According to DWR, they believe the Brackish Water Desalination Project is designed in an environmentally appropriate manner, promotes regional self-reliance and recognizes the value of the project that will serve Antioch’s citizens in a manner consistent with the State of California’s goals pertaining to water supply resiliency, climate change, and sea-level rise.

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