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Additional Water Resources

In addition to local groundwater wells and desalination projects, Camrosa also has at its disposal two additional water resources.

Surface water is diverted from Conejo Creek at Camrosa's diversion structure just south of US-Highway 101. Diverted surface water is stored at our Storage Ponds near CSUCI, and then pumped back up into the District for landscape and agricultural irrigation. Nearly 5,000 acre-feet a year (AF/Y) of surface water is delivered in the District, significantly reducing the amount of water we have to import from Northern California.

Recycled water is produced at Camrosa's Water Reclamation Facility (CWRF), also located near CSUCI. The CWRF produces up to 1.5 million gallons per day (about 1,500 AF/Y) of tertiary-treated Title-22 recycled water, which means it's passed through three stages of filtration and treatment, including sand filtration and chlorine disinfection. This water is delivered to CSUCI as irrigation water for their landscaping, athletic fields, and open spaces. Several nearby farmers also receive recycled water for crop irrigation.

Collectively, these two types of water - along with the groundwater that is added to them - are known as "non-potable water": in their current state and at their current level of treatment, they cannot be used as drinking water resources. Camrosa is a leader in non-potable water use in Ventura County, and a model that other agencies are trying to follow. Some of the areas in the District where non-potable water is used include:

Leisure Village golf course and common areas

Orchards, nurseries, agricultural fields

CSUCI landscaping

Residential landscaping at University Glen, Wildwood Estates and Camelot

As the cost of imported water continues to rise, using alternative water resources becomes increasingly important. That Camrosa has so many alternative resources at its disposal bodes well for increasing Camrosa's independence from imported water in the future. How best to use those resources is a question the District is working hard to figure out. As technologies improve and regulations change, more possiblities become feasible.

Some options currently being investigated include:

Direct connection to HCTP

Santa Rosa Basin Recharge

Denitrification of Non-Potable Wells

The indirect potable reuse of recycled water is widespread, including operations as closeby as Orange County. Depending on what the economic analysis shows, it may be most feasible for Camrosa to inject recycled water into the groundwater basins underlying the District Service Area and, through the natural fitlration process of the earth's sediment and disinfection at the wellhead, turn it into drinking water.

At some point, direct potable reuse will be a reality in the United States, just as it is in many places across the globe. Towns in Texas are already going forward with "DPR" projects, and once they're up and running, the transition to such treatment facilities will likely accelerate across the country. The USEPA, the California State Department of Water Resources, and Metropolitan Water District are all investigating, preparing for, and encouraging the eventual direct potable reuse of reycled water. It may not be something that can be planned on as of yet, but while determing which options would be most beneficial now, we must also consider those that would give the District flexibility in the future.
 

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