Santa Margarita Approves Project EIR & Ocean Desalination by Nicole Stanfield Jun 24, 2019 Member Submitted News Santa Margarita Water District continues to focus on diversifying its water supply portfolio for south Orange County residents, businesses, schools, and visitors. The District approved a significant Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and two Memorandums of Understanding for ocean desalinization projects at its meeting on June 21, 2019. The San Juan Watershed Project has the potential to provide 5.6 billion gallons of drinking water to south Orange County; enough water for 50,000 families. The three-phase project has been masterfully planned and researched by staff and local experts for several years. With the release of its EIR, the project may break ground in late 2020. Learn more at SanJuanWatershedProject.com. The District also approved two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) for ocean water desalination. One is with Orange County Water District related to Poseidon Water in Huntington Beach; the other is with Oceanus Power and Water at Camp Pendleton. The District is also following the progress of the Doheny Desalination project led by South Coast Water District. Finally, construction of Orange County’s largest recycled water reservoir is on track to be completed in the summer of 2020. The 1.6 billion-gallon Trampas Canyon Dam and Reservoir will help the Santa Margarita Water District meet its goal to recycle 100% of its wastewater. This reservoir may also one day provide the region with another drinking water source. “We are 100% reliant on imported water right now; our goal is to have at least 30% of our needs supplied from local sources by 2030,” said Saundra Jacobs, Board President. “It’s critical that we identify multiple sources of water to ensure reliable and sustainable water for our customers.” Santa Margarita Water District is committed to identifying a local, reliable and sustainable water supply for south Orange County.