Camarillo’s North Pleasant Valley Groundwater Desalter Project will double local water supplies and increase the area’s water independence, providing significant savings in imported water costs.
The City of Camarillo, California depends on area groundwater to supply potable water to nearly 45,000 people, and to sustain the area’s businesses and large agricultural community. Imported water makes up 60 percent of the City’s current water supply while local groundwater supplies its remaining 40 percent.
Since the mid-1990s, area groundwater quality was on a continuous decline. In the northern portion of the Pleasant Valley Basin of Ventura County, a large mound of brackish inflows and salts had steadily accumulated, causing groundwater levels to rise over 200 feet, while quality declined in accordance.
The situation forced the City of Camarillo to reduce groundwater pumping, increase State Water imports, and blend it with local water to achieve a more desirable water quality. Without action to address the groundwater quality issues, more City wells would be forced to shut down.
A new solution will transform this unusable, low-quality groundwater into a beneficial new water resource for the community. The North Pleasant Valley Desalter, now under construction, will use reverse osmosis treatment technology to transform the brackish groundwater into up to 3,800 acre-feet of usable water per year, more than doubling the City’s local water production. The cost of water produced from the facility is expected to be less than the cost of importing water, reducing the need to generate water rate increases solely from the project. The project delivers a win-win-win: better quality water, a lower water cost, and a more sustainable local supply.
WSC and the City of Camarillo partnered on the project, from planning through permitting, funding, detailed design review, strategic communications, and construction management. WSC helped the City secure more than $21 million in grant funding, an essential win for the project’s financial feasibility.
Construction on the desalter began in Fall 2019 and it is expected to be operational in late 2021.