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On a tour of increasingly parched California on Thursday, U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited a water recycling project in Irvine to tout her department’s allocation of more than $310 million to combat a western “megadrought” fueled largely by climate change.
Joined by Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton, Haaland stood before heavy equipment at the Syphon Reservoir Improvement Project and said she felt “overjoyed” to announce the funding of 25 water recycling projects, 20 of which are in California.
“These projects will advance drought resilience by bolstering water reuse and recycling techniques while supporting over 850,000 people in providing clean, reliable drinking water to families throughout the West,” Haaland said.
Haaland’s announcement comes a week after Gov. Gavin Newsom warned that California could stand to lose 10% of its water supply by 2040. The governor released a pledge to revamp the state’s strategies to meet the challenges of a “hotter, drier future,” including boosting its water recycling capacities.