PALMDALE — A pro­pos­al to extend a pipe­line for carrying recycled water for two miles along 50th Street East between av­­en­ues N and L to provide water for agricultural use will aid farmers in the area and provide a use for water treated to a ter­ti­ary lev­el from the Los An­gel­es County Sanitation Dis­tricts’ wastewater treat­ment plant.

The proposed project re­­ceived initial support Thurs­­day from the An­tel­­ope Valley State Water Con­trac­tors Asso­ci­a­tion, where the board agreed to proceed with an ap­plication for the proj­ect to be included in the Antelope Valley Integrated Re­gional Water Plan proj­ect list. Inclusion in the project list would allow the proposal to qualify for grant funding.

The proposed line would tap into an existing recycled water line, creating an ex­ten­sion north down 50th Street East, where it passes through farmland.

“That would make recy­cled water available for ag­ri­cultural use,” said Peter Thompson II, the as­sis­tant general manager. “It hits more on an overall, An­telope Valley-wide water management benefit.”

The benefits include pro­vi­ding timely use for the recycled water, and may potentially reduce the use of groundwater in the area, a concern as the ground­water basin has been depleted over the years and is now subject to pumping restrictions through a court settlement. In areas that are more de­pleted, lessening the use of groundwater may help to refill the aquifer faster, Thomp­son said.

“The impact it can create is huge, just with two miles,” Commissioner Marco Henriquez said.

The court adjudication meant farmers’ allotments of groundwater were great­ly reduced, causing some to leave agriculture, farmer John Calandri said.

Calandri called the proj­ect “a lifeline” for agri­cul­ture by providing an av­en­ue for agriculture to con­­tin­ue providing food and jobs. The tertiary-treat­ed water also opens the way for organic farm­ing, he said.

“I think it’s an incredible project,” he said. “This is an A-plus project from my perspective.”

The Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts have invested heavily in modern waste­water treatment plants and storage with the in­­tent the recycled water be avail­­able for use, said Ray Tremblay, head of facilities planning for the districts.

“The goal and the priority of our board has been to supply this water to public agencies to meet the recycled water demands for the Valley,” he said. “This would be a very good use of reclaimed water.”

Use of the recycled water, which requires des­ig­nated pipelines, has been stagnant the last few years, Tremblay said.

At this preliminary point in the process, there is not yet an estimated cost for the project.

Once the project is established on the project list, the AVSWCA would look to hand it off to another group to pursue, as it does not have a direct benefit to the state water contractors, Thompson said.

But, an argument could be made for the asso­ci­a­tion’s role in it, board Chair­man Robert Parris said.

“Any project that re­directs recycled water and helps the basin is a good project for us,” he said.

Palmdale Water District and the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency, as well as the Antelope Valley Watermaster — the entity administering the court settlement — could also play a role, he said.

“The more we work to­geth­er and the more we start viewing this on a re­gional basis, the better it’s going to get,” Parris said.

To share your opinion on this article or any other article, write a letter to the editor and email it to editor@avpress.com or mail it to Letters to Editor, PO Box 4050, Palmdale CA 93590-4050.

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