A recycled water plant in Hesperia that's getting closer to fruition could put the High Desert on the map of sustainability.
The plant is just one part of a new sustainable resolution that the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Agency has instituted ensuring the agency makes a decision that is environmental sound and sustainable while also protecting taxpayers, according to VVWRA officials.
The most important part of that directive comes in the form of a new recycled water facility planned for the City of Hesperia. Two decades in the works, the Lahontan Water Board recently granted the project important permits, leaving approval by VVWRA's own commission as the last step, according to officials. The commission is made up of elected officials from each of the communities VVWRA serves.
Once that happens the agency is ready to release a bid to construct the projects, something many of the agency's staff say is hard to believe after so many years of planning.
"We've been working on this project for years and years, and it's a very good feeling to see it making real progress," said Logan Olds, VVWRA's general manager.
The facility will provide water for Hesperia parks and schools and even City Hall, which is already equipped with purple pipe sprinklers, officials said last week. Purple pipe signifies that recycled water is in use.
"Water conservation is important to Hesperia and the entire region," said Mike Podegracz, Hesperia's city manager. "We are committed to supporting the construction of a sub-regional wastewater treatment facility in our city. Providing reclaimed water is a sustainable method of reducing long-term dependence on fresh water as the sole source of irrigation in the community."
The Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority has received $2 million in Bureau of Reclamation grant funding and is waiting to hear back on an application for another $3 million. The agency has also pursued state revolving fund loans, which, despite an arduous application process, protect the ratepayers by providing low-interest loans that cost far less than bonds or other options.
The agency, which has strived for setting the bar in efficiency and has identified $2.5 million in savings in a three-year period, partnered with the Mojave Water Agency to bring recycled water to the Victor Valley.
"We're happy to see that partnership's dream finally come true," Olds said.
Ryan Orr is the spokesman for the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority.