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chapter 14 - Drinking Water treatment and Distribution

Table 14-7 Water charges as a share of med

Average annual water use

San Francisco Bay Area Southern Coast Central Coast Inland Empire San Joaquin Valley Sacramento Metro Area Rest of State California

(af) 0.37 0.58 0.38 0.59 0.63 0.49 0.47 0.52

Average annual

Water bill as share

water bill

of median income

($)

(%)

412

0.58

535

0.97

661

1.14

413

0.87

321

0.74

362

0.69

390

1.06

467

0.86

ian household inco

me, 2004-2006

Source: Public Policy Institute of California (2006).

total costs of desalination, including the costs of planning, permitting and concentrate management, remain relatively high, both in absolute terms and in comparison with the costs of other alternatives (National Resource Council, 2008). Since development of other traditional sources of supply in California is limited and may require substantial capital investment to develop (such as new storage or canal systems), the expanded development of brackish water and seawater desalination may become more cost-competitive.

The condition of infrastructure is a growing concern in California and throughout the country. In its “Report Card for America’s Infrastructure”, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave water infrastructure across the country a D-minus. The USEPA has conducted a Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment in 1995, 1999, and most recently in 2003. The 2003 survey shows a total investment need of $276.8 billion over the next 20 years nationwide. For California, it identified a total need of $27.9 billion. This is more than 10 percent of the national need. The majority of this need is for transmission and distribution systems. This estimate does not include the infrastructure needs for Tribes, documented at $602 million over the three-state area of California, Nevada, and Arizona (USEPA, 2005). Extrapolating the infrastructure need based on the 2003 Needs Survey into the future results in a total need of $66 billion through 2050, or $1.4 billion annually. This cost does not include the costs for treatment of new water supplies needed to offset losses in water resources from the Colorado River and the State Water Project, nor current drought conditions.

Funding for drinking water projects on Tribal lands is provided by the federal government as part of the Drinking Water Infrastructure Grants: Tribal Set-aside Program, which was established by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996. The program allows the USEPA to award federal grants for infrastructure improvements for public drinking water systems that serve Tribes.

caLifoRnia WateR PLan | update 2009

14-19

iMPRove WateR QuaLitY

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