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U.S. House of Representatives Votes to Increase Funding for Groundwater Replenishment System

Bill Would Increase Federal Funding to $80 Million

    FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States House
of Representatives recently passed H.R. 1156, federal legislation sponsored by
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and Congressman Gary Miller to increase
authorization for the Groundwater Replenishment (GWR) System from $20 million
to $80 million.

H.R. 1156 amends the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and
Facilities Act of 1992 to increase the ceiling on the Federal share of the
costs for the GWR System.

The GWR System takes highly treated sewer water and purifies it to
near-distilled quality water through a state-of-the-art, high-tech water
purification system that includes microfiltration, reverse osmosis and
ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide.  The purified water will become part
of a seawater barrier and also be pumped through a pipeline to recharge basins
in Anaheim where it will seep into deep aquifers and blend with Orange
County's other sources of groundwater, following the same natural filtering
path rainwater takes through the ground.

The GWR System is a $486.9 million joint project of the Orange County
Water District and Orange County Sanitation District.  It will ultimately
provide enough water to meet the annual needs of 144,000 families when the
project goes on line in 2007.  Orange County's current water supply is made up
of about 50 percent groundwater and 50 percent imported water from the
Colorado River and Northern California.

"We're especially grateful to Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and
Congressman Gary Miller for their leadership on this important piece of
legislation," said Denis Bilodeau, president of the Orange County Water
District.  "Orange County's entire Congressional Delegation has continually
shown its commitment to finding new water supplies.  They are true water

H.R. 1156 will next be heard in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources
Committee, Subcommittee on Water and Power in September.

More information on the Groundwater Replenishment System is available at