With drought on everyone's mind, city leaders from Palo Alto and Mountain View held a brief summit on June 18 at the Regional Water Quality Control Plant to highlight a project that both cities hope will help make water consumption more sustainable for decades to come.
Mayors Tom DuBois and Ellen Kamei met with Valley Water board member Gary Kremen at the Palo Alto facility to accept a $16 million check from the water district. Under the terms of the deal that the cities signed with Valley Water (formerly known as the Santa Clara Valley Water District) in 2019, the funds will be used for design and construction of a small salt-removal facility that will lower the salinity level of the recycled water at the treatment plant. Once that facility is built, the cities will sell half of their treated effluent to Valley Water, which would further purify it and mix it in with its potable water supply.
The check represents Valley Water's contribution toward the $20 million facility. The 76-year deal gave the water district 13 years to build the facility and obligated it to pay $200,000 to each of the partner agencies of the water treatment plant: Palo Alto, Mountain View, Stanford University, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and the East Palo Alto Sanitary District.
Kremen tweeted the photo of himself and the two mayors and wrote that he is honored to assist the cities with "increasing the quality of drought-resistant recycled water so that it can be used on Redwood trees and for cooling towers, reducing demand on Hetch Hetchy."