EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso Water was awarded a $20 million grant through the Bureau of Reclamation to build an advanced water purification facility.

The funding was announced Monday, Sept. 26 at a joint news conference by the water utility and the Department of Interior.

Tanya Trujillo, assistant secretary for water and science with the Department of the Interior, said the funding would create “one of the first direct-to-distribution reuse projects of its kind.”

Trujillo called the project “state of the art” and said El Paso is an “outstanding model for Western communities in desalination, water reuse and overall effiency.”

The facility would take treated waste water, turn it into drinking water and deliver it directly to water customers.

Construction of the facility will start late 2023 and will be designed by Carollo Engineering.

EP Water President and CEO John Balliew said the facility will create a “drought-proof supply” of water.

“For every gallon of this water we produce, it’s a gallon less of river water or well water that we have to produce,” he said.

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