Desalination and On-Farm Recycling Project


SCH Number
Public Agency
Westlands Water District
Document Title
Desalination and On-Farm Recycling Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
Westlands Water District (District) is proposing the Desalination and On-Farm Recycling Pilot Project (Pilot Project), which will use an existing groundwater well to supply a reverse osmosis (RO) treatment facility. Once operational, the RO treatment process will generate mineralized water as a byproduct. Using proprietary vegetation specifically engineered to uptake salts and other constituents, Westlands will apply the mineralized water to irrigate salt-tolerant crops, which will remove the salts and store in the plants. Due to this uptake of salts and minerals such as boron and selenium, the crop will be rich in nutrients, making a valuable source of bio-nutrients for livestock once harvested. The District will collect data from the proposed Pilot Project to determine if a large-scale project is feasible. If successful, this Pilot Project will demonstrate that poor quality groundwater extracted from the upper, unconfined aquifer can be treated cost-effectively and that the mineralized byproduct can be beneficially reused. This will provide another high-quality supply for Westlands and the communities it serves and promote State policy by reducing reliance on the Delta to meet future water demands. The long-term average annual water supply benefit could be up to 1,460 acre-feet per year.

Contact Information

Russ Freeman
Agency Name
Westlands Water District
Job Title
Deputy General Manager - Resources
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Other Location Info
Westlands Boundary within Fresno County

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Sec. 15301, 15304, 15306
Reasons for Exemption
Westlands Water District determined that this Pilot Project is categorically exempt from CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines sections 15301(Existing Facilities), 15304 (Minor Alterations), and 15306 (Data Collection) because it involves the rehabilitation of an existing facility (well), minor land alterations (new landscaping with halophytic plantings), and the collection of data to determine the feasibility of desalination of poor-quality groundwater from the upper, unconfined aquifer.
County Clerk


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