TEMPE — For more than a decade, the Kyrene Water Reclamation Facility in Tempe was shut down, meaning millions of gallons of water per year couldn't be collected or treated. This was due to budget cuts the City of Tempe made after the Great Recession of 2008.
"The City of Tempe had to make a difficult budget decision to close the plant, but now we need it re-opened," Representative Greg Stanton says.
Soon, however, the plant will re-open as part of the Water Resources Development Act.
Representative Stanton says $37.5 million in federal funds are secured to restart and expand the once dormant East Valley reclamation facility.
Re-opening the plant looks to boost Tempe's groundwater capacity and protect its vital water supply as drought grips the West, according to Mayor Corey Woods of Tempe.
"This reclamation plant has really been mothballed for the last 12 years," Mayor Woods says. "Given the situation we're currently in when it comes to water, this was a critically important need for our city."
The Water Resources Development Act is still making its way through Congress but will likely pass and be signed into law this fall.
Afterward, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will redevelop the processes needed to restart the plant along with the financial resources in partnership with the City of Tempe.
"It is the example of the types of solutions that we need," says Michael Connor with the Army for City Works. "We need to conserve more water and we also need to build more supply where we can. That's what Tempe is doing with this facility."