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Yuma Desalting Plant operational

The Yuma Desalting Plant is back in operation.

The plant, located 5 miles west of Yuma, Ariz., will operate for a one-year pilot run, according to The Arizona Republic newspaper.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced last fall the plant would run in collaboration with three water agencies from California, Nevada, and Arizona.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and the Central Arizona Project will provide about $14 million of the pilot run's estimated $23.2 million cost, the Bureau said in a statement last fall.

About 21,700 acre-feet of desalted water will be produced. The water will be combined with 7,300 acre-feet of untreated irrigation drainage water. The 29,000 acre-feet will be discharged into the Colorado River and included in treaty deliveries to Mexico.

This will reduce water releases from Lake Mead to help meet treaty obligations by an equal amount, conserving water in Lake Mead, and augmenting the river's overall water supply, the Bureau said.

The desalting plant was completed in 1992. Initial operational testing was conducted at about one-third of capacity until early 1993 when it was stopped after flooding on the Gila River damaged a portion of the irrigation drainage canal.

Since then, the plant operated for a three-month demonstration run in 2007 at about 10 percent of capacity.

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