US data center provider Switch and the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center are building a 16-mile pipeline that will deliver recycled water to the TRI Center industrial park, helping preserve an endangered fish.

The Regional Water Improvement Pipeline Project will deliver some five billion liters of recycled water from the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility (TMWRF) in Sparks City to the TRI Center. The Center is the world's largest industrial park, and home to Switch, Google, and the Tesla Gigafactory.

cui ui fish.jpg
– Public domain / Wikipedia

Public private partnership

The pipeline is paid for by a public-private partnership, involving every municipality and agency in Northern Nevada, including the State of Nevada, City of Reno, City of Sparks, Washoe County, Storey County, and Truckee Meadows Water Authority. It is also supported by private sector partners including the Master Developer of TRI Center, Switch, and other leading technology companies, who weren't named in the announcement. Farr West Engineering is the construction manager for the project.

"This is a true win-win project that will create hundreds of good jobs in the community, while at the same time providing important environmental sustainability outcomes that benefit the residents and businesses along the Truckee River system," said Governor of Nevada Steve Sisolak. "I commend each of the government entities that have made this model of regional coordination and cooperation a reality."

The project will take nitrate-rich treated effluent water for mechanical use at TRI Center, instead of releasing it into the Truckee River. This will improve water quality at Pyramid Lake and protect the Cui-ui, an endangered suckerfish that lives there. Clean water will be provided to maintain the flow of the Truckee River.

The project also enables the state to defer a $25 million expansion of the TMWRF wastewater treatment facility and create "hundreds of good-paying jobs in the local community", according to the announcement.

Switch President Thomas Morton said: "This innovative solution helps not only Switch, but our 1,300 plus global customers operate mission-critical technology infrastructure in the most sustainable way using 100 percent recycled water to protect the area's precious natural resources."

Ed Lawson, Mayor of Sparks, Nevada, added: "With water becoming an ever-more precious resource, we have been very mindful to protect the residents of Sparks and all of the neighboring communities throughout the Truckee River region from increased costs. This project masterfully uses new technologies in repurposing wastewater and in so doing, off-sets $25 million in ratepayer investments in otherwise needed improvements. We are proud to have played a role in bringing this project to life."

Jay Carmona, Chair of the Nevada Storey County Commission, said: "Few projects deliver such widespread benefits as does the Regional Water Improvement Project. From protecting the quality of the Truckee to protecting the endangered Cui-ui fish and ensuring that future generations can enjoy Pyramid Lake, this project provides benefits across Storey County and beyond."

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