CAMARILLO (CBSLA.com) — A small water district in Ventura County is taking big steps to help with the state’s drought emergency by turning saltwater into drinking water.

A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday for the $10 million state-of-the-art desalination plant in Camarillo.

“This is going to produce 1 million gallons a day, 1,000 acre-feet a year of water that will offset what we used to have to import,” General Manager Tony L. Stafford of the Camrosa Water District said.

The Round Mountain Water Treatment Plant will deliver thousands of gallons of water to homes in the surrounding area, a welcomed addition at a time when the state is suffering through a historic drought.

“The cost of imported water was going up exponentially every year and we knew that we needed to develop more local resources at a lower cost,” Terry Curson, a project engineer, said.

It does so through reverse osmosis tubes where salt-filled water that surrounds the plant is pumped in. Chemical compounds are mixed in to strip the water of salt.

The salt is then pumped back into the ocean, while the clean water is ready for consumption.

“Not only is this plant cleaning up water and provided a new water resource, it’s also removing salts from the water shed, and that’s a good thing,” Stafford said.

The plant is already generating revenue and officials hope to open at least ten more water treatment facilities in Ventura County over the next few years.

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