Home / BINATIONAL / New River Improvement Project marks milestone with groundbreaking ceremony in Calexico

New River Improvement Project marks milestone with groundbreaking ceremony in Calexico


A project to improve water quality in the New River as it crosses into California from Mexico broke ground in Calexico. This milestone reflects years of collaborative advocacy and nearly $48 million in investments from the state of California.

Trash and waste from municipal, agricultural, and industrial sources cause heavy pollution throughout the New River, which runs from Mexico through the city of Calexico to the Salton Sea and poses a serious threat to public health and hinders local economic development.

The New River Improvement Project is set to begin to encase the New River polluted water in the Calexico area, minimizing direct or indirect human contact. The project also includes an automated trash screen for the river downstream from the United States-Mexico International Boundary to remove solid waste. Furthermore, the project will also reroute treated and disinfected wastewater from the Calexico treatment plant to restore flow in the river channel through the city to maintain floodplain wetlands and improve water quality.

“Years of steadfast community advocacy, collaborative partnerships, and a nearly $48 million investment from the State of California have made the New River Improvement Project a reality. Generations of Imperial County residents living alongside our southern border have raised their voices on the urgent New River public health and environmental crisis — efforts that have finally gained momentum thanks to the attention of Governor Newsom’s administration and the leadership of the California Environmental Protection Agency and Natural Resources Agency,” said Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, who fought to accelerate action and secure funding for New River and border river solutions.

City officials celebrated this momentous occasion that affected the residents of the west side of Calexico.

“The New River Improvement Project in California’s desert border region is a monumental move toward the commitment of improving environmental health in one of California’s most vulnerable populations,” said City of Calexico Mayor Raúl Ureña. “This is truly a binational effort to improve water quality gains traction for a better and more just Calexico border region.”

Also present at the ceremony was Mexicali Mayor Norma Bustamante who lauded the binational collaboration between both countries and environmental agencies.

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