Moulton Niguel Water District is getting a boost in its effort to conserve more than 500 million gallons of water every year.

Last month, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation awarded Moulton Niguel $1.5 million in federal grants for its advanced meter infrastructure program. The automated smart meters will help the District detect water leaks, improve operations, and allow customers to monitor their water usage in real-time. Once completed, the project is expected to conserve 500 million gallons of water every year.

“We’re proud to bring federal funds to invest in our local water infrastructure,” said Moulton Niguel President Brian Probolsky. “Smart meters help our agency detect leaks at the earliest possible moment – saving our customers water and money.”

Moulton Niguel was one of just 45 projects in the entire country to receive funding from the federal government’s WaterSMART Program to help communities conserve water. The federal grant will fund the final phase of the District’s smart meter project, which will include the installation of state-of-the-art technology and automated meters at nearly 45,000 residential, commercial, and fire protection sites in the District’s service area.

“These water and energy efficiency grants help increase hydropower production and contribute to water supply reliability in the western United States,” Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman said in a press release announcing the $29.1 million in WaterSMART grants.

In addition to conserving water, automatic meters will help reduce the need of in-person meter reading. In total, Moulton Niguel has been awarded $2.1 million in grants for the smart meter project.

“Federal grants stretch our ratepayers’ dollars even further,” said Moulton Niguel Vice President Duane Cave. “We will continue to proactively pursue state and federal grant opportunities to upgrade and maintain our infrastructure.”

Moulton Niguel Water District delivers high-quality drinking water, recycled water and wastewater services to customers in Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, Dana Point, and San Juan Capistrano. A leader in conservation and environmental protection, Moulton Niguel maintains the lowest average water bill in South Orange County.