Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar says he is encouraged by the yearlong pilot program under way at the Yuma Desalting Plant.
Salazar toured the plant Tuesday saying it is operating better than expected with water production ahead of schedule and operating under budget.
Federal officials and water agencies in Arizona, California and Nevada began a yearlong pilot run of the facility on May 3rd to collect performance and cost data as the plant reclaims irrigation drainage water.
Desalted water is delivered to Mexico as part of an international treaty to provide 1.5 million acre-feet of water annually.
Federal officials say the plant would allow more Colorado River water to remain in Lake Mead during an unprecedented drought.