A new water facility is being built on the banks of the Columbia River in Idaho, bringing the state’s total water treatment capacity up to 10 times what it was before the massive drought.
The new plant will be the first in the country to operate entirely off the grid, meaning no diesel, heating, or refrigeration.
The water is being treated by a combination of a mixture of bacteria and algae, and it uses no chemicals to treat it.
“It’s the first state-of-the-art water treatment facility, so it’s really a step forward,” Idaho Gov.
Butch Otter told reporters.
Otter also called the new facility “huge,” adding that it’s a “massive improvement.”
The new facility will help reduce the amount of water required to treat the state, which has had one of the driest summers on record.
“This is a massive improvement,” Otter said.
“And it’s been built in a very short time.”
In the meantime, Otter has announced that Idaho will join the U.S. as one of only five states in the nation that are not using diesel or natural gas for water treatment.
The other five states that are still using natural gas include Alaska, Arizona, New York, and Vermont.
This is not the first time that Otter and his administration have pushed for an energy efficiency program in the state.
Last year, the governor signed a bill that required Idaho to install solar panels on its water systems.
In the past, Otters administration also tried to encourage businesses to use solar energy for their water treatment plants.
The legislation did not become law, but the administration has promised to bring it back in the future.
“We want to encourage new businesses to start building solar power plants in the coming years,” Otters press secretary, Lisa Osterman, told The Associated Press in a statement.
“That will provide additional jobs for Idahoans and help the state maintain its competitiveness in a rapidly changing industry.”
Idaho’s new plant is expected to take up to two years to complete.
The state’s water treatment system is being made possible by a $25 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The EPA awarded the grant in 2014 for the Idaho Water Technology Center, a $5.8 million project that is expected a major contributor to the project.