The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today awarded $86 million in financial assistance to meet the immediate and long-term water needs for millions of Californians in local communities small and large — including $2.4 million for Indian Valley.
Of the $86 million, $44 million will provide financial assistance to small communities struggling to address drought impacts as part of the Small Community Drought Relief Program. The program was hugely successful in 2021 and this new round of funding from the Budget Act of 2022 will continue to support the state’s most vulnerable populations. These communities serve fewer than 3,000 connections and are most vulnerable to water supply issues due to aging infrastructure and dry wells.
In coordination with the State Water Resources Control Board, DWR has selected 23 projects located in Fresno, Humboldt, Glenn, Imperial, Madera, Plumas, San Benito, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, and Tulare counties to receive funding for projects that will provide new wells, construct pipelines to deliver water, increase water storage and support consolidation efforts to increase water supply reliability.
“Small communities are the most vulnerable to the impacts of our new hotter, drier climate and lack the resources to immediately deal with these challenges,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “These continued investments from the State strengthen local partnerships to provide reliable drinking water for all Californians because everyone has the human right to water.”
Of the 23 projects, 11 will directly benefit disadvantaged communities. Some of the projects set to receive funding include:
- In Fresno County, existing wells supporting the community of Mira Bella are drying up because of the ongoing drought. As a proposed solution, the district will receive $4.2 million to construct a pipeline from the existing water treatment plant to the community’s distribution system to support water supply resiliency. In the interim, hauled water will be provided to the community as the solutions are being implemented.
- In Humboldt County, the Redway Community Services District relies on a single water source located on the banks of the South Fork Eel River. Because of diminishing surface flows, the district has declared a Stage 3 emergency and is rationing water. The district will receive $1.6 million to construct three new wells and replace and rehabilitate existing tank infrastructure to ensure a more resilient water supply.
- In Plumas County, the community of Greenville is losing half of its water supply due to excessive leaks made worse by the drought. The Indian Valley Community Services District will receive $2.4 million to replace approximately 6,500 feet of water distribution system pipelines.
- In San Benito County, the Best Roads Mutual Water Company is relying on bottled water for customers after its two wells serving communities failed due to water quality and water supply issues. The company will receive $2.2 million to construct a new water tank and consolidate the water system with the Sunnyslope Water District.
- In Santa Clara County, four tanks in Chemeketa Park are leaking significant amounts of water. The community will receive $1.8 million to replace the four leaking tanks and expand storage at the treatment plant.
- In Tulare County, the unincorporated community of West Goshen is facing a public health emergency due to water quality and water supply issues in the system of private wells serving the community. The community will receive $3.4 million to consolidate the West Goshen water system into the nearby public water system, Cal Water Visalia.
To help local agencies build climate resilience in the long term, DWR is also awarding $42 million in state grants through the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Program in the Central Coast Colorado River, Mountain Counties, North/South Lahontan, San Diego and San Joaquin River funding areas. The state funding supports projects that directly benefit Tribes and disadvantaged communities, and supports water supply strategies such as water desalination, wastewater treatment, water conservation, and groundwater recharge as California plans for a fourth year of drought.
Today’s announcement is the first phase of funding with additional funding to be announced through spring 2023.