State awards $2 million for urgent drought relief projects

DWR selects projects for drought relief funding

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced its tenth round of funding through the Small Community Drought Relief Program last week.

In coordination with the State Water Resources Control Board, the program identified 11 projects to benefit underserved communities in Fresno, Lake, Marin, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Tulare and Tuolumne counties, including one Tribe. The selected projects will implement solutions such as pipeline replacement, well rehabilitation and infrastructure upgrades.

The following communities will receive funding:

  • In Fresno County, the city of Parlier is struggling to meet daily water demand because of a failing well. To help meet demand, the city will receive $765,000 to rehabilitate an existing well.
  • Waterworks District 40, serving the Shaver Springs community, will receive $1.2 million to drill a new well and treat contaminated water from an existing well. Both projects will benefit the community by improving water supply reliability and water quality.
  • In Lake County, the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Rancheria’s existing well is compromised due to the state’s recent drought. The Tribe will receive $100,000 to cover the costs of constructing a new water well to provide water to residents.
  • In Marin County, the Inverness Public Utilities District is struggling to meet demand due to three leaking redwood tanks and a failing steel tank that is currently losing more than 3 million gallons of treated water annually due to the leaks. The district will receive $1.2 million to replace the tanks and secure the community’s water supply.
  • In Shasta County, County Service Area No. 3 at Castella will receive $1.6 million to replace the existing water intake system and rehabilitate a water storage tank to ensure resiliency in the coming summer months.
  • In Siskiyou County, the community of Tulelake is struggling due to low groundwater levels as a result of the recent multiyear drought. The city will receive $700,000 to rehabilitate two wells, provide bottled water and install an emergency potable water filling station.
  • In Tehama County, the city of Corning will receive $2 million to construct a new well and pipeline to help serve approximately 25 homes that currently rely on domestic wells that are going dry. Tehama County Environmental Health will also receive $500,000 to drill three new wells to supply hauled water for residents struggling with dry wells.
  • In Tulare County, the North Kaweah Mutual Water Company will receive $40,000 to replace a leaky, aged water storage tank to ensure the continued supply of safe and reliable water to the community of North Kaweah.
  • In Tuolumne County, Sierra Park Water Company will receive $1.8 million to replace leaking pipelines serving the local community. The Sierra Village Mutual Water Company will also receive $235,000 to replace the failing water storage tank with a new tank to ensure a safe reliable source of water for residents.

Since launching in 2021, the Small Community Drought Relief Program has delivered $278 million in financial assistance to 138 projects designed to strengthen drought resiliency. In addition to helping implement long-term solutions, the program provides household water storage tanks and hauled water for California residents whose wells have gone dry through the Water Tank Program.

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