Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) held a press conference Friday with Congressman Raul Ruiz (CA-25) to celebrate the $3.45 million in federal funding to improve access to clean drinking water in the Eastern Coachella Valley.
The funding will aid the construction of the Valley View Mobile Home Park Water Consolidation Project for underserved communities that depend on unreliable private water systems. Pending the funding agreement, CVWD could go to bid for construction as early as the end of this year.
The consolidation project will connect nine small water systems of up to 135 connections, affecting nearly 675 residents. This project will also facilitate future connections to four nearby mobile home parks, serving approximately 190 residents. These communities use water from private wells, which can have high arsenic, nitrates and fluoride levels.
“As an emergency physician trained in humanitarian aid, I know how critical access to safe, clean drinking water is for our public health and the well-being of our children,” said Congressman Raul Ruiz (CA-25). “This $3.45 million investment will help bring clean water directly to our communities. With this funding that I championed – and President Biden signed into law – we will build a new water transmission line to consolidate nine water systems of underserved communities into the CVWD potable water system.”
Through CVWD’s Disadvantaged Communities Infrastructure Task Force, staff developed the Eastern Coachella Valley Water Supply Master Plan. The plan identifies more than 100 small water systems eligible to consolidate with CVWD’s domestic water system. CVWD actively seeks grant funding because it cannot use ratepayer funds to connect these communities to its potable water system due to State restrictions.
“Last year, CVWD secured more than $75 million in grant and loan funding for top priority water and sewer projects to improve infrastructure in the Eastern Coachella Valley within the next three years,” said Scott Burritt, CVWD director of service and communication. “CVWD will continue prioritizing support for small water systems in the Eastern Coachella Valley and looks forward to working with our state and federal partners to secure additional funding.”
Sergio Duran, a mobile home park resident and owner of two parks in the Valley View area, spoke at the press conference representing residents who are primarily farmworkers. He expressed gratitude for the support of Congressman Raul Ruiz and CVWD. “Having access to safe drinking water seemed like a far-fetched dream that we never thought would come true, but today with the help of Congressman Ruiz, CVWD, and the community, that dream has become a reality.”