New JPA will create more reliable water service in Ukiah Valley

New JPA will create more reliable water service in Ukiah Valley

A new joint powers authority (JPA) has been formed by Millview County Water District, Redwood Valley County Water District, and the City of Ukiah to provide more efficient and reliable water service throughout the region. Additionally, the JPA will allow the Ukiah Valley Water Authority (UVWA) to potentially access millions in state grant funding to modernize water infrastructure where needed.

“Today’s vote marks a historic turning point for the Greater Ukiah Valley and sets the stage for a more resilient water future for the region. The creation of the Ukiah Valley Water Authority creates a foundation that we will build on – showing how strategic coordination will bring significant benefits for water users across the region,” said Ukiah City Council Member Douglas Crane.

As part of the consolidation effort, UVWA will be able to apply to the State Water Board for $40-50 million to fund the new infrastructure – including pipelines and interties, storage tanks, booster stations, and two new wells – needed to connect the agencies. Competitive grants from the State Water Board are available through its “Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience” (SAFER) Program, which encourages the consolidation of rural and small water systems (those least likely to afford necessary upgrades) as part of its mission to provide every Californian with safe drinking water. Before now, Ukiah Valley residents were served by no less than 12 water agencies and two different JPAs, from which nearly 70 board members made decisions on water policy.

“The consolidation of our water districts into a single entity is a move into the future. Our district has struggled to reliably supply water to our customers and maintain our infrastructure. This is an exciting opportunity to modernize and upgrade our systems,” said Adam Gaska, board member for Redwood Valley County Water District.

UVWA will be governed initially by a six-member Board of Directors, with each member agency sending two representatives to serve on the Board. Its first meeting is scheduled for March 5, 2024.

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