State awards $86 Million to build water resilience

State awards $86 million to build water resilience

This week the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced the award of $44 million in financial assistance to small communities struggling to address drought impacts as part of the Small Community Drought Relief Program.

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.”

In addition, DWR awarded $42 million in state grants to help local agencies build climate resilience 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.

DWR anticipates announcing additional funding in spring 2023.

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