Faced with yet another dry year, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced earlier this month its sixth round of local assistance through the Small Community Drought Relief program.
DWR has allotted $49 million in funding for 18 projects across the state. Funding commitments were coordinated with the State Water Resources Control Board. Projects include 15 that will directly support disadvantaged communities, including five Tribes, with infrastructure repairs, well rehabilitation, and hauled water.
“As California’s drought continues, we cannot let our guard down when it comes to preparing vulnerable communities for the dry months ahead,” said Kris Tjernell, DWR Deputy Director of Integrated Watershed Management. “We will continue working with the State Water Board to invest in long-term solutions to bolster drought resilience and help ensure that every Californian has access to safe, clean water.”
Beneficiaries of Phase Six Small Community Drought Relief Program Funding.
Recipients of the $49 million in phase six include:
- Lundy Mutual Water Company: In Mono County, the Lundy Mutual Water Company water system is struggling to meet demands due to leaks. The company will receive $2.6 million to repair leaks in its current water infrastructure.
- Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria Kashaya Utility District: In Sonoma County, the Stewart’s Rancheria water supply is decreasing due to drought. The State will award $1.5 million to help drill a new well that will provide additional water supply for the community.
- California Environmental Indian Alliance (for Manchester Band of Pomo Indians, Round Valley Indian Tribe, Yokayo Tribe): In Mendocino County, the Manchester Band of Pomo Indians, Round Valley Indian Tribe, and Yokayo Tribe are struggling to meet demands with their vulnerable water systems. The State will award $3.2 million to construct back-up source connections and storage tanks.
- Konocti County Water District: In Lake County, a mobile home community has been supplied water by Konocti County Water District (KCWD) through a temporary intertie. The district will receive $4.3 million to replace existing leaky pipelines and expand the distribution system to consolidate the Cache Creek Mobile Home Estates and Creekside Mobile Home Park. Furthermore, the project includes the construction of interties between KCWD, Lower Lake County Water District, and Highlands Mutual Water Company.
- Redwood Valley County Water District: In Mendocino County, the Redwood Valley community does not have a reliable water source and must purchase surplus water from neighboring districts to meet demands. The district will receive $1.8 million to drill a new well.
- County of Santa Cruz: In Santa Cruz County, the community of Waterman Gap is struggling to meet daily demands due to its dwindling water supply. The County of Santa Cruz will receive $113,200 to improve its current water system and start a hauled water program.
- Yurok Tribe: In Del Norte County, the two water systems serving the Yurok Tribe are vulnerable to drought. The Tribe will receive $12.6 million to consolidate with neighboring systems and construct 10 miles of pipelines and two booster pump stations.
Late December, DWR announced funding for two emergency projects in Mendocino and Kings counties. In Mendocino County, the Redwood Valley Little River Band of Pomo Indians received $104,523 to rehabilitate its existing well to provide the community with a stable water supply. In Kings County, the Kettleman City Community Services District received $165,200 to purchase water for the health and safety needs of the community.
Overwhelming Need for Funding.
February marked six months since the Small Community Drought Relief program launched. In that time, the program has awarded over $142 million total in funding to 68 projects in 25 counties. Response to this grant program has been overwhelming with $374 million worth of projects submitted overall.
Following this month’s announcement, the program has $48 million remaining in funds. The program is one of several drought funding programs available through the State.
For information about other DWR and State drought response efforts and funding programs, visit: drought.ca.gov.