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DWR awards $49 million to help disadvantaged with California drought

Department of Water Resources State of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KION-TV)-- California is preparing for a third dry year as the Department of Water Resources announces $49 million for 18 state projects.

This sixth round of local assistance is made possible through the Small Community Drought Relief program.

Of those projects, 15 of them will go straight to disadvantaged communities to help 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,” Kris Tjernell, DWR Deputy Director of Integrated Watershed Management said. “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.”

DWR partnered with the State Water Resources Control Board to allocate the funding to prioritize small, economically disadvantaged communities in need of water infrastructure help.

Map of Small Community Drought Relief program phase six recipients. Photo courtesy of DWR.

The proposed projects include:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

In six months of the launch of the Small Community Drought Relief program launched it has awarded over $142 million in total funding for 68 projects in 25 counties.

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