The Department of Water Resources (DWR) recently announced its second and third round of funding commitments, totaling $28 million, to 15 communities as part of its Small Community Drought Relief program.

DWR is coordinating with the State Water Resources Control Board to identify projects for funding. Afirst round of projects totaling $25 million was awarded last month. The Small Community Drought Relief program is designed to provide technical and financial assistance to small communities impacted by the current drought. The full list of projects includes 15 awardees, 11 of which are identified as disadvantaged communities.

“As drought conditions continue, it’s clear that our smaller communities do not have the same resources as their urban counterparts to address the impacts of drought,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “The department is working diligently to evaluate applications and provide support to the communities that need it most.”

“As the drought continues to gain momentum, and we prepare for another potentially dry winter, coordination between agencies and the funding to support community response will be critical,” said Joaquin Esquivel, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board. “The State Water Board and DWR will continue to actively engage local managers throughout the state to ensure they are aware of and accessing the support needed to manage through this difficult drought.”

Recipients of the total $28 million include:

Konocti County Water District: Drought has caused the water supply source to drop below the current intake system. The district will receive $657,173.

Madera Ranchos: The water system is failing due to drought conditions and struggling to meet demands. The district will receive $300,000.

City of Ukiah: Currently strained due to drought conditions, will receive $264,600 for two potable water pumps to pressurize the city’s emergency interties. 

City of Orland: One hundred private domestic wells have been reported as dry or at risk in and around the City of Orland. The State will provide $7,735,000.

City of Orange Cove: Struggling with dwindling water supplies and leaky pipelines, will receive $ 7,781,640.

Kashaya Utility District: Running out of water to drought. The State will provide $169,714.

Rolling Hills Mutual Water Company/Golden State Water Company: The well serving the community of Rolling Hills in Santa Barbara County has failed and will be awarded $29,300.

The awards will also establish county-wide hauled and bottle water programs in Mendocino and Glenn Counties to provide immediate potable water supply.

By Dave Sorem, P.E. ECA Government Affairs Chairman email: [email protected]