As part of ongoing efforts to help small communities address water supply challenges amid extreme drought and build water resilience for the future, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced its eighth round of funding through the Small Community Drought Relief Program.

Among the fifteen selected small communities is Sky View County Water District, in Tehama County’s Paynes Creek area.

According to DWR, the local disadvantaged community relies on one groundwater well and is struggling to meet water demands for residents and fire protection due to aging pipelines. The district will receive $5 million to provide safe drinking water to residents.

In coordination with the State Water Resources Control Board, the program will overall provide $40 million to the projects in Butte, Humboldt, Lake, Madera, Mariposa, Placer, San Luis Obispo, Riverside, Sierra, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Ventura and Yolo counties.

Of the selected projects, 12 will directly benefit disadvantaged communities to implement long-term solutions such as pipeline replacement, well installation, and infrastructure upgrades to improve water resilience and water quality.

“Many of our state’s most vulnerable communities still struggle to get access to clean, safe drinking water. These funded projects will increase local water supplies while helping communities adapt to more extreme weather patterns caused by climate change,” said Kristopher Tjernell, deputy director of Integrated Watershed Management at DWR. “As we prepare for a fourth dry year, we will continue to work with the State Water Resources Control Board to expedite assistance to our communities in need.”

Some of the communities set to receive funding include Oceano Community Services District in San Luis Obispo County, Mount Konocti Mutual Water Company in Lake County, Banning Heights Mutual Water Company in Riverside County, Burnt Ranch Estates Mutual Water Company in Trinity County, Madison Community Services District in Yolo County, Garberville Sanitary District in Humboldt County, and City of Exeter (Tooleville) in Tulare County,

The full list of funded projects can be viewed online at https://tableau.cnra.ca.gov/t/DWR.

The Small Community Drought Relief Program has delivered $216 million in financial assistance since receiving funding from the Budget Act of 2021.

In this year’s budget, the program received an additional $121 million that will allow the program to continue to assist small communities and start a new Water Tank Program.

For information about other DWR and State drought response efforts and funding programs, visit drought.ca.gov.

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