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State Water Board Approves $4 Million in Funds for Interim Replacement Drinking Water for Economically Disadvantaged Communities

April 22, 2014

Contact: George Kostyrko

SACRAMENTO - Today, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) approved $4 million in funding to provide interim replacement drinking water for economically disadvantaged communities with contaminated water supplies.

The funding became available through flexibility allowed in recently-signed drought legislation to make it easier to work directly with state and local government, nonprofits and tribal communities to ensure communities in need, can apply for, and receive interim replacement drinking water. The funding comes from the State Water Board’s Cleanup and Abatement Account (CAA).

“Not having safe drinking water is a huge problem for too many Californians in 2014, and we appreciate the Governor and legislature giving us the power to help change that," said State Water Resources Control Board Chair Felicia Marcus, who serves on the Governor’s Drought Task Force.  “This Board will work creatively with our fellow local, regional, and state public health and water supply agencies to make sure these funds make a difference over the next year to communities without a reliable source of safe drinking water.”

On March 1, Governor Brown signed a two-bill, $687.4-million emergency drought relief package — Senate Bill (SB) 103 (Stats. 2014, ch. 2) and SB 104 (Stats. 2014, ch. 3) which took effect immediately, allowing the State Water Board to act.

In an effort to distribute funds as quickly and efficiently as possible, the State Water Board will coordinate with the Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Water Boards), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) district offices, the Office of Emergency Services (OES), and other stakeholders (e.g., environmental justice groups, community assistance groups, etc.) to identify those disadvantaged communities that are most at-risk and would benefit from financial assistance.

Applicants will be encouraged to lock in, or encumber the funding by June 30, 2015. Eligible entities that could apply for funding include:  public agencies, not-for-profit water districts, other, not-for-profit organizations, and tribal governments.

To get the word out, the State Water Board, will develop an online presence to make it easy to apply, an outreach strategy, and work with other state and federal partners that provide similar funding for interim emergency drinking water supplies.

For more information and to see the resolution considered by the State Water Board, Please visit: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/board_info/agendas/2014/apr/042214_6_withdo.pdf

Additional resources on this program can be found here.

Visit Drought.ca.gov to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought, and for more water conservation ideas, visit SaveOurH2O.org.

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