FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Debi Ores, (916)706-3346, Debi.Ores@CommunityWaterCenter.org
Sacramento – This week, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) approved the 2017-2018 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Intended Use Plan (DWSRF IUP).
The IUP continues the Board’s commitment to aiding water systems in need of assistance, in particular systems serving disadvantaged communities. The newly approved IUP creates a new designation of Expanded Small Community Water Systems for those that serve 10,000 – 20,000 residents or have between 3,300 and 6,600 service connections. These community systems are now eligible for principal forgiveness funding for up to 50% of their project costs. This will alleviate the financial burden facing already impoverished populations.
Community Water Center (CWC) has advocated for the State Water Board to allow severely disadvantaged communities larger than 10,000 residents to apply for grant funding for the last few years. The inability to receive grant funding creates huge issues for communities like Arvin, who are unable to afford the costs related to pure loan funding to remedy their drinking water problems. This year CWC worked with Assemblymember Salas to author a bill (AB 560) to require this increased funding access to larger SDACs.
“The action taken by the Water Board will bring relief to Arvin and other small communities throughout the Central Valley that have struggled to provide access to clean, affordable drinking water,” said Assemblymember Salas. “I want to thank the Water Board, CWC and all the stakeholders that made this a reality."
We thank Assemblymember Salas for his leadership in taking up the important cause of increased access to favorable financing options for some of the communities most in need of assistance in California. CWC is happy that due to Salas’ leadership and the SWRCB, larger SDACs will now have much-needed access to better funding options.
However, while this bill will help improve access for larger disadvantaged communities to receiving assistance for drinking water, California must take the next step of passing SB 623 (Monning), which will provide a new sustainable source of funding to meet longstanding gaps in drinking water funding. The DWSRF and other funding sources, like Prop 1, are limited pots of money reserved only for one-time costs, like capital infrastructure, leaving communities struggling to fund continued operations and maintenance without a funding source. SB 623 will help cover these funding gaps, furthering the goal of ensuring all Californian’s have access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water.