Calif. invests $2M in urgent drought relief projects

July 7, 2022
The state’s Department of Water Resources announced financial support to four separate drought relief projects as part of the Small Community Drought Relief Program.

California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced financial support to four urgent drought relief projects in Humboldt, Los Angeles, Modoc, Shasta, and Siskiyou counties through the Small Community Drought Relief Program.

In coordination with the State Water Resources Control Board, DWR awarded $2 million in funding to support four projects that will improve drought resilience and address local water needs.

“Conditions in the West are only getting drier and hotter, and the state is already planning for a fourth dry year,” said DWR Deputy Director of Integrated Watershed Management Kristopher Tjernell. “Today’s funding will provide the necessary resources to help our most vulnerable communities get access to clean, safe drinking water.”

Recipients of the awards include:

  • The Karuk Tribe: The Tribe relies solely on surface water from national forest streams and anticipates they will not have sufficient water supply to last through the summer months because of drought. The Tribe will receive $30,500 to implement a bottled water program for the communities in Happy Camp and Orleans in Siskiyou and Humboldt counties.
  • Newell County Water District: In Modoc County, the Newell County Water District is struggling to supply water for the severely disadvantaged community it serves. The area has reported more than 100 dry wells and the district’s sole operating well is down to 14 feet of water and occasionally pumps water mixed with significant amounts of sand. The district will receive $1.4 million to drill a new well to strengthen water supply reliability.
  • Green Valley County Water District: In Los Angeles County, the small mountain community served by Green Valley County Water District will receive $520,000 to establish a hauled water program to supplement the community’s water supply throughout the summer.
  • Cassel Park Mutual Water Company: In response to increased wildfire risk due to drought and climate change, the power company supporting Cassel Park Mutual Water Company in Shasta County will receive $214,200 to install a backup power supply to keep the community's water systems active during power outages.

The awarded projects are just some of the many funded by DWR through the Small Community Drought Relief Program, which was designed to help small communities address drought impacts. The program has awarded more than $175 million to 89 projects across the state and focuses on building long term drought resilience.

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