State bails out Coalinga for water costs

November 3, 2022
SJV Water
by SJV Water
Coalinga sits on the western side of the San Joaquin Valley in Fresno County and relies almost entirely on surface water from the Central Valley Project. SOURCE: City of Coalinga website
SJV Water
SJV Water

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The City of Coalinga got word Nov. 2 that the Department of Water Resources would pick up the entire $1.2 million tab for supplemental water the city was forced to buy after drought cut its federal supplies to the bone.

DWR press release below:

DWR Provides Funding to City of Coalinga for Emergency Water Purchase

State Assistance Helps Prevent Water Supply Shortage for the Community

SACRAMENTO, Calif. –The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today awarded $1.2 million to the City of Coalinga for an emergency water transfer to supply the community through the winter months. Though rain is in the forecast for some parts of the state, California remains in extreme drought.

The City of Coalinga, located in Fresno County, had previously notified the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that it could run out of water by December without additional supplies. In coordination with Reclamation, which supplies water to the city via the Central Valley Project, Coalinga was able to purchase 600 acre-feet of water for approximately $1.1 million from the Patterson Irrigation District.

To support the city, DWR is providing $1.2 million to cover the cost of the water purchase plus additional expenses through its Urban Community Drought Relief grant program. This funding will eliminate the financial strain on the city and provide water for the community through February 2023, when further allocations from Reclamation will be available.

“Funding from DWR’s drought relief grant programs is available for this exact purpose, to ensure that no one goes without water during this extended and extreme drought. The City of Coalinga will receive immediate relief from this program for its residents,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “The State will continue to work with the city and other communities throughout the Central Valley and California to provide available grant funding opportunities for long-term water resilience projects as we adapt to a hotter, drier future.”

“The City of Coalinga appreciates the funding support from DWR and the coordination of all our local, state, and federal partners in ensuring that our community continues to have access to a safe, clean water supply during this extreme drought,” said Marissa Trejo, City Manager for the City of Coalinga.

Earlier this fall, DWR announced $300 million in available financial assistance through the 2022 Urban Community Drought Relief Grant Program to support water infrastructure improvements, yard transformation, and water supply reliability projects. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis and grant awards will be made in multiple phases. DWR expects to announce the remaining awards later this fall.

DWR is administering the Urban Community Drought Relief Program using funds authorized by the Budget Act of 2021. Last year, the program successfully awarded $268 million to 126 projects over three phases of funding.

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

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