Funding Ensures Water Reliability in Disadvantaged Community by San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency Oct 6, 2022 Member Submitted News BEAUMONT – San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency (SGPWA) is working with Cabazon Water District (District) to help the District maintain a dependable supply of drinking water for 2,270 residents of Cabazon. Support is in the form of gap funding to help the District pay for grant-funded system improvements up front. Gap funding by the SGPWA will help the District pay for the improvements while the District waits for the state to reimburse the work. The District was awarded two grants through various state funding programs. The two grant-funded projects will help modernize the water delivery system of a disadvantaged community and support regional efficiency, supply management, and future groundwater production. Without backing from SGPWA, the District was at risk of losing the grants, which cover 100 percent of the cost of the following projects: Isolation Valve Improvement Project – A $1.2 million project to replace and install 105 valves on existing water distribution pipelines. The valves will improve system reliability and decrease water usage during maintenance activities. Well Improvements Project – A $499,000 grant for groundwater well improvements, including well testing, well refurbishment design and transmission line design for future projects. Gap funding allows agencies to advance necessary project funds while waiting for state reimbursement and is often a critical element in getting grant monies to disadvantaged communities. SGPWA will provide up to $800,000 per reimbursement cycle to the District, which will later be repaid to the Agency. Grant reimbursements can take many months. It is not uncommon for small water systems to not have the cash reserves to cover project costs during the state’s reimbursement “gap” period, putting the grant awards at risk. Cabazon Water District and SGPWA are collaborating with other local partners on regional water issues and solutions. The agencies are members of the San Gorgonio Pass Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) and helped develop the San Gorgonio Pass Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP). The District’s projects support the efforts of the GSA to maintain healthy groundwater basins and meet the objectives of the IRWMP. “The District was grateful to the state for the grant support but was struggling to pay the upfront costs for the work,” said Cabazon Water District General Manager Michael Pollack. SGPWA Director Kevin Walton noted the importance of utilities helping utilities. “One of the region’s most vulnerable water systems was in a position to lose hard-earned grant funding from the state,” he said. “We need to support each other where we can, when we can.” The state grants are provided under Proposition 1 and Proposition 68. Proposition 1, which was passed by voters in 2014, funds water projects, including surface and groundwater storage, ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration, and drinking water protection. Proposition 68, passed in 2018, supports treatment and remediation activities that prevent or reduce contamination of groundwater that is a source of drinking water. For more information on SGPWA, go to www.sgpwa.com. For more information on Cabazon Water District, visit www.cabazonwater.org.