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USDA Invests in Four California Communities to Improve Water Infrastructure

Sarah Marquart
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development California State Director applauded four California communities receiving more than $27.5 million to help rebuild and improve rural infrastructure.

“We know that in order for California’s rural communities to continue to thrive, it is essential they have safe, reliable infrastructure,” said Vann. “The investments announced today will help modernize and improve systems in four rural communities and enhance the quality of life for residents.”

USDA Rural Development is providing financing through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funding can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.     

California recipients include:

  • City of Big Bear Lake (San Bernardino County) will use a $12 million loan and $3 million grant to replace 13 miles of undersized water pipeline in the city and surrounding unincorporated areas. Some of the existing pipeline is nearly 70 years old and leaks frequently resulting in wasted water.
  • Golden Valley Municipal Water District (Los Angeles County) will use a $326,000 loan and $260,000 grant to replace 1,150 feet of sewer pipeline in Gorman. The pipeline was installed in 1975 and has deteriorated requiring constant maintenance to repair cracks and leaks.
  • San Luis Obispo County will use a $3 million loan to improve the storm drainage system in Oceano. The existing system is undersized and flood in small storms. The project will create new drainage inlets and transfer the drainage through underground piping to a new concrete sedimentation basin. As well, water flow captured in residential areas will be returned to the underground aquifer.
  • Santa Cruz County will use a $4,497,000 loan and $4,492,628 grant to replace pipeline and upgrade the sewer system in Freedom. The Freedom County Sanitation District’s sewer mains have reached the end of their design life and leaking sewage pipes threatens groundwater quality and public health and safety in the community. The project will replace 13,400 feet of sewer main, replace manholes and manhole sections, and keep groundwater and sewer flows separate.

Eligible communities and water districts can apply online on the interactive RD Apply tool, or they can apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.

Nationally, USDA announced a total of $1.2 billion to help rebuild and improve 235 water and environmental infrastructure projects in 46 states.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ca or follow us on Twitter @CaliforniaRD.