State Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) announced Monday she has secured a $15 million one-time investment of General Funds for the southern Central Valley. The funds will address failing water systems that deliver safe clean drinking water to California’s most vulnerable communities.

Access to clean drinking water is one of the main reasons why I chose to run for office,” said Senator Melissa Hurtado. “One million-plus people don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water and this issue disproportionately affects my community, often keeping me up at night.”

In August 2018, both of Stratford’s wells failed, leaving families and children without potable water. Until the wells were fixed, the Stratford Public Utility District handed out free bottled water outside their offices. However, residents still lacked access to water for purposes of bathing or flushing toilets, and schools installed portable restrooms for students.

This is a significant win for families throughout the southern Central Valley; however, we could not have accomplished this alone,” added Hurtado. “The leadership from Governor Gavin Newsom to Senate Leader Toni Atkins have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to uplift underrepresented communities. Moreover, local community leaders and activists dedicated countless of hours to elevating the issues to a state and federal level. It truly was an all-encompassing effort recognizing that an economy that leaves an entire region behind, isn’t a sustainable economy and it starts with our most basic human needs – access to clean drinking water.”

Senator Hurtado secured the $15 million dollar investment, which will include:

  • $2.5 million allocation for the placement and filling of temporary water tanks for households in communities like Porterville and Stratford that have lost their water supply because of dry wells.

  • $3 million for City of Sanger to repair a water tank and Well 16

  • $1 million to connect Tombstone to Sanger’s centralized water system

  • $2.5 million for a new water and tertiary treatment plant for Tulare County

  • $1 million to repair water systems in Fresno and Tulare Counties to improve access to water in cities like Orosi and Del Rey

  • $1.5 million for the Selma Storm Drain Project, Selma Rockwell Pond Groundwater Recharge Project, and the Selma Branch Canal Multi-Use Trail

  • $1 million to replace Water Well 21 in the City of Dinuba

  • $2.5 million to bring communities into compliance with safe drinking water standards and remove arsenic from water in communities like Alpaugh in Tulare County and Arvin in Kern County

The proposals are included in this year’s budget bill, AB 74, which currently sits on the Governor’s desk.

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