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Posted on: May 16, 2023

Yuba Water grants will boost water supply reliability, support flood risk reduction and more

A photo of a levee with green grass on the side.

The Yuba Water Agency Board of Directors today committed approximately $3.6 million to support efforts to reduce catastrophic flood risk, improve water supply reliability, education and public safety in Yuba County. The funds were awarded as part of the agency’s Community Impact Grant and Loan Program, which provides up to $10 million annually to community projects that align with the agency’s mission areas.

“Our agency’s community grant and loan program not only supports local community programs and projects, but it also provides initial funding that allows many of our partners to leverage additional funds through state and federal grant programs,” said Yuba Water Vice-Chairman Don Blaser. “It’s really a win-win for all.”

Eight grants, one loan will support infrastructure improvements to benefit water supply reliability, water quality

The majority of funding awarded will support projects to improve water supply management and water quality in Yuba County.

More than $1 million in grants will help the North Yuba Water District repair aging water storage and conveyance infrastructure, ensuring Yuba County foothill residents have more reliable access to water supplies. The funds will support water meter replacements within the district, a drinking water storage tank improvement project, an engineering analysis for work on a portion of the Forbestown Ditch and flood damage repairs to infrastructure impacted by winter storms.

In addition, more than $415,000 was approved for the Olivehurst Public Utility District for projects to improve water quality, as well as reliability.

Camptonville Community Services District will receive a cashflow loan worth $525,000 to assist with reconstruction of the Campbell Gulch Diversion, a core component of the district’s residential water supply system.   

The board approved $150,000 in funding for the Yuba Feather Community Services District to install new restrooms at Ponderosa Park in Brownsville, which currently does not have permanent facilities. The new facilities will reduce waste and the potential for water quality impacts.

Grants to local reclamation districts will improve levees and access for maintenance and monitoring

The board also approved more than $1.1 million in grants for projects to further reduce the risk of catastrophic flooding in Yuba County.

Approximately $1 million was approved for Reclamation District 10. The majority of funds will be used to help plan and design improvements for two separate sections of levee on the Feather River. An additional $90,000 will be used to resurface 5.3 miles of levee road within the district for improved access for monitoring and maintenance. RD 10 maintains approximately 12,000 acres of land and 23 miles of levees north of the City of Marysville, east of the Feather River.

Reclamation districts 817 and 2103 received $52,500 and $115,500, respectively, to improve levee roads within their districts for better access for monitoring and maintenance. RD 817 is an agricultural area in southern Yuba County that manages levees near parts of Dry Creek and the Bear River. RD 2103 is a rural and urban levee district that includes the City of Wheatland and nearly 20 miles of levees.

Expanding Yuba River watershed education opportunities for Yuba County youth and underserved communities

The board granted $19,000 to First 5 Yuba County to support Growing Up WILD, an early childhood education program that embraces the environment and natural resources. The grant will expand outdoor education opportunities and wildlife and natural resource conservation to early educators and children up to the age of seven, with an emphasis on underserved communities, rural areas and the Hispanic community.

Increasing public safety

A $250,000 grant was approved for Yuba County to assist with expanding broadband connectivity. The expansion will significantly improve emergency response times throughout the county, help with flood event monitoring and reduce agricultural water usage.

To encourage water recreation in a safe environment, Yuba Water awarded a $25,000 grant to the Olivehurst Public Utility District to help cover operational expenses and training for staff at its public pool, which is open to children, teens and adults during the summer months. Certified lifeguards monitor the pool, which offers a safe alternative to swimming and playing in and around the local waterways, where cold, swift-moving water, undercurrents and hidden objects can create dangerous conditions.

Bill Shaw Rescue Equipment and Training Grants

Lastly, Yuba Water approved three Bill Shaw grants worth $10,000 each for local first responder agencies. The Marysville Fire Department will use the funding to secure new wildland hose. The Smartsville Fire Protection District will use the grant to purchase new personal protective equipment for its employees and volunteers. The Yuba County Mounted Sheriff’s Posse will use the $10,000 for equipment that is used for search, rescue and recovery efforts.

Yuba Water launched its Bill Shaw grants in 2018 based on a suggestion from an employee who was severely injured in an accident and wanted to help those who had helped him. The grants are exclusively for first-responder agencies in Yuba County and cover one-time costs of up to $10,000 per applicant, per fiscal year, associated with the purchase of rescue equipment or specialized personnel training. 

The grants and loans summarized above reflect Yuba Water’s commitment to reinvesting up to $10 million each year on community impact grants related to the agency’s mission to improve the quality of life for the people of Yuba County. Eligible grantees must be a local government agency, tax-exempt non-profit or Native American tribe within Yuba County. 

Yuba Water encourages relevant grant applications during two funding request windows, March 1 to April 1 and September 1 to October 1. All grants are thoroughly reviewed by staff and the agency’s Project Operations and Development Committee to ensure eligibility before they are brought to the full board for consideration.

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