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Posted on: August 18, 2020

Yuba Water funds water supply and flood risk reduction projects, education and rescue equipment

A photo of a group of kids on a raft floating down the Yuba River during a Salmon Expedition

Yuba Water Agency’s Board of Directors today committed more than $2.2 million in grants for Yuba River-focused water education, water supply improvements, flood risk reduction and swift water rescue equipment. 

South Yuba River Citizens League water education and community development – $71,000

As part of its continued support of water education and community development projects in Yuba County, Yuba Water approved up to $71,000 to South Yuba River Citizens League for education and community engagement.

The bulk of the grant, $56,000, will support the organization’s popular  salmon expedition tours for fourth-grade students, which teaches them about Chinook salmon, the ecology of the Yuba River watershed, and the impacts of Gold Rush-era hydraulic mining to the Yuba River and the native people. The tours also share information about current restoration programs. In light of COVID-19, the funding will be used to develop and professionally produce a six-episode video series showcasing – and temporarily replacing – the on-river expeditions. The video series will be shared with all fourth grade classes in Yuba County.

“We are thrilled to support programs that educate young people about the incredible natural resource right here in their own backyard,” said Yuba Water Director Andy Vasquez. “But we’re also excited about the possibility of expanding this educational opportunity to other distanced learning programs beyond our region since it will now be available as a video series.”

$10,000 will be used to support SYRCL’s active involvement in the development of Yuba Water’s planned Watershed Experience Center and ongoing water-based curriculum for schools in Yuba County.

The remaining $5,000 will go toward the organization’s involvement in a diverse stakeholder group focused on community development pertaining to river resources in and around Yuba County on the Yuba, Bear and Feather rivers.  

Browns Valley Irrigation District Sicard Pipeline Project – $2 million

Helping conserve and enhance water supply reliability for Browns Valley Irrigation District’s customers and service area, Yuba Water also approved teaming with the district on a grant application to fund the implementation of the Sicard Ditch Pipeline Project and to provide the required cost-share match of up to $2 million to leverage an additional $2 million in funding.

Once the project is complete, approximately 10 miles of inefficient ditch that is used to deliver water will be fully piped, conserving up to six percent of the water in the district’s main reservoir – Collins Lake –in addition to mitigating several high-risk vulnerabilities with the current, unpiped ditch.

Yuba Water’s funding is contingent upon the district receiving a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency cost-sharing grant, which is designed to fund projects that conserve water by converting open canals into pipelines, installing irrigation flow measurements, and hydropower projects. If the Bureau of Reclamation’s grant is awarded to BVID, the agency will then collaborate with the district on a specific grant agreement.

Reclamation District 2103 levee erosion repair - $150,000

Reducing flood risk for southeastern Yuba County, Yuba Water approved a $150,000 grant for Reclamation District 2103 to repair a critical erosion site along the Dry Creek levee.  

The site was first observed in 2017 when erosion started near a tree that had fallen. In 2019, the erosion worsened, growing from approximately 50 to 250 feet. 

Approximately $75,000 in state funding is available for the $225,000 total cost of the project. Funds from Yuba Water will allow RD 2103 to complete the necessary repairs prior to the start of the upcoming storm season.

Camptonville Community Services District water supply projects – $34,200

To maintain and enhance a reliable water supply for people living in the Yuba County foothills, Yuba Water approved a grant worth up to $34,200 to help the Camptonville Community Services District with two projects. 

Up to $18,400 will be used to replace the district’s internally-corroding, 64,000-gallon disinfection tank, which ensures safe drinking water for Camptonville Elementary School, residents and businesses. 

The additional $15,800 will be used to plan and design a well system that has the ability to produce reliable amounts of water during times of drought and can be connected to the district’s water plant distribution system.

Linda Fire Protection District swift water rescue equipment – $10,000

This grant will fund dry suits and personal flotation devices for the Linda Fire Protection District as part of Yuba Water’s Bill Shaw Rescue Equipment and Training Grant program. The district’s current equipment is aging and in need of replacement. 

The Bill Shaw Rescue Equipment and Training Grant Program, which was created in 2018, is designed for first-responder agencies in Yuba County and will cover the one-time costs of up to $10,000 per applicant annually, associated with the purchase of rescue equipment and specialized personnel training. Since its inception, the program has supported 15 agencies with more than $193,000 in grants.

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