Assemblymember Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno) introduced a bill that if passed would help small, disadvantaged communities seeking funds to construct clean drinking water infrastructure by allowing multiple towns to apply for State funds as a single applicant.

“This bill will remove another hurdle for small towns trying desperately to provide clean drinking water for their citizens,” Assemblymember Perea said. “We have to find ways to help them get funding to fix the problem instead of putting up barriers.”

Many small communities don’t have a water board or overseeing agency to apply for State funds to improve their water infrastructure. From 2009-2012 the Central Valley community of Orosi worked on an application for State funding to improve drinking water systems in several surrounding towns unable to apply on their own. Orosi’s application was denied due to State regulations disqualifying them as well as the cities they were applying on behalf of.

Assembly Bill 115, Regionalization of Small Community Water Systems Act, will authorize the California Department of Public Health to fund projects where multiple water systems apply for funding together as a single applicant.

“Many small water systems in disadvantaged communities struggle to maintain operations and provide safe drinking water,” said Maria Herrera from Community Water Center. “We support this bill because it will help Central Valley families with limited resources to finally secure a long term sustainable solution to their contaminated drinking water.”