Disadvantaged Communities Infrastructure Task Force
The mission of the CVWD Disadvantaged Communities Infrastructure Committee is to secure access to safe affordable drinking water, wastewater and flood control services in historically disadvantaged Coachella Valley regions through strategic planning, funding procurement, needs assessment, and reporting – all in collaboration with community members and stakeholders.
A Disadvantaged Community is defined by the State of California as a community with an annual median household income that is less than 80 percent of the Statewide annual median household income (Water Code §79505.5 which cross references to Water Code §79505.5).
Task Force members include representatives from CVWD and the following:
Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor’s office
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia's office
Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation
Building Healthy Communities
Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability
Riverside County Transportation and Land Management Agency
Coachella Valley Housing Coalition
Mobile home park owners
Long Term Goals
- Encourage and participate in the development of a CVWD DAC Infrastructure Development Program that provides safe reliable drinking water by consolidating systems when feasible, extending the life of decentralized systems when not feasible, and developing innovative approaches specifically targeted to addressing DAC infrastructure needs.
- Create and maintain an annual report tracking CVWD's efforts and infrastructure investment in DACs, including DAC funds for which CVWD has applied and/or received, and CVWD revenue sources available for DAC infrastructure development.
Short Term Goals
- Establish a "DAC Infrastructure Taskforce" within the CVWD to work specifically for Disadvantaged Communities. This taskforce should include staff that will coordinate activities to secure funding for DAC infrastructure projects and needs; coordinate the implementation of DAC infrastructure projects; provided training and education to DAC stakeholders; coordinate with parallel related strategic planning and development efforts; and pursue other priorities identified by the DAC Infrastructure Committee.
- Identify prefunding mechanisms for implementation such as loans or rebates to cover the cost of preliminary engineering work connected to grant applications. The mechanisms are needed to cover expenses related to environmental assessments, preliminary engineering reports, engineering design, permit fees, appraisals, and other costs that will allow applicants to secure funding or otherwise advance infrastructure projects.
- Identify possible prefunding mechanisms such as loan programs or rebates to assist landowners with hook-up costs for consolidation to existing CVWD lines.
- Establish/Strengthen the collaborative relationship between the DACIC and the Coachella Valley Integrated Water Management Group for maximum mutual support and success.
- Procure external funding for project implementation via grants and low interest loans.
- Implement a CVWD protocol wherein CVWD planning and engineering staff time may be used to meet grant matching fund obligations where feasible, as opposed to being reimbursed by grant funds which may reduce the grant budget to the detriment of the DAC.
- Evaluate applicability of CVWD's new development policies on DAC consolidation and consider different policies that reduce economic burden of consolidation.
- Evaluate availability and consider suggested improvements to CVWD and other laboratory resources that are available to the public to ensure affordable rates and sufficient water sampling capacity in the DAC regions.
- Consider ways to partner with DAC's on water and wastewater system operator training.
- Consider ways to partner on public education and awareness of water issues.
- Work with Riverside County to ensure shovel readiness of infrastructure development projects.
- Obtain from CVWD staff mapping of DAC communities, existing CVWD infrastructure and any proposed development in DAC regions.
- Strive to conduct community forums at least quarterly to allow for broader stakeholders to express needs to and received updates from the DACIC. At least one community forum each year should be preceded by a field tour for DACIC and DAC Taskforce members, during which DAC community members will highlight case studies representative of water and wastewater needs.
- Set annual benchmarks for the application and receipt of grant funding by which CVWD will aim to increase and improve fundraising efforts for DAC infrastructure.
In the News
- Palm Desert Patch - New Task Force Seeks Safe, Affordable Water for Disadvantaged Communities - 2/3/2017
- The Desert Sun - CVWD pushes for safe water in poor areas - 2/22/2017 (PDF)
- Notivalle - Cástulo R. Estrada / distrito de agua del valle de Coachella - 2/17/2017