Cástulo Estrada, Vice President of the Board of Directors of Coachella Valley Water District, has been reappointed to a group that advises the State Water Resources Control Board about policies and programs that target Disadvantaged Community water systems.
This will be Estrada’s second two-year term on the Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience (SAFER) Advisory Group. The drinking water program provides $130 million a year, for 10 years, to assist the approximately one million Californians who do not have access to safe and affordable drinking water.
“I have witnessed and experienced the deficiencies in drinking water endured by our communities,” Estrada said. “I am very proud of the work we have accomplished. There is a great deal more to do and I am grateful to continue to work through this effort to implement long-term solutions.”
The Group is composed of 19 appointed members that represent public water systems, technical assistance providers, local agencies, nongovernmental organizations, the public and residents served by community water systems in disadvantaged communities, state small water systems, and domestic wells.
In 2020, the Advisory Group identified funding priorities and engaged stakeholders to critique plans and programs that will help failing and at-risk water systems apply for grants.
Estrada, who has been on the CVWD board since 2014, has made providing safe drinking water to Disadvantaged Communities his top priority.
In 2016, CVWD, with the help of Estrada, formed the DAC Infrastructure Task Force to address water-related needs in the Eastern Coachella Valley. The task force has identified and prioritized 83 small, private water systems that are eligible to consolidate with CVWD’s domestic water system. Many of the small water systems have elevated levels of arsenic, nitrates, and fluoride. The next steps will include acquiring grant funding expected to cost approximately $80 million.to execute the projects