The last drought to hit California was extreme and gained notoriety as a statewide disaster. But no area was impacted more than Tulare County, especially in our unincorporated communities.
As bad as the effects of the drought were there was a silver lining. For Tulare County, that was in the form of state and federal grants to make permanent improvements.
Extensive media coverage informed the world about the situation in East Porterville. East Porterville benefited from the dollars provided by the drought relief and is now getting connected to a permanent water system.
But other communities around the County also suffered greatly from the drought and we are pleased to finally get more permanent solutions for them as well with monies made available to us.
One in particular falls within my district, the community of Monson. The nearly 200 residents that make up the community of Monson never had access to a central water system – only a supply from private wells that suffered from nitrate contaminations as well as drought failure from a plummeting water table.
For many years, we tried to find sensible and affordable solutions to this decades old problem, but it was not until this last drought that we solved the problem.
I am proud to share that after years of work, homes in Monson will finally get connected to a reliable water distribution system next month.
The new community well has been constructed and the project’s first phase to connect a group of 30 homes is set for September. Work is underway to organize a big community celebration in Monson to honor this monumental occasion.
The second phase of the project proposes an additional water distribution infrastructure that will interlink to the nearby community of Sultana.
While the drought exacerbated the water problems in Monson, it also provided unique financing opportunities from Federal and State agencies. Historically communities like Monson, comprised of individual wells, have not been eligible for traditional water system grant programs. However, in this last drought innovative funding programs were developed.
In total, the County was able to collect $2.11 million in secured funding for this project. Making the entire project possible.
Overall I want to express our gratitude to all the State and Federal funding partners, Self-Help Enterprises, the City of Dinuba, and most importantly the Monson-Sultana communities for coming together to make this water system a reality.