News Flash


Posted on: February 2, 2017

New Task Force seeks safe, affordable water and sewer service for disadvantaged communities

Water glass in the sink

Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) has collaborated with local stakeholders to form the new Disadvantaged Communities Infrastructure Task Force to secure access to safe, affordable drinking water, wastewater and flood control services in historically disadvantaged Coachella Valley regions.

The Task Force is comprised of representatives from local disadvantaged communities, government agencies and nonprofit organizations committed to working on both short-term and long-term solutions to ensure that all regional disadvantaged communities benefit.

“An estimated 10,000 Coachella Valley residents, primarily in the east valley, rely on private wells for drinking water and many of them do not meet all the state and federal drinking water standards,” said Cástulo R. Estrada, vice president of the Coachella Valley Water District Board of Directors, who spearheaded the creation of the Task Force.

Approximately 10,000 residents also rely on private septic systems in lieu of a publically maintained sewer system. Comprehensive mapping of private water and sewer systems will help the group better understand where the residents in need reside in comparison to existing infrastructure.

A key goal of the Task Force is to pursue grant funding to implement short-term and long-term solutions for communities within CVWD’s boundaries.

Short-term solutions include rebates for installation of under-the-counter water filters, septic system improvements and well retrofits. Long-term solutions include pursing grant funding to extend CVWD’s water and sewer infrastructure into areas of need.

“The members of this Task Force all have a strong commitment to improving the living conditions of the disadvantaged communities, so I am confident our collaboration will result in finding solutions to these problems,” Estrada said.

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The idea of the task force was originally born from the Union De Polancos, a group of 30 mobile home community members, and Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation (PUCDC) in partnership with the Neighborhoods Action Team which serves as a subcommittee of Building Healthy Communities (BHC).

 Members of the Task Force include representatives from CVWD Board members, representatives from Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit’s office, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s office, PUCDC, BHC, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, Riverside County Transportation and Land Management Agency, mobile home park owners and community members.

The Coachella Valley Water District is a public agency governed by a five-member board of directors. The district provides domestic and irrigation water, agricultural drainage, wastewater treatment and reclamation services, regional stormwater protection, groundwater management and water conservation. It serves approximately 109,000 residential and business customers across 1,000 square miles, located primarily in Riverside County, but also in portions of Imperial and San Diego counties.

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