The budget signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom includes an allocation of $7 million toward the Avenue 66 Transmission Main Project that will provide critical backbone infrastructure to Mecca and Eastern Coachella Valley.
The project will allow CVWD to serve mobile home park residents that currently lack safe drinking water.
“The Eastern Coachella Valley residents living in these mobile homes are suffering,” said Vice President of the CVWD Board of Directors Cástulo Estrada. “Living conditions are unacceptable - water is contaminated with arsenic, homes are decades old and unsafe, and raw sewage pools throughout some of the Parks. Water and power failures are common despite extreme heat in the summer months. We must address these needs for our community.”
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, requested the state allocation, noting in a letter to the State Budget Committee that the project will provide a more reliable water supply to existing customers in disadvantaged communities and will create opportunities for the development and construction of needed quality affordable housing that is on CVWD water instead of relying on private wells.
“This project will help ensure a reliable water supply to disadvantaged communities in the East Valley and also help spur the development of quality affordable housing,” Estrada said. “We thank Assemblymember Garcia for his championship of this project and applaud the state for their support.”
“This $7 million budget victory is a testament to our collaborative and coordinated regional efforts. I cannot emphasize enough how important these investments in safe water infrastructure projects are in addressing our Eastern Coachella Valley’s urgent public health concerns and as we work to align related priorities and stimulate the affordable housing development necessary to achieve long-term, sustainable solutions for residents. This project along Avenue 66 is a prime example, and we are grateful to receive state support,” Garcia said.
The Avenue 66 Transmission Main Project consists of the construction of approximately five miles of a 30-inch transmission main along Avenue 66 to Mecca and the Eastern Coachella Valley. The total project cost is $28.8 million and CVWD is in the process of completing the first phase of this project for a total cost of $3.9 million. CVWD also is seeking federal and other grant funding for subsequent phases.
“We commend Coachella Valley Water District’s leadership, especially Vice President Castulo Estrada’s strides through the Disadvantaged Communities Infrastructure Task Force to develop a resident-led master plan to connect our rural underserved areas to safe, reliable water systems,” Garcia said.
CVWD has been working to address Disadvantage Community water and wastewater infrastructure issues in the Eastern Coachella Valley for nearly a decade. This project is one of more than 40 the District has identified to assist Disadvantaged Community needs.
CVWD 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 storm water protection, groundwater management and water conservation. It serves approximately 108,000 residential and business customers across 1,000 square miles, located primarily in Riverside County, but also in portions of Imperial and San Diego counties.
Photo caption: CVWD Board Vice President Cástulo Estrada (left) appears with Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia at a recent project site in the eastern Coachella Valley.