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Kern County Water Agency’s efforts to provide drinking water

“The project has a number of benefits."
Water faucet
Posted at 4:30 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 21:23:17-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Department of Water Resources announced its second phase of funding through the Urban and Multi-Benefit Drought Relief Grant Program.

The program looks to provide financial assistance to various projects throughout the state. This is to help tackle drought impacts on human health and safety and support public benefits, such as ecosystem improvements.

The Urban and Multi-Benefit Drought Relief Grant Program is just one of the many ways the department of water resources is addressing drought impacts.

On Monday, the Kern County Water Agency received $3.5 million to help stabilize the costs of providing a high-quality drinking water supply for our community.

“It is $3.5 million that the agency was notified it had received through a grant from the Department of Resources. The project that will be constructed with that money is the cross-valley canal extensions lining project pool number eight,” said David Beard.

David Beard, with the Kern County Water Agency, said that the project consists of installing approximately 5,300 feet of fiber reinforced concrete on an existing canal.

“The project has a number of benefits including reducing seepage, increasing delivery reliability by reducing the potential for a canal breach. It also helps to reduce maintenance efforts from the existing earthen canal.”

Beard said that the canal is so important because it is used to deliver surface water to the Henry C. Garnett Water Purification Plant, which is where treatment takes place for the delivery of water in Kern County.

He added that while seepage reduction is in the works, it’s also helpful during the drought.

“Seepage is actually beneficial to recharge the underlying aquifer but in dry years, like the years that we’ve been experiencing most recently, reducing seepage is important to stretch available water supplies.”

While these projects are in the works, Beard said that the community should continue to do its part with water conservation efforts at home such as fixing faucet leaks and using dishwashers when they are fully loaded.

“You want to stretch your available supplies as far as you can. Also continue supportive projects designed to either improve water efficiency or improve reliability of important supplies to Kern County is extremely important in the future.”

The KCWA’s Drought Relief Project is designed and ready to go. Beard said that they expect the project to kick off in late 2022 or early 2023.