Today, Shasta County announced an update to local drought relief grant funding that will extend important benefits to those making more than $62,000 per year.
The county originally announced the grant funding on July 8. It comes from California’s State Water Resources Control Board, and helps Shasta County to distribute $2.4 million in drought relief locally. Under the original grant guidelines, eligibility was restricted to those that made less than 80 percent of the state’s median income, or $62,938.
Tom Ramont, a Community Education Specialist with Shasta County’s Department of Resource Management, told Shasta Scout earlier today that California’s State Water Resources Control Board contacted the county last Friday about the update to eligibility requirements. The updates reflect a change in policy from the state, expanding the program to offer greater assistance to Shasta County residents.
Under the new grant guidelines, those who make up to $118,008 are eligible for funds to pay for home water delivery for up to two years. Those who make more than $118,008 could receive similar help for up to 12 months. The update specifies that bottled water delivery is limited to a maximum of 60 gallons per household per month, and hauled water delivery is limited to a maximum of 50 gallons per person per day, although the county may approve higher amounts on a case-by-case basis. The funds would provide a “stopgap measure” while other ways to fund short- and long-term water needs are identified, according to a press release from the county’s Environmental Health Division.
Explaining the update to eligibility requirements, State Water Resources Control Board Assistant Deputy Director Meghan Tosney said, “Shasta County, like the rest of the state, is confronting new challenges caused by the ongoing drought.” She explained that the money “is specifically designed to help counties and their partners address these types of circumstances around the state.”
As Shasta Scout reported Tuesday, Shasta County, residents of the Anderson Cottonwood Irrigation District (A.C.I.D.) are struggling to find water for daily living and irrigation of their small farms. That’s because earlier this year the federal Bureau of Reclamation reduced their water allocations by 82 percent. Shortly after, the board of A.C.I.D. sold off the rest of the district’s water for $7.5 million, because, they said, the remaining water allocation was too little to travel far enough along the A.C.I.D. canal to serve residents.
The water district includes about 800 county community members. Last week about one hundred locals showed up to Anderson City Hall for a meeting of the A.C.I.D. board. Many are confused about what happened to their water and fearful about how they will survive without it. They’re communicating and mobilizing via a Facebook group which just reached 1,000 members.
Katie Walden, a local entrepreneur and flower farmer who lives within the Anderson-Cottonwood Irrigation District (A.C.I.D.) service area, shared her family’s struggles to survive in the district without access to water for a Shasta Scout story last week. Contacted today about the update expanding grant eligibility, Walden said she was in tears, calling the news “miraculous.”
Under the new guidelines, Walden now appears eligible receive a grant to pay for up to 50 gallons of water delivery to her home per day, per person, an amount that would just cover the 9,000 gallons she’s currently paying $1200 for each month to provide basic living water for her family of six. That 9,000 gallons does not include enough water for showers or laundry which the Waldens currently access at the gym or laundromat, to help them conserve the water they have.
Walden told Shasta Scout she was deeply grateful for the grant policy change. “Water is essential, something I have taken for granted. It’s amazing how lack opened my eyes to how much resource we normally have available to us,” Walden said. “This (funding) will help our family immensely.”
The county’s available grant funding covers a variety of drought related services including home well repairs, home well deepening, new well installations, home water tank installations, and home water deliveries. But according to the original grant announcement, new wells, well repairs and deepening, and water tank installations are only provided for those making less than around $62,938.
If you’re a Shasta County resident experiencing difficulty accessing water, you can contact the county’s Environmental Health Division to determine if you’re eligible for grant assistance and to begin your application process.
- See the updated grant drought eligibility guidelines press release here.
- See the original grant drought press release here.
- Contact the Shasta County Environmental Health Division at (530) 225-5787 or [email protected]
- Find out more about the grant here.
- Access a grant application here.
Do you have a personal experience to share or questions you’d like answered about water shortages within the Anderson Cottonwood Irrigation District (A.C.I.D.)? Contact us at [email protected] or on Facebook or Instagram. Do you have a correction to this story? Submit it here.
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