‘Thumbs up’ on preplanning grant for water companies

FRAZIER PARK and LAKE OF THE WOODS, CA- UPDATE (This story was first reported in The Mountain Enterprise on January 10. It reports about that the collaborative pre-planning grant submitted by two Mountain Community water districts is likely to be received. The goal is to search for new sources of water supply in the area).

By Patric Hedlund

As we enter into the third year of historic drought in California, the discovery last summer that Lake of the Woods Mutual Water Company’s wells had virtually gone dry was a major shock to the region. Then Frazier Park Public Utility District (FPPUD) found that its well productivity was changing more rapidly than anticipated, requiring careful monitoring.

These three events converged to bring water companies in the region together for the first time in preliminary discussions in August. The subject was the merits of working together for a regional preplanning grant newly offered by the California Department of Public Health, allocating money from the federal government.

As the November 8 deadline approached, Lake of the Woods Mutual Water Company and FPPUD firmed up an agreement to apply for a $209,700 preplanning grant together that would fund engineering and exploration for new water sources in this region.

In the first week of 2014, consultant Dave Warner from Self-Help Enterprises, Inc. confirmed that a surprising turn of events has occurred with the state’s decision about the preplanning grants. They consulted with their federal funding sources and decided to allocate more resources so it would be possible to fund 20 of the 21 state applicants, including the proposal from the Mountain Communities, which is ranked number 14 out of 20.

Warner cautions that the final details are not yet confirmed. FPPUD, the lead agency, is on the list to be contacted by the state for detailed talks about the work to be accomplished. A contract will be issued following those discussions, Warner said.

This is part of the January 10, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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