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City applies for drought project grant
The City of Turlock is submitting several projects in order to decrease overall water usage and increase conservation in the current drought. - photo by Journal file photo

The City of Turlock could be receiving funds to develop drought resistant measures in facilities around the town after the Council unanimously approved an action to submit an application for funds from the State Department of Water Resources.

In 2006 Gov. Jerry Brown authorized the use of $5.3 billion in general obligation bonds to fund water conservation and safe drinking water efforts through the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006, or Proposition 84. Following his drought declaration in March, the Governor allocated an additional $200 million to the proposition in order to fund projects that could address drought impacts and enhance local water supplies. Of that $200 million, $20 million has been allotted for projects in Turlock’s region — a widespread area as far south as Madera County,  north to Sacramento County and spreading from the foothills to the Bay Area. 

As a member of the Integrated Regional Water Management Planning Process in Stanislaus County, the City of Turlock will be submitting a joint application alongside the cities of Hughson and Modesto. Turlock is in the final stages of review and working alongside Modesto and Hughson city officials to produce a competitive application.

“We met with the other agencies and felt that this was a good opportunity to work together for a common cause. It’s a very competitive process and we’re coming together with the same goal,” said Garner Reynolds, regulatory affairs manager for the City of Turlock

The City of Turlock is submitting several projects in order to decrease overall water usage and increase conservation in the current drought. The cities are working to increase their chances of being awarded as much in the way of funds as possible with Turlock withdrawing two projects to treat arsenic in drinking wells because it would be more cost effective to replace the wells rather than to treat them.

“The projects we’re proposing include replacing turf in the Christoffersen medians with drought tolerant landscaping; installing a number of automated irrigation control in our parks and public greenways to reduce water use; and install some non potable wells for landscape irrigation in our parks,” said Michael Cooke, municipal services director, at the City Council meeting on Tuesday.

While City officials are working to complete the application by the July 21 deadline, it will be several months before the cities of Turlock, Modesto, and Hughson will know how much in funds they may be awarded.