Dear House Minority Leader McCarthy and Representative Conway:
On behalf of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors, I write in support of House Minority Leader McCarthy and Congresswoman Conway's proposed amendment to H.R. 5118, the Wildfire Response and Drought Resiliency Act. The proposed amendment will address critical water supply challenges faced by our County's most vulnerable and underserved populations.
Tulare County oversees more than 50 census designated places and unincorporated communities across California's Central Valley. The majority of these sparsely populated districts rely upon groundwater to sustain daily life which continues to be adversely affected by drought induced water quality and quantity issues. Every community and municipality in Tulare County depend upon a system of wells to guarantee the water needs of their residents. As the California drought persists, water service providers of our economically dis-advantaged communities struggle to find the required funding to excavate deeper wells or upgrade the infrastructure required to connect with nearby water systems.
The proposed amendment to H.R 5118 would authorize significant grant funding that would fully fund water projects for our small unincorporated communities, eliminating the current funding barriers in place that can delay sustainable water solutions for up to six years before any ground can be broken. Our most vulnerable residents should not have to wait that long to have access to clean and sufficient drinking water.
For these reasons and more, the County of Tulare supports this proposed amendment and urges its adoption by the House. Should you have any further questions regarding this position, please contact our office at (559) 636-5000.
Eddie Valero, Chair
Tulare County Board of Supervisors