San Joaquin Water Treatment Plant Still Not on Track

California's San Joaquin Valley has an opportunity to build a treatment facility to bring water from the Kings River to communities in Tulare County, but so far infighting among towns in the county has prevented work from starting on that plant.

1 minute read

August 1, 2017, 1:00 PM PDT

By Casey Brazeal @northandclark

Water Dripping

Vinoth Chandar / Flickr

Water has been a consistent problem for the people of the San Joaquin Valley, "Clustered together in a broad, rural citrus belt, the towns have been suffering from contaminated wells for at least two decades," Mark Grossi reports for News Deeply. It seemed that there might be some relief coming in the form of a treatment plant for river water in the area. "A regional water treatment system shared among several rural towns would be a first for the San Joaquin Valley, but it is threatened by self-inflicted delays and local political slowdowns, including one that last month stalled the estimated $30 million treatment plant," Grossi writes.

The breakdown seems to have occurred when stakeholders became concerned about who would control the water in future generations, particularly if there were significant population shifts. "According to the revised contract language circulated at a meeting among the attorneys, the lawyer for Orosi Public Utility District proposed the benefits of the water treatment plant should remain in perpetuity as they were initially allocated – proportionately by population size. Cutler and Orosi have 80 percent of the 17,000 residents who would be served. But the numbers might change in future years as communities grow, opponents argued," Grossi reports.

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