Small/Disadvantaged Community Assistance
Small and disadvantaged communities face some challenges that are similar to larger communities, but are further limited by inadequate capacity in expertise and funding. Here are some of the EFC's efforts to assist these communities.
Technical Assistance for Disadvantaged Community Drinking Water and Wastewater Systems
The EFC supports projects to improve access to safe and affordable drinking water in California. The EFC's umbrella organization, OWP at Sacramento State, oversees development of work plans that specify planning and design tasks, deliverables, budget, and schedules for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects in disadvantaged communities of California. EFC staff review or develop the financial application components of the work plans.
Funding for this support is provided by the California State Water Resources Control Board. Projects include repair or replacement of pipelines, wells, tanks and water treatment components, as well as planning efforts such as water entity consolidations and groundwater contamination assessments. The work plans are used to develop applications for construction funding, which is provided through a separate funding mechanism administered by the State Water Board. As part of assembling the four components of the application packages, the EFC works with communities to assess costs and financial capacity for projects and completes the financial package.
GIS Assistance for Small Communities
In collaboration with the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) and its members across the country, the EFC at Sacramento State helps small water systems in using GIS to map assets and conduct spatial analysis. The work builds on OWP's long experience in developing web-based mapping applications for water resources planning.
Assessing Groundwater Contamination Risks
EFC staff developed the California Groundwater Contamination Risk Index (GRID), a web-based interactive tool that shows disadvantaged communities at risk of exposure to contaminated groundwater. Developed to support grant-funded groundwater remediation projects, GRID combines and maps multiple data sources, including California's Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program data and the CalEnviroScreen tool, to identify disadvantaged and severely disadvantaged communities.