PALMDALE — The Palmdale Water District is seeking grant funding to help with two Capital Improvement projects.

The District Board of Directors took action on both, individually, at its regular meeting on June 22.

For the first project, the District will hire a grant writing firm, Kennedy Communications, to assist in applying for a state grant to support a plan to bring the Aspen Springs Mobile Home Park onto the District water system.

The mobile home park, located near Barrel Springs Road and Sierra Highway, has problems meeting water quality standards with its own water system and joining into the Palmdale Water District would alleviate that problem. In turn, the District will expand its system and improve resilience.

“There is large interest from the state Water Resource Control Board to have them connected to the Palmdale Water District system, or any adjacent system, to mitigate these water quality problems,” Assistant General Manager Adam Ly said.

The park cannot afford the costs of connecting to the District on its own.

The plan would include adding a tank ear the park to help bulk up the District’s water storage capacity, as well.

The grant would fund the planning phase of the project, according to the staff report.

The contract with Kennedy Communications, a firm with an extensive background in working with small water systems in disadvantaged communities, has a maximum cost of $50,000. Should the district obtain the grant and move forward with the project, the contract costs will be reimbursable with grant funds, Ly said.

Kennedy Communications has experience and  was successful with similar projects in the past.

“This is a win-win for Palmdale Water District,” Director Robert Alvarado said. “We get to help the community and we get reimbursed for the application for the grant.”

The second project under consideration is improving the Palmdale Ditch, the 8.5 mile-long channel that moves water from the Littlerock Dam to Lake Palmdale, where it is then treated and distributed through the District.

The majority of the ditch, 6.7 miles, is an open channel. Lining and in some areas enclosing the ditch will help reduce the amount of water lost to seepage and evaporation, according to the staff report.

As it travels through the more than eight miles through the ditch, about 30% of the water is lost to evaporation and leaking into the soil, officials said.

The Board of Directors agreed to apply for a $1.5 million federal grant from the US Bureau of Reclamation to complete the first phase of the project.

The first phase would replace two miles of open ditch with a pipeline, limiting seepage and evaporation and increasing the amount of water transferred from Littlerock Dam to the Lake Palmdale, according to the staff report.

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