DAC Places: Needs Assessment Outreach with Service Providers

In 2018, the Sacramento River Funding Area (SRFA) Disadvantaged Community Involvement Project (DACIP) Project Team conducted Technical, Managerial and Financial (TMF) Needs Assessments for water purveyors servicing communities in DAC Census Places throughout the SRFA. This highly successful task produced a significant amount of information on the water and wastewater needs of DACs across the SRFA.

The process consisted of dividing up the list of 91 DAC Census Places between two outreach organizations of the SRFA DACIP Project Team – the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) and California Rural Water Association (CRWA) (see phase 1 report). RCAC and CRWA’s technical staff contacted water system representatives for each system. For those water system representatives who were willing to participate, RCAC and CRWA scheduled meetings and traveled to meet personally with each representative and to observe the water systems firsthand. RCAC and CRWA technical experts toured the water systems and conducted interviews to obtain as much information as possible about each system, the DAC community, and its key needs.

A standardized Needs Assessment form was used during the interviews to document information about the systems’ technical, managerial, and financial (TMF) needs. The form included questions pertaining to, among other things: accessibility and affordability of water for residents, water supply reliability, water quality, infrastructure concerns, wastewater system issues, stormwater/flood management concerns, regulatory compliance issues, system financing needs (e.g., operation and maintenance costs), questions pertaining to operator certification, water source and source capacity, certain plans including water conservation plan, drought plan, operating plan, training plan, emergency response plan, metering, security, the water system board, financial and other policies, Capital Improvement Plan, and fire protection.

The results of these Needs Assessments have been provided to each IRWM region within the SRFA to assist in project planning and project development for future implementation funding. Additionally, the information gathered has been used to develop technical assistance activities in Phase 2 of the SRFA DACI Program effort.