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Surface water plant benefits from low-interest loan to build
Work is underway near Fox Grove Fishing Access to build the surface water project for the cities of Ceres and Turlock.

The new surface water plant under construction to supply drinking water to Ceres and Turlock is benefitting from a 30-year low interest loan of $184.9 million.

The plant is being constructed through a joint powers authority of the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority (SRWA) which the cities of Ceres and Turlock formed.

The state Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan program is furnishing more than $212.7 million in funding, which consists of $27.75 million generated by Proposition 68, which was passed by California voters in 2018. The remaining $184,924,000 is financed through a 30-year loan with an interest rate of 1.2 percent.

 “This funding will significantly reduce the overall project cost by nearly $100 million over the life of the 30-year loan when compared to traditional municipal bond financing,” said SRWA General Manager Robert Granberg.

Originally estimated to cost $278 million, which includes the Cities local facilities funded separately through their Capital Improvement Programs, the SRWA continues to pursue grant funding and cost-saving measures through the design and construction effort.

In partnership with the Turlock Irrigation District (TID), SRWA identified the Tuolumne River as a surface water supply that can be used in conjunction with the groundwater systems to provide a long-term, reliable drinking water supply for both Ceres and Turlock. The plant will provide a guaranteed source of good water while other cities depend solely on groundwater which is subject to continuing threats of drought.

The project is currently is scheduled to be delivering water to the cities in mid-2023.

This funding has been provided in part by Proposition 68 and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund through an agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board. California’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is capitalized through a variety of funding sources, including grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and state bond proceeds.