Forbestown Ditch Pipeline project gets a much-needed financial boost

Forbestown Ditch Pipeline project gets a much-needed financial boost

Many residents in the Yuba County foothills are now one step closer to a more reliable source of drinking water after today’s Yuba County Water Agency vote to approve a large grant for the Forbestown Ditch Pipeline project.

The approximately $326,000 grant will help cover a portion of the local costs for the North Yuba Water District’s project, which provides drinking water to nearly 3,100 customers.

“The current ditch was dug in the 1860’s, and it’s prone to blowouts from severe weather and has a lot of leakage,” said North Yuba Water District General Manager Jeff Maupin. “The goal is to curtail those losses and create a reliable source of water to all of our customers, and this money helps bring this closer to fruition.”

For more than 150 years, the Forbestown Ditch has served as the main domestic water conveyance system for the communities of Brownsville, Forbestown, Challenge and Rackerby, but has endured many breaches and breaks. Additionally, the open canal loses an average of 35 percent of its water due to seepage and evaporation, and faces contamination from dirt, trash and chemicals.

“This project is necessary to be able to provide Yuba County residents with a safe and reliable source of drinking water,” said YCWA Board Vice-Chairman Randy Fletcher. “We’ve been working with North Yuba Water District for the past several years on solutions to this complicated project, and it will be so rewarding to see it complete.”

Since 1992, YCWA has provided four loans to the district, totaling more than $408,000. NYWD recently satisfied the latest and final of its loan commitments, enabling YCWA to provide this grant for future work on the Forbestown Ditch Pipeline project.

YCWA is able to support this grant because this project fits into the agency’s primary mission areas of water supply reliability and flood risk reduction.