Schools receive nearly $1 million in grant funds for water conservation
The State Water Resources Control Board has awarded grant funding totaling $999,305 to Paso Robles Public Schools to be used towards water conservation projects at four schools within the district.
With support from the nonprofit One Cool Earth, the City of Paso Robles, and the County of San Luis Obispo, the school district applied for the grant in January 2015, and was one of 29 school districts in the state to receive an award through the Drought Response Outreach Program for Schools.
In addition, Lucia Mar Unified School District, the County Office of Education, and Atascadero Unified School District also received grants through the program, totaling $3.5 million in awards county-wide.
The grant requires a matching amount of $207,750, which will come primarily from One Cool Earth’s existing watershed education program budget over the next two years.
Storm water retention, pollution prevention, flooding reduction and water conservation are the primary goals of the district’s projects. Grant funding goes towards project planning, design, permitting, and construction, as well as education through student involvement, teacher trainings, and permanent educational signage directed toward the general public. The project’s initial design aims to:
1) Capture and infiltrate up to 1.7 million gallons (5.2 acre-feet) of storm water runoff annually,
2) Remove 6,800 square feet of turf to save approximately 160,000 gallons (0.5 acre-feet) of irrigation water per year, and
3) Capture or prevent the erosion of over one ton of sediment and particulate pollution per year.
Specifically, funds will benefit the following schools and associated projects:
Georgia Brown Elementary School – Will receive approximately $369,000 to for the design and installation of drought-tolerant landscaping and storm water retention basins. Bauer-Speck Elementary School – Will receive approximately $49,000 for the installation of a rain garden.
Flamson Middle School – Will receive approximately $452,000 for the design and construction of a new parking lot, which will include low impact development (i.e., permeable pavers and a bio-retention basin) as well as extension of existing native garden.
Lewis Middle School – Will receive approximately $127,000 for the design and installation of bio-retention basins, permeable pavement, storm water infiltration strip and tree planter box.
Paso Schools will begin the planning and design of these projects in the coming months, with completion expected before the March of 2019 grant deadline. Portions of the design process will include community and school site input through public design forums.
For more information regarding the grant, please visit website: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/grants_loans/drops/
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