Where: Chama, Rio Arriba County,  NM
Problem: The CWWUA’s water system has high contaminant levels, leaks and inadequate storage capacity
Solution: RCAC helped CWWUA apply for funding to make necessary water system improvements

The CWWUA’s water system needed financing to make improvements to fix high contaminant levels in the water, leaks and inadequate storage capacity. Because the utility’s customer base is very small, the system needed more grants than loans to pay for repairs and to keep rates reasonable.

RCAC helped the CWWUA board of directors research and apply for funding to implement these much needed system improvements so that its customers will have safe, dependable and affordable drinking water.
“RCAC’s help has been invaluable in negotiating the maze of requirements and procedures established by the three separate state agencies with jurisdiction over the funds [the association] is attempting to secure. With RCAC’s help, [the association has] been successful in the first phase of our project and have been awarded planning grants,” said Bill Keller, CWWUA board member.

The system required funding for the Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) and an Asset Management Plan (AMP) to move forward with the improvement project. RCAC reviewed the requirements and helped the board apply for a planning grant from the New Mexico Finance Authority (NMFA) to fund both the PER and the AMP, including the development of a state required Capital Improvements Plan. RCAC assisted with an application to the Water Trust Board.

RCAC worked with the system to hire an engineer; and now RCAC is completing a rate analysis and new rate structure to ensure that all system improvements and operating costs are covered. RCAC evaluated the funding conditions and has helped the system meet them, including being in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, to be eligible for improvement funding. The project is currently on track for completion and in 2015, RCAC will continue to work with the association to secure additional project funding and ensure successful implementation.