TCPUD Receives 2023 CSDA Outreach and Advocacy Award
The Tahoe City Public Utility District (District) is excited to announce that it was recognized by the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) for ongoing initiative and action to protect communities from wildfire. On August 31, the District accepted the 2023 CSDA Exceptional Outreach and Advocacy Award (Large District Category) at CSDA’s Annual Conference in Monterey, CA.
In partnership with the Tahoe Water for Fire Suppression Partnership (Partnership), which includes the North Tahoe Public Utility District (NTPUD) and the South Tahoe Public Utility District (STPUD), the award acknowledges measurable success in raising awareness of the importance of water infrastructure for fire suppression at the local, state, and federal levels. Water infrastructure for fire suppression includes projects that upsize waterlines, install fire hydrants, and enlarge water storage tanks to increase fire flow capacity and meet modern fire protection standards. The advocacy and outreach efforts were key to creating new funding eligibility for these types of projects.
The strong partnership between the District, NTPUD, and STPUD began in 2019 with a focus on connecting with state and federal legislatures to underscore the importance of water infrastructure for fire suppression and highlight significant gaps in funding for these projects. The issue is critical, especially as wildfire continues to threaten small, rural communities located in the wildland urban interface.
"The District is honored to be recognized for our advocacy work that helps protect our communities from wildfires," shared TCPUD Board President Dan Wilkins. "This award demonstrates the positive impact of collaboration and collective action and strengthens our commitment to implementing projects that make communities more fire resilient.”
The District, NTPUD, and STPUD have dedicated considerable time and effort to engage with legislators, advocate for new legislation, and create funding opportunities. Collectively, water infrastructure investment and advocacy efforts to generate state and federal funding are prioritized and are crucial to increasing the pace and scale of investment in critical water infrastructure for firefighting.
As a result of these efforts, new grant funding has become available through the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act (LTRA), a bill that allocated funding for water infrastructure for fire suppression projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Additionally, working with Senator Alvarado-Gil, new legislation has been introduced, SB 470, that creates statewide eligibility for these types of projects.
For more information about the District’s advocacy work, visit tcpud.org/legislative-affairs.
Read CSDA 2023 Award Winners Announced and watch the following video highlighting the District's advocacy and outreach efforts to protect communities from wildfire.
Video Credit: California Special Districts Association
TCPUD Board of Directors and General Manager with CSDA Award (L to R): TCPUD Board Member Ellie Beals, TCPUD Board Member John Pang, TCPUD Board President Dan Wilkins, TCPUD Board Member Gail Scoville, TCPUD Board Member Judy Friedman, TCPUD General Manager Sean Barclay.