District secures grant for drinking water

Tulare County schools has received $1.5 million to meet a federal mandate requiring schools to offer students water for free in the cafeteria.

SALINAS, Calif.—Tulare County schools where students can’t drink water from fountains or taps will be getting some water from the state.

That’s because the California Water Resources Control Board has awarded two grants totaling $1.5 million to the Tulare County and the County Office of Education to buy bottled water for disadvantaged schools with bad water quality or limited water access.

Phil Cox, chairman of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors, announced the awards Tuesday during a special night meeting at the Tulare City Council Chambers inside the city’s library.

He said the process to get the grants went remarkably fast, from initial discussions with state officials about two weeks ago – in which county officials were told about $4.5 million in grant money available to buy water for schools – to notification on Friday that Tulare County would get a large chunk of that money.