County Supports Water Infrastructure Bill

March 6, 2024

Funding for Improvements Will Help Further Wildfire Protection Efforts


As part of its mission to help strengthen wildfire response efforts, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors extends its support to Senate Bill 1088, as currently written and as it aligns with fire prevention goals, including those identified in a draft countywide plan outlining ways to prepare for, reduce the risk of, and adapt to wildfire fire events.


Introduced by Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil, SB 1088 would provide more state matching funding for water system infrastructure improvements for wildfire defense within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). Developing and/or upgrading water sources for fire suppression is listed as a key recommendation for safe and effective wildfire response in the draft 2024 Inyo County Community Wildfire Prevention Plan (CWPP), out for public review March 7 through April 15. 


An in-person kickoff to the review period for the CWPP will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday, March 7 at the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation Tribal Wellness Center, 1145 E-Sha Rd., Lone Pine. All community members – full- and part-time residents, property owners, individuals in the workforce – are encouraged to participate. 


The draft CWPP and related documents can be found at, where feedback can also be submitted. The draft plan was developed in collaboration with numerous community groups, agencies, and Tribal governments. The document reviews, verifies, and/or identifies potential priority areas where mitigation measures are needed to protect from wildfire the irreplaceable life, property, and critical infrastructure in the community. 


Supporters of SB 1088 have pointed out that aging infrastructures, combined with insufficient resources to prepare for adequate wildfire response, has left many rural communities at high risk for further unchecked fire activity. A 2023 Community Hazards Assessment analyzed 41 different communities/enclaves within Inyo County, giving five an “extreme” risk rating, 10 a “moderate” risk rating, and 26 a “high” risk rating. According to the draft CWPP, water systems in many of these communities are incapable of providing water flowrates and capacities to meet firefighting requirements to protect communities during catastrophic wildfire events. 


“Broadly speaking, the larger communities in Inyo County have dependable water sources and infrastructure, the smallest communities generally depend on individual wells for residences and lack a hydrant system,” the CWPP states. “Where community water systems exist, maintenance of the network of water mains and fire hydrants likely does not receive adequate attention because of budgetary constraints.” 


SB 1088, as currently written, would open the door to critical funding for water infrastructure improvements throughout Inyo County. It is a stated goal of the Board of Supervisors, in its Legislative Platform, to support programs that help prevent, mitigate, and respond to wildfires.