Governor Parson announces state funding to assist Cameron and Caldwell County with water shortage

Mike Parson Governor of Missouri

Governor Mike Parson on Friday continued his commitment to finding solutions to ease the impact of the drought by announcing that more than $77,000 in state funding will be awarded to assist the drought-stricken City of Cameron and Caldwell County Public Water Supply Number 2.

As of August 20, the City of Cameron reservoirs were 38.4 percent full and only 167 days of water supply remained. The city serves a population of 9,933 and also sells water to Clinton County Public Water Supply District No. 3, which serves a population of 3,410.

“Any shortage of drinking water is a serious issue. In response, these grants will be a step in the right direction as we work to develop short and long-term solutions for clean and dependable water sources,” said Governor Parson. “We are committed to ensuring all state, local, and federal agencies work together to ease the drought’s burden.  We will continue to be proactive in addressing local infrastructure needs to deliver much-needed water to communities in need.”

The Department of Natural Resources will be awarding emergency drought assistance grants for $50,000 to the City of Cameron and $27,380 to Caldwell County Public Water Supply District Number 2. The emergency funding will assist the community and the water district in their efforts to maintain adequate drinking water for local citizens.

The funding will assist in allowing the City of Cameron in constructing approximately three miles of temporary, above-ground emergency piping to pump water from Pony Express Lake with special permission from the Missouri Department of Conservation. This temporary connection is anticipated to provide more than 1 million gallons of water per day, which will be pumped to Grindstone Reservoir, the city’s largest drinking water source.

“Our water levels have reached critical levels.  These state grants will be helpful in assisting the transfer of water from Pony Express Lake,” said City Councilman Dennis Clark. “I want to thank Governor Parson, the Dept. of Natural Resources, and Dept. of Conservation for stepping in and helping us at such a crucial time.” 

The City of Cameron’s total project cost is $484,526. The city, located in Clinton, DeKalb, and Caldwell counties, will finance the remainder of the project with available city funds. The project, currently under construction, is expected to be complete and operational by Sept. 1.

Caldwell County Public Water Supply District Number 2 is located in Caldwell County, currently designated as a county experiencing exceptional drought conditions. The water district serves a population of 875. 

The Caldwell County project will construct a temporary emergency connection with Daviess Public Water Supply District Number 2. This temporary connection is anticipated to provide more than 30,000 gallons per day until a permanent connection can be constructed. This temporary connection will ease the demand experienced by the City of Hamilton city reservoir, which is currently the only water provider to Caldwell Public Water Supply District Number 2. The City of Hamilton’s reservoir level is down 6 feet, and city officials are concerned about maintaining water services.

In response to Governor Parson’s Executive Order No 18-05, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources made this emergency funding available to assist in construction projects intended to ensure that drought-impacted small communities are able to maintain an adequate supply of drinking water for their citizens.

“I applaud the Governor for his leadership on this issue,” said Senator Dan HegemanR-Cosby.  “The drought has been severe in northwest Missouri and our community is hurting right now.  These water infrastructure grants will have a positive and lasting impact on these communities.”

Governor Parson and the Department of Natural Resources continue to work closely with funding partners, such as the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development, to assist Missouri public water systems with critical drought impacts in drought alert areas.