FRESNO — EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld announced more than $183 million in funding will be used to invest in California for statewide improvements in local water infrastructure and the reduction of water pollution, according to a press release.

Blumenfeld was joined by Fresno Public Utilities Director Thomas Esqueda, as well as other state and local officials, for the announcement at an event highlighting $51 million in federal funding was also used to install water meters within the City of Fresno, stated the release.

The release reported that Fresno, through a zero percent interest loan from the state, used the $51 million in drinking water funding to purchase and install 73,152 water meters in residential homes in several neighborhoods, which help homeowners and the city easily identify how much water homes are using.

Since the installation of the meters was completed this year, water usage in the city has decreased by 25 percent, added the release.

The $183 million will be used for California water quality projects to reduce water pollution, improve municipal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, make water and energy projects more efficient and provide technical assistance to communities, noted the release.

“Water conservation and drinking water quality are of utmost importance to the health and welfare of the people of [California,] not only as we deal with the challenges of this devastating drought, but as we face future droughts,” said California’s State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus.

Read the entire release here.