New Tech Aids Cherry Tree Rural Water District

Cherry Tree Rural Water District (RWD) expects a 40% reduction in revenues because of COVID-19. The system serves 268 households, 3 schools and 1 commercial customer. The revenue loss will be, in large part, to the early closing of schools in mid-March and the loss of jobs in an already persistent poverty county. Cherry Tree closed its office to the public after assistance from Communities Unlimited in purchasing and installing a payment dropbox. The system is working with limited staff, one full-time office clerk, and one full-time water operator. Office Clerk Brooke Davis had to bring her two children to work with her because of closed schools and limited childcare options. She is new to the water system, and like everyone else is working under continually changing circumstances. Brooke said, “I call [CU] for everything.” She has regular video conferences with Communities Unlimited staff to determine the best course of action in these unprecedented emergency circumstances.

Communities Unlimited is now working with most communities through video conferencing, introducing many to the new technology. We continue to utilize various technologies to assist rural communities in any way we can.