EL PASO, Texas - County leaders approved nearly $3 million in contracts to complete work on a water project in far east El Paso.
The project aims to bring water to more than 100 families in the Colonia Revolucion. Currently the area has no running water, making tasks like showering, cooking and just drinking water a challenge.
Commissioner Vince Perez, who represents the area, told ABC-7 the project is among the most important things going on in the county right now.
"This project is hugely important to them and their quality of life," said Perez. "Not only will they have clean drinking water, but they will be allowed to pay residential electric rates as well."
Perez said residential rates for electricity are not given unless a community has running water. That means families who are already paying a premium to get truckloads of water delivered every few days are also required to pay higher rates for electricity too. Those who live in the Colonia Revolucion neighborhood say they can pay more than $250 a month.
"Sometimes we don't have enough money," said Darla Padilla. "Other times we'll be taking a shower and the water stops and we have the soap in our hair. Yeah, it's very hard."
Padilla has lived in the area for four years. She's one of three generations living under one roof. Padilla said you get used to not having an endless supply of water, but the cost can make things challenging. Her mother-in-law, Yvette Romero, has been dealing with the water issues for nearly a decade longer. While she's used to it, it hasn't been easy.
"The city started giving me problems because of the (lack of) running water," said Romero, explaining how she opened up a store with hopes of adding a restaurant to the Colonia Revolucion area. "I wasn't able to open up the restaurant so I went ahead and shut it down."
Romero said the lack of water created problems with the permitting process. She ran the store for a little more than a year, but had to abandon her dreams when she realized the water wasn't going to make it to the community anytime soon. Years later, the county's latest moves has made running water a reality. The county expects water to be running within 8-12 months.