DWR to Invest Millions in Groundwater Sustainability for Disadvantaged Communities and Local Agencies 

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A recently drilled water well.

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SacramentoThe Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced $85.8 million in grants for groundwater sustainability projects that directly benefit severely disadvantaged communities, and for local agency development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). These funds support the goals of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), requiring local agencies to sustainably manage the state’s groundwater basins. 

“Groundwater is an important water supply, particularly during times of drought when as much as 60 percent of the state’s water needs may be supplied by groundwater,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “Many basins have suffered from over-drafting for decades and it will take decades to bring them back into balance. It’s critical that communities have plans to replenish their groundwater when conditions are wet and ensure supplies stay clean.”   

 DWR received 78 grant applications and is recommending that all receive awards, pending public comments and review of those comments. The grants are funded by Proposition 1 passed in 2014 and awarded on a competitive basis in two funding categories: 1) Projects that serve severely disadvantaged communities; and 2) Development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs).

 Of the $85.8 million awarded:

  • $16.2 million is for severely disadvantaged communities to support groundwater sustainability planning and management.
  • $69.6 million is for local agency GSP development
  • $3.4 million is tentatively awarded to three basins. These awards will be held pending a further review of their eligibility.

 The full list of grant applications that were submitted is available on the Sustainable Groundwater Planning Grant Program webpage.

 Today’s announcement begins a 15-day public comment period. The public may submit comments via email to SGWP@water.ca.gov or by U.S. Postal Service to:

Financial Assistance Branch

Division of Integrated Regional Water Management

Department of Water Resources

901 P Street

P.O. Box 942836

Sacramento, CA 94236-0001


Public comments will be considered before finalizing the awards in late February.


Lauren Hersh, Information Officer

(916) 653-2639; lauren.hersh@water.ca.gov