DWR Awards Another $25 Million in Drought Relief for Small Communities


Map of California showing fourth round of funding locations through the Small Community Drought Relief program.

Map of California showing fourth round of funding locations through the Small Community Drought Relief program.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As part of a continuing effort to address drought impacts across the state, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced its fourth round of funding commitments through the Small Community Drought Relief program.

DWR and the State Water Resources Control Board worked together to identify 14 projects for funding in 10 counties: Tulare, Lake, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sonoma, Humboldt, Santa Barbara, San Mateo, Yolo and Colusa. Of the 14 projects, about half will benefit disadvantaged communities and range from covering the cost of hauled water to constructing new wells and replacing leaky pipelines.

“As climate change further exacerbates dry conditions in California, it’s imperative that we take action now to strengthen drought resilience in our small and rural communities as we prepare for the possibility of a third dry year,” said Kris Tjernell, DWR Deputy Director of Integrated Watershed Management, “DWR and the State Water Resources Control Board will continue coordinating to identify projects for future phases of funding and provide support to our residents who need it most.”

“Directing funding to get safe and reliable water to those in need is not only a crucial answer to the many hardships this drought has caused, it goes a long way toward meeting our moral obligation that every Californian has a human right to water,” said Jonathan Bishop, Chief Deputy Director of the State Water Board.   

Recipients of the $25 million in the fourth round include:

  • Westhaven Community Services District: In Humboldt County, the Westhaven Community Services District is losing an average of 20 percent of its water supply due to a leaking distribution system which is being further stressed by the drought. The District will receive $4,120,833 to drill additional wells and replace the aging distribution system to minimize water loss.


  • Sweetwater Springs Water District: Faced with an unreliable water tank and water system, the Sweetwater Springs Water District of Sonoma County will be awarded $735,000 from the State. Funds will be used to rehabilitate the existing well and add a water storage tank to strengthen drought resiliency.


  • Harbor View Mutual Water Company: In Lake County, the aging water storage tanks serving the Harbor View community are leaking significant amounts of water. As a solution, the State will provide $1,886,553 to replace the existing tanks with epoxy-lined steel water storage tanks.


  • County of Colusa: Nearly 25 private domestic wells have gone dry or are running out of water in Colusa County. The County will receive $718,750 to cover the cost of 25 water tanks and bi-weekly water deliveries for up to 50 residents for about one year.


  • Pixley Public Utility District: In Tulare County, the disadvantaged community of Pixley is dealing with small and leaky pipelines with no backup power source making them vulnerable to losing water during the current drought. In addition, the existing well casing has been compromised in several locations due to subsidence. The District will be awarded $1,896,677 to rehabilitate the existing well, install a backup generator, and replace leaking water mains.


  • San Lorenzo Valley Water District: The State will award $3,203,856 to the San Lorenzo Water District to consolidate two water systems impacted by drought. The project includes the installation of nearly two miles of pipelines and a pump station to provide water to Bracken Brae (24 connections) and Forest Springs (128 connections) in Santa Cruz County.


  • San Mateo Resource Conservation District: The community of Loma Mar is dealing with severe water loss due to leaking pipelines. The Conservation District will receive $2,095,442 to replace about three miles of aging pipelines. To strengthen drought resiliency, the old water plant will be upgraded by replacing the wet instrument station, filter station, pump station, and chemical feed station. A backup generator will also be installed for system resiliency.

Since its launch earlier this summer, the Small Community Drought Relief program has awarded over $65 million total in funding to 37 projects in 16 counties. In addition to the Small Community Drought Relief Program, DWR recently published the final guidelines for the Urban and Multibenefit Drought Relief Program. The program includes an additional $200 million in grant funding for urban water suppliers and multi-benefit drought relief projects to address hardships caused by drought.

For more information about available drought relief funding, please visit DWR’s Drought Funding webpage.











Allison Armstrong, Information Officer, Public Affairs, Department of Water Resources

916-820-7652 | allison.armstrong@water.ca.gov


Blair Robertson, Information Officer, Office of Public Affairs, State Water Resources Control Board