As part of an ongoing effort to address California’s critical water needs and build regional self-reliance in the face of a changing climate, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced nearly $37 million in grant awards for water resilience projects in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program
The Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGM) Grant Program provides funding for sustainable groundwater planning and implementation projects through a competitive grant solicitation process.
Then-Governor Jerry Brown signed into law in 2014 a three-bill legislative package collectively known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). It established for the first time in California history a framework for sustainable groundwater management. Subsequently, in May 2016 the SGMA Regulations were promulgated. This funding program is intended to provide financial assistance to Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and others to comply with the SGMA Regulations. Funding is provided through Propositions 1 and 68 as described below. To date, DWR has awarded $139.5 million in three rounds of planning grants for development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) and related projects. All Proposition 1 funds have been awarded, with about $103 million now remaining to be awarded using Proposition 68 funds.
Proposition 68 Current & Future Grant Solicitations
DWR is conducting the first SGM Implementation Grant solicitation, providing a minimum of $103 million in Proposition 68 funds for competitive grants, in two rounds of grant solicitations, to fund implementation projects that:
- Address drought and groundwater challenges to achieve regional sustainability for investments in groundwater recharge projects with surface water, stormwater, recycled water, and other conjunctive use projects;
- Prevent or clean up contamination of groundwater that serves as a source of drinking water;
- Support water supply reliability, water conservation, and water use efficiency; and
- Support water banking, exchange, and reclamation.
(See Draft SGM Grant Program Proposition 68 Implementation Proposal Solicitation Package, page 11, for examples of eligible projects.)
The Round 1 grant solicitation will provide $26 million for critically overdrafted (COD) basins only. The future Round 2 grant solicitation will provide a minimum of $77 million for medium- and high-priority (including COD) basins. Please see the schedule provided below for the latest program dates.
DWR has developed a single Proposal Solicitation Package to cover both rounds of funding. The Guidelines for this program are not changing; those were previously published in September 2019.
The public comment period will close at 5 p.m. on September 18, 2020. Following the review and consideration of public comments, DWR will release the final Implementation PSP and formally open the solicitation process to begin accepting grant applications for Round 1.
A public meeting will be held September 3, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., PDT to present the draft PSP and solicit comments. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, DWR will host the meeting as a GoTo Meeting webinar. The meeting will be recorded and a link to the recording will be posted on the DWR website and emailed to subscribers of the SGM Grant Program’s email list (see option in the right panel of this webpage to subscribe) as soon as possible following the webinar.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email and instructions for joining the webinar.
The SGM Grant Program’s Implementation Grant Solicitation, Round 1 application assistance workshop will likely be scheduled for December 2020. At this time, it is anticipated that the workshop will be provided in a virtual format due to COVID-19 restrictions. More details will be provided on this website in coming months.
Funding SourcesThe SGM Grant Program is funded by Proposition 68 and Proposition 1. Additional information can found below.
Proposition 1, Chapter 10: Groundwater Sustainability
On November 4, 2014, California voters approved Proposition 1, which authorized $100 million be made available for competitive grants for projects that develop and implement groundwater plans and projects in accordance with groundwater planning requirements established under Division 6, commencing with §10000, Water Code §79775. DWR completed two grant solicitations for planning grants.
Proposition 68, Chapter 11.6: Regional Sustainability for Drought and Groundwater, and Water Recycling
- Develop and implement groundwater plans and projects in accordance with groundwater planning requirements.
- Address drought and groundwater investments to achieve regional sustainability for investments in groundwater recharge with surface water, stormwater, recycled water, and other conjunctive use projects, and projects to prevent or cleanup contamination of groundwater that serves as a source of drinking water.
|Program Schedule and Key Dates|
|Milestone or Activity||Tentative Schedule|
| Draft PSP 45-Day Public Comment Period
||July 31, 2020 - September 18, 2020
| Public Meeting via GoTo Meeting Webinar
||September 3, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., PDT
|Final 2020 PSP posted to public
|Round 1 Grant Solicitation Opens
||November 16, 2020
|Round 1 Application Workshop
|Round 1 Grant Solicitation Closes
|Public Review of Round 1 Draft Funding List
|Round 1 Final Awards
|Round 2 Grants Solicitation Opens
|Public Review of Round 2 Draft Funding List
|Round 2 Final Awards
Proposition 1, Round 1, Counties with Stressed Basins Grants
In 2015, DWR received 23 applications requesting $7 million in grant funding. DWR awarded 21 grants for a total of $6.7 million in Proposition 1 grant funding and $5.8 million in local cost share.
Proposition 1, Round 2, Sustainable Groundwater Planning Grant Program
In 2017, DWR received 78 applications requesting $86.3 million in grant funding and approximately $64 million in local cost share. On April 4, 2018, DWR announced the final award to 78 grant applicants totaling $85.8 million for the SGWP Grant Program Solicitation.
Proposition 68, Round 3, Sustainable Groundwater Planning Grant Program
In 2019, DWR received 55 applications requesting $51.1 million in grant funding and approximately $11 in local cost share. In 2020, DWR awarded 53 grants for approximately $47 million in Proposition 68 funding for the SGWP Grant Program Solicitation. Information regarding the final awards can be found at the following links:
- DWR’s Proposition 1 IRWM Implementation
- State Water Resources Control Board’s Groundwater Sustainability Funding
- DWR Requests Comments on Flood-MAR Research and Data Development Framework
- Disadvantaged Community (DAC) Mapping Tool
- Economically Distressed Area (EDA) Mapping Tool
- Water Management Planning Tool
The most efficient way to contact us is to email your questions and comments to email SGWP@water.ca.gov. We check this mailbox each workday and your questions will be answered promptly. This also allows us to track and compile public feedback on our program.
Additionally, you may contact the Programmatic Project Manager:
Kelley List, PG
- Proposition 68 SGM Grant Program 2019 Guidelines
- Proposition 68 SGM Implementation Grant - Draft PSP
- Templates for Implementation Grant Solicitation:
- Attachment 3, Work Plan (In Progress)
- Attachment 4, Budget (In Progress)
- Attachment 5, Schedule (In Progress)
- Attachment 6, URC Justification (In Progress)
- Proposition 68 SGM Grant Program Agreement Template (In Progress)
- DWR CEQA Environmental Information Form
Public Meetings & Applicant Assistance Workshop
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has re-opened the Continuous Application Process (CAP) for the Water Desalination Grant Program and is now accepting applications.