The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released the draft funding recommendations for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program’s Proposition 68 Implementation Round 1 grant solicitation.
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.
Current Solicitation Information
The Proposition 68 SGM Implementation Round 1 Solicitation closed on January 8, 2021. DWR received 15 applications, requesting over $70 Million in grant funds. Applications have been reviewed and a draft funding recommendation was announced. A total of $26 million in financial assistance has been recommended for projects that will help to achieve regional sustainability with investments in groundwater recharge in critically overdrafted (COD) basins. Of the $26 million available from Proposition 68, $5 million will be used towards projects that are within and solely benefit underrepresented communities.
The draft funding recommendations are subject to public review for 15 calendar days, beginning March 5, 2021 and will end on March 22, 2021 at 5:00 PM. Submit comments on the draft funding recommendations during this period electronically to SGWP@water.ca.gov using the Subject: Prop 68 SGM Implementation Round 1 Draft Award Comment Letter.
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 SGM Grant Program Proposition 68 Implementation Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP), 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 approximately $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 PSP to cover both rounds of funding. The Guidelines for this program were previously published in September 2019 and provided on the right-hand side of this webpage.
The SGM Grant Program is funded by Proposition 68 and Proposition 1. 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. 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|
|Round 1 Grant Solicitation Closes
||January 8, 2021
|Public Review of Round 1 Draft Funding List
||March 15, 2021
|Round 1 Final Awards
||May 15, 2021
|Round 2 Grants Solicitation Opens
|Public Review of Round 2 Draft Funding List
||Late Summer 2022
|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:
Upcoming Contract Services
Please stay tuned as additional information on both contract services mentioned below will be available in March and April 2021.
Data Standards – Beginning in Early 2021, GHD, Inc. will collect and analyze data to develop standardized monitoring methods to determine the effectiveness of Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGM) Projects, which project types efficiently provided multi-benefits, which projects were the most cost-beneficial, and which types of projects best address sustainability indicators outlined in SGMA (subsidence, depletion of interconnected surface water, groundwater levels lowering, degraded water quality, reduction of groundwater storage and seawater intrusion). Certain grantees may be contacted for Project information.
Underrepresented Community Technical Assistance - The Contractor will assist in implementing Prop 68 eligible needs, risk, and vulnerability assessments, and other technical assistance services to Underrepresented Communities (as defined in the Implementation PSP). Local entities will request Underrepresented Communities Technical Assistance (TA) services through an application process administered and managed by SGM Grant Program staff. Additional information regarding requesting this service will become available in May.
- Slides for Application Assistance Workshop, Prop 68, Implementation, Round 1 (held Dec 3, 2020)
- YouTube Video for Application Assistance Workshop, Prop 68, Implementation, Round 1 (held Dec 3, 2020)
- Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)
- Disadvantaged Community (DAC) Mapping Tool
- Economically Distressed Area (EDA) Mapping Tool
- 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
- 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:
- Proposition 68 SGM Grant Program 2019 Guidelines
- Proposition 68 SGM Implementation Grant - Final PSP
- Templates for Implementation Grant Solicitation:
- Attachment 2, Eligibility Self Certification Form
- Attachment 3, Work Plan
- Attachment 4, Budget
- Attachment 5, Schedule
- Attachment 6, Underrepresented Community Justification Note: Step-by-step instructions available upon request. Email: SGWP@water.ca.gov)
Public Meetings & Applicant Assistance Workshop
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the final Proposition 68 Implementation Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) for the Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGM) Grant Program. The Round 1 grant solicitation will open following this release, offering $26 million in grant funding.