Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program

A ribbon cutting is held by the Fresno Irrigation District for the Savory Pond Expansion project in Fresno, California.

A ribbon cutting is held by the Fresno Irrigation District for the Savory Pond Expansion project in Fresno, California. DWR/2022

The SGM Grant Program is managed by the Division of Regional Assistance in the Department of Water Resources (DWR). We work in consultation with DWR’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Office (SGMO), which oversees implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in California.

Our Mission

The mission of the SGM Grant Program is to provide funding to Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and other responsible entities under SGMA to promote healthy and sustainable groundwater basins, to reduce and eliminate undesirable effects, and to promote projects that provide multiple benefits while also improving groundwater supply and quality.

Our Vision

The vision of the SGM Grant Program is to achieve sustainable water balance in California, where GSAs and other responsible entities work cooperatively and innovatively to manage surface and groundwater together in a holistic and integrated manner.

We conduct the following activities to achieve the mission and vision of the SGM Grant Program:

  • fund the development and implementation of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) or an approved Alternative to a GSP
  • fund projects that promote the sustainable use of groundwater
  • educate the public on groundwater sources and uses, and ways to sustainably manage and protect it
  • provide technical assistance for Underrepresented Communities to identify their risks and needs with respect to SGMA compliance
  • research and disseminate information on sustainable groundwater best management practices
  • partner with other State agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other interested parties to ensure that public funds are expended on activities and tasks that best suits the groundwater needs in California

As stewards of the public investment, DWR’s role is to verify public funds are being used in the most appropriate manner in accordance with the applicable propositions and General Obligation Bond law, State Budget acts and Executive proclamations, and the funding documents we develop to solicit applications and deliver the funds in compliance with such directives.

Current Solicitation Information

The Budget Act of 2021 (through Senate Bill 170) has provided $180 million in General Funds for SGMA Implementation groundwater projects.  Of the $180 million in General Funds, $171 million was available for grant awards after program administration costs.  In addition, the Budget Act of 2021 allocated $60 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022/2023 and $60 million in FY 2023/2024.  In July 2022, DWR received the $60 million from the Budget Act of 2022 of which $57 million is available for award after administration costs. The remaining $60 million ($57 million after administration costs) is subject to Legislature approval for FY 2023/2024. DWR has awarded $150.5 million of the $171 million available in the Budget Act of 2021.

 

DWR announced the 2021 SGMA Implementation Round 1 grant final funding recommendation list awarding $150.5 million in early May 2022.   The twenty awarded projects will help to achieve regional sustainability with investments in groundwater recharge in COD basins. DWR received 20 applications, requesting over $276 million in grant funds.  (A full list of applications and a brief description of each application received can be found here.)

The second solicitation, expected to open in October 2022, will provide over $200 million from the General Fund and Proposition 68, and any funds not awarded in the first round, for planning and implementation projects to help comply with SGMA. The exact amount available is dependent upon legislative approval and is subject to change. Any remaining funds after the second round will be distributed through future funding solicitations.

 

In addition to these funding solicitations, DWR provided an addition $2 million in General Funds to the existing Underrepresented Community Technical Assistance Program (TA Program) in mid-2022 to help identify the needs, risks and vulnerabilities of these communities with respect to SGMA implementation. The Underrepresented Community TA Program started in mid-2021 using $2.5 million in Proposition 68 funds. More information can be found in the “Underrepresented Communities” tab below.

More information on the SGMA Implementation eligible applicant(s), eligible activities/tasks, and eligible groundwater basins are found within the 2021 Guidelines and PSP.

SGM Grant Program’s SGMA Implementation Guidelines - Final

SGM Grant Program’s SGMA Implementation Proposal Solicitation Package - Final

PLEASE NOTE:
This is a dynamic program and changes are occurring often. More information will be provided as it becomes available. We recommend checking this website frequently for any updates.


 

The SGM Grant Program is funded by Proposition 1, Proposition 68, and General Funds from the State Budget Act of 2021 and Budget Act of 2022. To date, the SGM Grant Program has awarded $139.5 million in three rounds of planning grants for development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs), updates/revisions to approved Alternatives to a GSP, and implementation of related projects.  In addition, the SGM Grant Program has awarded $176.5 million to critically overdrafted basins for construction and planning projects outlined in or consistent with their adopted GSP or Alternative to a GSP.

See “Current Grant Solicitation Information” above for more information on the most recent future grant solicitation information.

The Budget Act of 2021 (through Senate Bill 170) has provided $180 million in General Funds for Groundwater Projects.  Of the $180 million in General Funds, $171 million is available for grant awards after program administration costs.  The Budget Act of 2021 allocated an additional $120 million in the next two fiscal year budgets to be provided to the SGMA Implementation funding. Of which, the Budget Act of 2022 (through Senate Bill 154) provided $60 million ($57 million is available for grant awards after administration costs).

 

• Round 2 solicitation in 2022-2023 will provide over $200 million from various funding sources, including anticipated General Fund appropriations in 2023/24, remaining FY 2021/22 General Funds, the FY 2022/2023 General Funds, remaining Proposition 68 Implementation funds, and any future funding allocations, for planning and implementation projects to help comply with SGMA. If any funds are available after Round 2, future funding solicitations will be provided.  All solicitations and funding amounts available are subject to legislature approval and may change based upon final budget approvals.

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:

The 2020/2021 Budget Act stated that $26 million of Proposition 68 implementation funds would be made available for critically overdrafted (COD) basins only. In January 2021, DWR received 15 applications, requesting over $70 Million in grant funding. DWR awarded 6 grants for $26 million in Proposition 68 funding for the SGM Grant Program’s Implementation Round 1 grant solicitation.

SGWM Implementation, Round 1

 

In 2021, DWR received 20 applications requesting $276 million in grant funding.  In 2022, DWR awarded 20 grants for approximately $150.5 million in General Funds through the The Budget Act of 2021 funding for the SGWM Implementation Round 1 grant solicitation.

The SGM Grant Program along with GHD, Inc. have created the California Groundwater Projects Tool (CGPT) to visualize groundwater projects throughout the State of California. Nearly 3,000 groundwater related projects have been compiled within a mapping tool that details various qualitative and quantitative data and other useful information on these projects. Water agencies and the general public can use this mapping tool to gather information on various types of water projects being implemented throughout the state.

 

Ultimately, this data was collected to develop standardized Monitoring Methods to implement when construction on a groundwater project has been completed. These Monitoring Methods will be used to track useful groundwater information to determine the effectiveness of projects funded by the SGM Grant Program. DWR is interested in understanding which project types efficiently provide multi-benefits, are the most cost-beneficial, and 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). Additionally, 20 case studies have been created detailing various groundwater project types that have been implemented within California and at other locations in the Country and throughout the world. Each case study was analyzed to provide background information, recommendations, and the projects applicability to the sustainability indicators outlined in SGMA.

 

The Monitoring Methods and Case Studies will be published here at a later date.


 

For more information visit: Technical Assistance

Contact Us

Questions and More Information:

General Email: SGWP@water.ca.gov

Phone: (916) 902-7131


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The California Grants Portal – your one destination to find all state grant and loan opportunities provided on a first-come or competitive basis. Visit grants.ca.gov to find funding opportunities for you and your community.

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