CA DWR to Award $222M in Grants for Water Management Projects

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California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) has $222 million in grant funding available for projects that help meet the long-term water needs of the state and incorporate integrated regional strategies — and the Department has now released final guidelines for the grant program that will award these funds.

DWR recently released the final Guidelines and Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) for the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Implementation Grant Program. Approximately $222.3 million in grant funding is available for implementation projects, with $23.6 million designated for projects that provide support to Disadvantaged Communities. DWR plans to award grants on a competitive basis in at least two funding rounds.

The program is funded by Proposition 1, the water bond approved by California voters in 2014. The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 authorizes $7.5 billion in general obligation bonds to fund ecosystems and watershed protection and restoration, water supply infrastructure projects, including surface and groundwater storage, and drinking water protection. Prop 1 allocates IRWM funding via 12 hydrologic region-based Funding Areas.

IRWM Grant Program funding will be awarded to projects that help meet the long-term water needs of the state, including: assisting water infrastructure systems adapt to climate change; providing incentives throughout each watershed to collaborate in managing the region’s water resources and setting regional priorities for water infrastructure; and improving regional water self-reliance, while reducing reliance on Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The goal of the program is to bring multiple benefits to California including the protection and restoration of key ecosystems, increased flood protection, regional self-reliance, and the expansion of the state’s water storage capacity.

Numerous entities in various sectors may qualify for grants, such as local and state government agencies, public utilities, mutual water companies, and non-profit organizations, as well as state Indian Tribes on the Native American Heritage Commission’s consultation list and federally-recognized Indian Tribes.

DWR will be hosting a webinar at a future date to assist potential applicants in understanding the grant program rules, outline changes incorporated into the Final Guidelines and PSP, and explain how to submit an application using the online submittal tool, GRanTS at: https://water.ca.gov/Work-With-Us/Grants-And-Loans/GRanTS.

Source: California Water News Daily

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