DWR announces $86.3 million available for Groundwater Sustainability Plans and Projects

By on May 20, 2017
Department of Water Resources

A 2014, $7.5 billion water bond, overwhelmingly supported by California’s voters, is now making $86.3 million available for Groundwater Sustainability Plans and Projects. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced the release of 2017 Draft Proposal Solicitation Package for Groundwater Sustainability Plans and Projects earlier this week which is intended to support groundwater management that furthers the goals of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

The 2014 legislation – known as Proposition 1 and also as the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 — authorized the Legislature to appropriate $100 million for competitive grants for development of sustainable groundwater plans and projects; $86.3 is available in fiscal 2017-18. Groundwater accounts for a third or more of California’s water supply. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act requires local agencies to bring stressed groundwater basins into sustainable patterns of pumping and recharge.

The development of sustainable groundwater plans and projects were included in the specific spending proposals of the proposition as were the following:

  • $520 million to improve water quality for beneficial use, for reducing and preventing drinking water contaminants, disadvantaged communities, and the State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund Small Community Grant Fund.
  • $1.495 billion for competitive grants for multi-benefit ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration projects.
  • $810 million for expenditures on, and competitive grants and loans to, integrated regional water management plan projects.
  • $2.7 billion for water storage projects, dams, and reservoirs.
  • $725 million for water recycling and advanced water treatment technology projects.
  • $900 million for competitive grants and loans for projects to prevent or clean up the contamination of groundwater that serves as a source of drinking water, and
  • $395 million for statewide flood management projects and activities.

The solicitation of proposals by DWR to award funding – on a competitive basis – is comprised of two funding categories:

  • Projects that serve severely disadvantaged communities, and
  • Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). The GSP category has two tiers:
    • Tier 1 – for critically over-drafted basins; and
    • Tier 2 is for all other high-and-medium-priority basins.

The draft proposal solicitation process will begin with a public comment period. DWR is holding three public meetings to review the contents of the package and to garner public comments. Meetings will be held:

Sacramento

Bonderson Building, 901 P St., Hearing Room

June 12, 10 a.m.

Fresno

Fresno Irrigation District, 2907 S. Maple Ave., Boardroom

June 13, 1 p.m.

Irvine

Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Sand Canyon Room

1 p.m.

The public comment period will close June 19. Additional details about the draft proposal are available on the Planning Grant Program at: http://water.ca.gov/irwm/grants/sgwp/solicitation.cfm. According to the Proposal Solicitation Package For Groundwater Sustainability Plans and Projects the due dates for completed applications must be submitted during the first open filing phase between August 2017 and October 2017 or during the second open filing phase, tentatively scheduled for December 2017 through January 2018.