Nine projects in six counties received grant awards, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced last week. The $46 million in financial assistance is part of the Urban Community Drought Relief Grant program and will provide critical support to implement drought relief projects that build long-term drought and climate resilience in communities according to DWR.
“California is facing the real-time impacts of a changing climate, as evidenced by our state’s historic drought and recent flood emergency. Preparing for a future impacted by climate change not only means supporting new water supply efforts, but also strategies that capture excess flows during extreme wet events,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth.
The $46 million in financial assistance will advance projects that support:
- Recycled Water: In Monterey County, the City of Soledad received $17 million for recycled water infrastructure. The project will extend the recycled water system to irrigate public schools and parks, replacing 180 acre-feet of groundwater.
- Flood Risk Management/Groundwater Recharge: The Scotts Valley Water District received $1.6 million to recharge groundwater using treated stormwater. This project will help improve water supply reliability as well as reduce peak flows and flood risk in Carbonero Creek.
- Improved Water Supply Reliability: In Ventura County, the Calleguas Municipal Water District received $4 million to construct a pipeline connection between the City of Ventura and the District’s water distribution systems. The connection will enable direct delivery water from the State Water Project to allow the city to deliver water to Calleguas during future imported water supply outages. The interconnection will also provide valuable infrastructure for improving water supply reliability by facilitating projects for potential future aquifer storage and recovery in the Oxnard Plain and Santa Paula Basins.
- Yard Transformation: In Sacramento County, the Regional Water Authority received $3.1 million to fund an indoor fixture installment program for disadvantaged communities and a climate-resilient yard transformation program. The yard transformation program will reduce outdoor water use by providing rebates to residential, commercial and institutional properties, while the indoor fixture project will directly replace inefficient indoor fixtures in 5,060 multi-family and commercial/institutional properties.
- In Riverside County, the Coachella Valley Water District received $5 million to support a regional yard transformation program that will provide lawn replacement rebates throughout the Coachella Valley for residential, multi-family commercial and municipal sites, as well as a direct installation of desert-friendly landscaping to replace lawns in the City of Indian Wells.
- In San Diego County, the San Diego Water Authority also received $3 million to provide direct installation of high-efficiency toilets and smart irrigation controllers to underrepresented communities. Combined, these efforts are estimated to provide 1,323 acre-feet in water savings per year and transform up to 333,420 acres to more water efficient landscapes.
The second phase of awards will be announced in spring 2023.