Reclamation awards grants to nine drought resiliency projects in California

State awards $187 million to support sustainable groundwater management

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has awarded $187 million to 32 groundwater subbasins through the Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGM) Grant Program.

The funding will support 103 individual projects that enhance groundwater monitoring, water use efficiency, groundwater recharge, recycled water and water quality, including more than $160 million that will directly benefit Tribes and underrepresented communities.

“This water year has proved the importance of managing our groundwater to capture and store as much water as possible in our local communities to prepare for future weather extremes, while supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act,” said DWR Sustainable Groundwater Management Deputy Director Paul Gosselin. “We look forward to working with our local partners to make the necessary investments to better manage, capture and store groundwater for future generations.”

California is home to 515 groundwater basins, a critical component of the state’s water supply, and is heavily relied upon by communities, agriculture and the environment, especially during dry and drought years. During the 2023 Water Year, DWR has determined an estimated 3.8 million acre-feet of water has been recharged; a clearer picture of the 2023 water year’s groundwater conditions will emerge after April 1, 2024, when annual reports are due from the local groundwater sustainability agencies to the State. While some groundwater basins will see benefits from groundwater recharge this year, many groundwater basins still have a long way to go to recover from past decades of drought and over-pumping.

A full list of awarded projects is available here.

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