funding opportunity for agricultural water conservation

Partnership secures funding for small regional water system

San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency (SGPWA) has partnered with California Rural Water Association (CRWA) to assist regional small water systems in securing critical funding and resources.

In 2021, SGPWA and CRWA fostered a local pilot program, assisting Banning Heights Mutual Water Company (BHMWC) in preparing a grant application for the Department of Water Resources (DWR) Small Community Drought Relief Program. This included administrative support to ensure BHMWC was equipped with the technical, managerial, and financial capacity to execute a grant. In August 2022, DWR awarded a $3.7 million grant to BHMWC. The success of this program has paved the way for SGPWA and CRWA to help other regional small water systems gain access to state and federal funding.

This support is crucial — nearly a million Californians face challenges in obtaining clean drinking water because smaller water systems often struggle to attract outside funding due to resource constraints. Sometimes, these water systems coincide with Disadvantaged Communities (DACs) causing an even greater detrimental impact. In order to position small water systems to attract and manage well-resourced grant programs, state and federal funding entities often work with regional agencies and nonprofits. That’s where SGPWA and CRWA can step in and make a difference.

SGPWA collaborates with local partners like CRWA to ensure growing regional water needs are met, optimizing the use of existing resourcing without impacting local groundwater basins adversely.

CRWA, a nonprofit that assists small water and wastewater systems with technical assistance services across the state, has focused its efforts on working with regional agencies to assist smaller water systems in attracting funding and becoming more resilient.

With BHMWC’s grant success, SGPWA will continue to partner with CRWA to aid additional smaller water systems in the region in accessing funds and resources.

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