$14 Million Awarded in Grant Funding for Water Desalination Projects


waves at the ocean

Water desalination is the removal of salts and dissolved solids from brackish or seawater, also known as desalting.

DWR announced more than $14 million in grant funding for projects that increase water quality, supply, and infrastructure in California communities. This is the second round of Water Desalination Grant Program awards, as part of the Continuous Application Process (CAP).

In the Continuous Application Process, funds are awarded on a first ready, first served basis to public agencies, non-profit organizations, Indian Tribes, investor-owned utilities, and mutual water companies that pass the review process until all grant funds are exhausted.

Funding for these projects was made possible by Proposition 1 -- the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act --passed by California voters in November 2014. Proposition 1 provides grants to local agencies for the planning, design, and construction of potable water desalination facilities for both brackish and ocean water.

The following entities will receive a total of $14,037,405 to construct and test potable water desalination facilities for both ocean water and brackish groundwater sources:

  • The Southern California Edison Company received $3,610,575 in grant funding for construction on the Catalina Desalination Plant 2, to provide additional drinking water and improve water supply reliability for the City of Avalon on Santa Catalina Island in the California Channel Islands.
  • The California American Water Company received $10,000,000 in grant funding for the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, to support construction of a desalination plant on the Monterey Peninsula for municipal uses. The plant will improve the reliability of the regional water supply portfolio.
  • The City of Thousand Oaks received $426,830 in grant funding for the Los Robles Golf Course Groundwater Utilization Pilot Project, a project that constructs a pilot test facility to evaluate the potential to treat the brackish water from an unused golf course well for irrigation and potable water supply for the Thousand Oaks community.

DWR is currently reviewing the remainder of the applications that have been accepted, which will be referred to as CAP3. Draft funding recommendations are expected to be released in late-summer 2019.

For more information, visit the Water Desalination Grant Program page or contact Sean Sou at 916-651-9269 or Sean.Sou@water.ca.gov.