The Department of Water Resources (DWR) joined local and state officials on October 30 to celebrate more than $15 million awarded to help support groundwater-reliant communities in Sonoma County.
Supported through the Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program, the funding will be split amongst the Petaluma Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency, the Sonoma Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency, and the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency. All three groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) will receive funding for projects that improve understanding of groundwater conditions and effective groundwater management for underrepresented communities in the area.
“Part of sustainable groundwater management is providing our communities the tools they need to help comprehend what their water supply situation looks like so they can make informed water management decisions and use water more efficiently,” said Kelley List, Manager of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program. “This funding is just one example of how the state is working with our groundwater agencies to invest in strategies that improve groundwater resiliency statewide.”
Thanks to the funding, the GSAs will have resources to ensure that groundwater is available to meet the region’s needs over the next 50 years through aquifer system assessments, water use efficiency programs, engagement programs, and more.
“The three new grants will help support local sustainable groundwater management, including projects to help rural residents use water more efficiently and to help the GSAs better understand how groundwater pumping impacts local creeks and streams,” said Susan Gorin, who serves as the chair of the Sonoma Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency Board of Directors and is a Sonoma County supervisor.
“These implementation grants are critical in covering the gap and ensuring that we can successfully manage this critical water resource,” said Chair David Rabbitt of the Petaluma Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency Board of Directors, who also serves as a Sonoma County supervisor. “We want to thank the California Department of Water Resources, which has been committed to supporting the work of over 260 GSAs in over 140 basins with grant funding opportunities.”
“The grants will allow us to continue educating and working directly with groundwater users to expand our voluntary monitoring programs in key areas of the aquifers,” said Chair Susan Harvey of the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency, who serves as the mayor of the City of Cotati. “In helping us better understand what’s happening in the aquifers beneath our feet and how groundwater pumping impacts people and the environment, the grants will allow us to construct new monitoring wells in all three basins.”
The symbolic check presentation event was part of California’s Go Golden Initiative, which highlights the partnership between the state of California and local organizations and water agencies to fund bold and innovative projects that strengthen California’s water infrastructure and community resilience. Supported by state funding, these local partnerships are advancing groundwater recharge, drought resiliency, conservation, stormwater capture, flood management, recycled water, and other projects that are helping our water supply. Interested parties can stay up to date with the latest Go Golden announcements and news through DWR’s email subscription list.
For more information about upcoming grant opportunities, visit DWR’s Grants and Loans webpage.