DWR Offers $26 Million in Competitive Grants for Critically Overdrafted Groundwater Basins


The Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the final Proposition 68 Implementation Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) for the Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGM) Grant Program. The Round 1 grant solicitation will open following this release, offering $26 million in grant funding.

The SGM Grant Program provides financial assistance for sustainable groundwater implementation projects that address drought and groundwater challenges, groundwater recharge projects, or projects that prevent or clean up contaminated groundwater that supplies drinking water. These funds support the goals of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which requires local agencies to sustainably manage the state’s groundwater basins. 

The program is funded by Proposition 68, from which more than $100 million is available through two funding rounds for Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs), member agencies of GSAs, an entity that represents a GSA, and agencies with an approved Alternative to its Groundwater Sustainability Plan.

All Round 1 projects must be within a Critically Overdrafted Basin as determined by the most recent DWR Bulletin 118. The future Round 2 solicitation will offer at least $77 million for grant awards and will be open to all medium and high priority basins, as well as Critically Overdrafted Basins. The Round 2 grant solicitation is anticipated to open in Spring 2022.

Grant applications must be submitted using DWR’s online submittal tool, GRanTS and will be accepted beginning November 9, 2020 through 5 p.m. on January 8, 2021.

The PSP released today is not a standalone document and applicants will need to refer to the 2019 Proposition 68 SGM Guidelines (2019 Guidelines) for additional information. Prospective applicants are encouraged to read the 2019 Guidelines, PSP, and grant agreement template prior to deciding to submit an application. Potential applicants are also encouraged to reach out to SGM Grant Program staff at SGWP@water.ca.gov to further discuss potential project(s) prior to applying.

Interested parties can subscribe to the SGM Grant Program’s mailing list for new solicitations, document releases, upcoming workshops, and other IRWM grant-related announcements. If you have any questions, please contact us at SGWP@water.ca.gov.