Funding a future for water in the San Joaquin Valley

From the California Water Institute:

For all of California’s problems with surface and groundwater, the one not receiving the attention it arguably deserves is the problem of funding for new infrastructure, as well as the ongoing maintenance of existing infrastructure, much of which is now old and decaying.  Nationwide, the American Water Works Association estimates that an investment of about $1 trillion in infrastructure is needed by 2035 to make sure that Americans have access to clean drinking water (Thompson 2015).  Just achieving this in California alone would require spending approximately $30 to $160 million more a year on infrastructure, which, along with flood control and ecosystem preservation, are believed to be more poorly funded than water storage infrastructure (Hanak et al. 2014).

Where will the necessary funding come from to develop, upgrade, expand, and refurbish the water infrastructure systems in the San Joaquin Valley?

Read the California Water Institute’s first in a series of reports about funding options and strategies for water infrastructure in the San Joaquin Valley.  This first report, “Funding a Future for Water in the San Joaquin Valley: A Literature Review of Public Funding For Water Infrastructure” is available for review by clicking here. Special thanks to Professor Holyoke and his students in Fresno State’s College of Social Sciences for conducting this initial research effort.  We would also like to thank the generous contributions of our anonymous donor that graciously provided funding for this important work.  Stay tuned for the next reports.

Solutions to regional effort can only be made with regional input, we would like to hear your opinion! Please send any comments and or suggestions to this report to waterandsustainability@mail.fresnostate.edu.

Click here to download this report.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Proposition 68 Groundwater Treatment and Remediation Grant Program Proposal Solicitation

The Division of Financial Assistance (DFA) is pleased to announce that the Proposition 68 Groundwater Treatment and Remediation Grant Program funding solicitation is now open.  Information regarding the solicitation process is available on the Proposition 68 Groundwater Treatment and Remediation Grant Program website<https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/grants_loans/propositions/prop68.html>.

DFA staff will conduct a webinar on December 2, 2019 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm to provide useful information and guidance on how to apply.  Please use this link to join the webinar: Join Skype Meeting<https://meet.lync.com/cawaterboards/aparjeet.rangi/8MYFWVTF>

The solicitation will close January 24, 2020 at 5:00 pm.

If you have any questions, please contact us at gwquality.funding@waterboards.ca.gov<mailto:gwquality.funding@waterboards.ca.gov>, Subject Line: Prop 68 Groundwater Treatment and Remediation Grant Program Proposal Solicitation.

Funding opportunities: It’s not too late to apply for SGMA Planning Grant funds; Help with technical assistance; State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP)

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: It’s not too late to apply for SGMA Planning Grant Funds

From the Department of Water Resources:

This is a friendly reminder that there is still time for groundwater sustainability agencies and partner agencies to submit applications for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Planning (SGMP) Grant Program which has at least $47.5 million to award for activities related to the development of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan. DWR has significantly streamlined the process from the last SGMP round making it still feasible for an applicant to prepare and submit a competitive application.  Grant applications can be submitted using GRanTS, DWR’s online submittal tool, and will be accepted until 1 p.m., on Friday, November 1, 2019. For more information, call (916) 651-9613 or email the program at  SGWP@water.ca.gov.

FUNDING ASSISTANCE OPPORTUNITY: Free assistance offered through WaterNow’s Project Accelerator

Is your utility or city trying to get a water initiative off the ground but doesn’t have enough time? Does your municipality want to launch a water efficiency program but needs more information or capacity? Perhaps your community would benefit from rebate incentives but you need more research or best management practices to implement?

You’re not alone. Many cities and utilities want to adopt innovative water programs but they require time and resources to implement. And let’s face it, the everyday workload of most utility staff probably doesn’t include bandwidth to accomplish new tasks.

WaterNow has the answer – and it’s FREE!

The WaterNow Project Accelerator can help advance a project or program that could provide sustainable solutions to stormwater, wastewater, and water quality challenges in your community. Fill out an application and we will select two projects to receive professional hands-on support and technical and program assistance ranging from deep water policy expertise to communications strategies. Project Accelerator offerings include up to 250 hours of professional support in 3-6 months (valued at $25,000 each).

Click here for more information and to apply.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP)

From the California Department of Food and Agriculture:

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), a competitive grant program that incentivizes farmers to invest in irrigation water and energy efficiency. Agricultural operations can apply for up to $100,000 for projects that involve improvements to irrigation systems, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save water. Projects funded through SWEEP commonly include elements such as soil, plant or weather sensors; micro-irrigation systems; pump retrofits or replacements; renewable energy; and variable frequency drives – among others.

Applications are due Monday, December 16, 2019 at 5 p.m. CDFA will hold three no-cost workshops to provide information on program requirements and the application process. Webinar participation is available, but applicants are encouraged to attend in person.

SWEEP Application Workshops:

Willows, CA – Monday, October 28, 2019
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Glenn County Office of Education
311 South Villa Ave.
Willows, CA 95988
Register for webinar participation at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1423354487948559883

Modesto, CA – Tuesday, October 29, 2019
10 a.m. to noon
Stanislaus County Agricultural Center
Harvest Hall, Room DE
3800 Cornucopia Way
Modesto, CA 95358
Register for webinar participation at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3882162654329651469

Bakersfield, CA – Wednesday, October 30, 2019
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
University of California Cooperative Extension
1031 S. Mount Vernon Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93307
Register for webinar participation at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6168234245452706317

Potential applicants should review the application materials posted on the SWEEP webpage at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/sweep. A list of CDFA-contracted technical assistance providers is also available on the SWEEP webpage. These organizations are available to provide no-cost application assistance to farmers who would like to apply for a SWEEP award.

This round of SWEEP is authorized by the Budget Act of 2018 and funded through the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 (SB-5).


Click here to view more funding opportunities.

State distributes grants to help implement SGMA

“With some local agencies just months away from a deadline to complete groundwater management plans, local and state officials acknowledge there have been a few speed bumps in distributing grant funding for planning and implementation. But observers say they expect the grant process overall to benefit groups working to comply with provisions of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

“There’s the old adage that there’s no free money; you take the bad with the good and the bad is, these processes always take longer,” Northern California Water Association President David Guy said. … ”

Continue reading at Ag Alert here: State distributes grants to help implement SGMA

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority discusses, approves revised budget

“Discussion and approval of a revised budget and awarding of a $240,000 contract for water marketing consulting services were the main action items for the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board March 21.

A report and discussion on Plan of Action and Milestones, a report on Proposition 1 grant status, and a report on pump fee status and schedule were among other items on the agenda.

“Staff went through and basically reworked the budget from the start,” said Indian Wells Valley Water District General Manager Don Zdeba. … ”

Read more from the Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority discusses, approves revised budget

Owens Valley Groundwater Authority mulls budget

“After skipping its February meeting to figure out staffing, the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority had a chance to mull over its draft budget for this fiscal year.  This budget takes into consideration some unknowns when the initial budget was developed prior to the official formation of the Authority.

The biggest unknown was the grant application to cover the consultant’s cost to come up with a Groundwater Sustainability Plan. The OVGA got the grant and will now use member contributions to cover staff and other miscellaneous costs. … ”

Read more from Sierra Wave here:  Owens Valley Groundwater Authority mulls budget

No budget approved, Navy weighs in at IWV Groundwater Authority meeting:

“The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority met at City Hall on Thursday morning, first with an hour-long closed session meeting, covering potential litigation, followed by a five-hour regular meeting.

The 2019 IWVGA budget was not approved, after several board members and a handful of residents voiced their concerns over the presentation.  For starters, the budget that was presented was different from the one that was in the packet. A handful of numbers had been updated, including the total revenue (pump fee revenue and stressed counties grant revenue reimbursements) as well as a couple of lines in the expenditures section. … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  No budget approved, Navy weighs in at IWV Groundwater Authority meeting

Defeat of water bond imperils desert community of Borrego Springs

From the San Diego Union Tribune:

“It’s back to square one for the desert community of Borrego Springs, which is facing the daunting task of reducing its consumption of water by at least 75 percent in the coming decades.

Mostly lost in the hubbub surrounding the Nov. 6 election was the defeat of Proposition 3, an $8.8 billion state water bond.  Had it passed, Borrego Springs would have received $35 million to fallow most of the 3,800 acres of citrus and other farms in the northern part of the community. … ”

Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here:  Defeat of water bond imperils desert community of Borrego Springs

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s light agenda features POAM, Prop 1 status

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

“The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority meets Thursday at 11 a.m. at Ridgecrest City Council council chambers, 100 W. California Ave.

The Groundwater Authority board will have a light agenda, including a report from Steve Johnson, the water resources manager and president of Stetson Engineers.  Johnson’s report will include discussion of the Groundwater Authority’s Plan of Action and Milestones, which serves as the agency’s roadmap in developing the Groundwater Sustainability Plan, as well as topics including the status of a Proposition 1 grant application, and updates on the pumping fee status and schedule. … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s light agenda features POAM, Prop 1 status