California Announces $288 Million for Drought and Flood Projects

WHAT TO KNOW: 44 projects will receive $217 million to increase water supply reliability, expand new water storage and conservation, and protect against flooding. And, $71 million will help respond to local drought impacts. These are critical investments that will make California more resilient to drought and flooding. SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom has advanced an unprecedented $8.5 billion worth of investments to conserve, store, and deliver more water to California communities. Recent investments have also focused on protecting Californians from historic flooding. Today, California announced over a quarter of a billion dollars for projects throughout the state to continue accomplishing these goals. The Department of Water Resources (DWR), through the Urban Community Drought Relief Grant program, has awarded over $217 million to 44 projects that will help communities strengthen drought resilience and better prepare for future dry conditions – helping advance efforts outlined in Governor Newsom’s strategy to adapt California’s water supply for a hotter and drier future. These investments focus on: Flood Risk Management/Groundwater Recharge

  • In San Joaquin County, Stockton East Water District will receive $12.2 million to divert water from the New Hogan Reservoir for groundwater recharge and drinking water purposes. In Fresno County, the City of Fresno will receive $5.2 million to make improvements to the existing Leaky Acres Basin to maximize the capture of surface water during flood events.
  • The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works will receive $10.5 million to reinforce the Santa Anita dam and remove sediment, providing additional storage capacity for downstream groundwater recharge in the Santa Anita Spreading Grounds. The project will increase the County’s ability to recharge with stormwater, adding over 2,000 acre-feet of new storm water resources to the groundwater basin annually. The project was previously visited by Vice President Kamala Harris, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla and California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot in January during record-setting rains.

 Improved Water Supply Reliability

  • In Ventura County, the Casitas Municipal Water District will receive $3.6 million to develop a deep extraction well to provide an estimated additional 8,000 acre-feet per year of new water supply. In Santa Clara County, the City of Morgan Hill will receive $4 million to construct a new 850,000-gallon aboveground steel water supply reservoir.
  • In Santa Cruz County, the San Lorenzo Valley Water District will receive $4.5 million to replace nine leaking water storage tanks with six fire-resistant steel tanks, to significantly increase the district’s current storage capacity from 160,000 to 720,000 gallons. This funding will help to rebuild the district’s infrastructure, much of which was destroyed during the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fire.

 Recycling Water

  • In Fresno County, the Fresno Unified School District will receive $540,000 to support two projects benefiting a local elementary and middle school to irrigate with recycled water. In Alameda County, the Zone 7 Water Agency will receive $300,000 to construct an automated self-service recycled water fill station to provide a permanent, year-round source of water for irrigation and other uses for many residents with expanded operating hours.
  • In Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will receive $4.5 million to upgrade the Dominguez Gap Seawater Intrusion Barrier to use 100 percent recycled water.

 Water Conservation/Yard Transformation

  • In San Bernardino County, the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District will receive $2.6 million to install water-efficient fixtures in single-family and multifamily homes in targeted disadvantaged community areas to improve indoor water efficiency. The district will also replace turf with drought tolerant landscaping in homeowner association areas and mobile home parks to reduce outdoor water use.
  • In Stanislaus County, the City of Modesto will receive $2.3 million to replace 17.79 acres of non-functional turf grass with drought tolerant landscaping at 21 parks for an estimated water savings of over 54 acre-feet annually.
  • The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will receive $30 million to implement a turf replacement program available to all of its member agencies serving a combined 19 million Californians, and will save up to 4,050-acre feet of water per year by converting an estimated 30 million square-feet of non-functional turf to water-efficient landscaping.

 Additionally, in May the Administration dedicated $71 million to address drinking water shortages, species protection, and populations particularly impacted by drought. This includes: 

  • $10 million to provide immediate and near-term financial and technical support to help small communities whose water supplies have been impacted by drought.
  • $55 million to address dry wells by providing hauled water and well repair and replacement.
  • $500,000 to fund stream gages and well transducers for use in Clear Lake to better understand the relationship between streamflow, well pumping, and water use. This funding will support the threatened Clear Lake hitch.
  • $500,000 for a contract to investigate groundwater/stream water interactions in the Clear Lake region. This funding will support the threatened Clear Lake hitch.
  • $5 million to provide direct relief grants for small-scale and historically underserved farmers.