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Financing Drought Resilient Technologies

State and federal agencies are the primary sources of public funds for drought resilience. Most State funding is provided for repairs, replacements, and enhancements of public water and wastewater systems and infrastructure to achieve targeted State goals for water supplies and water quality. Some public funds are also available to private entities for projects that support the State’s goals.

Agency Program Name Funding Source
California Air Resources Board (ARB) California Climate Investments Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) from proceeds received from Cap & Trade auctions are used to fund projects and programs that achieve the goals of Assembly Bill 32, The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, and support the California Climate Plan. GGRF appropriations are approved annually by the State Legislature.
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)* State Water Efficiency & Enhancement Program (SWEEP) Funded by GGRF, SWEEP provides grants to implement irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gases and save water on California agricultural operations. [not currently accepting applications]
Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) Funded by GGRF, DDRDP provides financial assistance for the installation of dairy digesters in California with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. [not currently accepting applications]
California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Multiple types of Grants and Loans Most DWR Grants and Loans are funded by State Bonds that target specific objectives with respect to water planning, protection and development of water resources, protection and remediation of water quality, groundwater management, and water use efficiency. Many of these programs are funded by multiple funding sources.
State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Multiple types of Grants and Loans administered by the Division of Financial Assistance (DFA) Similar to DWR, the SWRCB has multiple programs that help to achieve the State’s policies, goals, and objectives with respect to both drinking water and “clean” water (treated wastewater). Recycled water is also one of the SWRCB’s areas of focus. Funding for programs administered by the SWRCB is provided by federal agencies, especially the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and State Bonds such as the $7.545 billion water bond (The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014, aka “Proposition 1”).
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Multiple programs providing financial assistance for agriculture: management, irrigation efficiency, air quality, conservation innovation, watershed protection, and other federal goals and objectives are provided through NRCS.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) There are 2 primary types of USEPA financial assistance programs for water: Drinking Water and “Clean” Water. Both programs provide financial assistance for states’ Revolving Funds that provide low interest loans for eligible projects. In addition, USEPA provides funding for water research. Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) provides financial support to water systems and to state safe water programs.
Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) provides low-cost financing for water quality infrastructure projects.
Water Research Grants are provided for projects that advance knowledge about ways to protect water supplies and quality, and also protect human and ecosystem health.

* CDFA’s SWEEP and DDRDP programs are examples of special purpose programs that were created to address specific opportunities to achieve State goals:

  • SWEEP is aimed at increasing agricultural water use efficiency, a high priority for the State. Since GGRF funds supported this program, recipients of SWEEP grants must also reduce GHG emissions.
  • DDRDP was established to reduce a high source of GHG emissions in California, methane from dairy operations. While the primary goal is to reduce GHG emissions, strategies to reduce dairy methane also have other benefits, including production of renewable energy and fuels, and drought resilience.

Want more info on grants and loans that support water and wastewater utilities infrastructure projects?