Department of Water Resources Announces Final Funding Awards for Grants to Save Water and Energy

CONTACTS: Craig Cross (916) 651-9204 Doug Carlson (916) 653-5114 

SACRAMENTOThe Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced the award of $28 million to 22 entities for 25 projects that will save water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

The grants will help California respond to the immediate drought while building resiliency to cope with future droughts and climate change. They are DWR’s first grants using proceeds from California’s cap-and-trade program for combating climate change. Through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, DWR and other state agencies are investing in projects that reduce carbon pollution while also creating jobs, improving air quality and providing other benefits, such as energy and water savings. 

DWR announced draft funding recommendations in March and considered public comments on those proposals. The Department is awarding an additional $9 million that was appropriated in recent drought legislation, AB 91. 

In all, the 25 projects will save an estimated 270,000 acre-feet of water and prevent the release of approximately 199,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. Over 70 percent of the funding will provide benefits to disadvantaged communities that are targeted for investments from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. 

The projects include installation of water meters for Merced residents that can be read and tracked by satellite, design and installation of a smart irrigation control system for 18 Bakersfield parks and distribution of water conservation toolkits to households in the small Tulare County town of Alpaugh. 

The final awards may be viewed here

The projects are part of the California Climate Investments program, a broad multiagency state initiative to invest proceeds from the cap-and-trade program in California communities for projects that directly reduce greenhouse gases and provide a wide variety of additional benefits. 

The proposals come under the 2014 Water-Energy Grant Program, which is funded with cap-and-trade proceeds to fight climate change by limiting the amount of greenhouse gases that large polluters emit to the atmosphere. Proceeds from that program go into the Greenhouse Gas Reduction fund (Health and Safety Code §39710 et seq.) and through the budget process are allocated to several state agencies for investments in California communities to reduce greenhouse gases. Funds for the Water-Energy Grant Program were appropriated by the 2014 Drought legislation (Senate Bill 103 Section 11 2013-2014 Reg. Sess.) and through AB 91 (Committee on Budgets, 2015-2016 Reg. Sess.). An additional $9 million in Local Assistance funding was authorized as part of the 2015 Drought legislation. 

The 2014 Water-Energy Grant Program provides funding to support the implementation of residential, commercial and institutional water efficiency programs or projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also reduce water and energy usage. Additional information on the 2014 Water-Energy Grant Program can be viewed here

This is the fourth year of California’s drought. To learn about the actions the state has taken to manage our water systems and cope with the drought’s impacts, visit Drought.CA.Gov. Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at SaveOurWater.com.