Congratulations to our client, the Westlands Water District (WWD), selected by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to receive Proposition 68 Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGM) Grant funding. The Round 1 grant solicitation, which focused on critically overdrafted basins, received fifteen bid applications with a requested total of over $70 million in funding support. However, only six applicants have been selected to receive funding allocations from the $26 million currently available. EKI worked closely with WWD to write the approved grant application, securing funding for the development of a water recharge facility, which will restore surplus surface water into the critically over-drafted Westside Subbasin.
The SGM Grant Program’s Proposition 68 Implementation provides financial assistance to Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and others working to comply with Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) regulations. Initial SGMA implementation in 2014, established historic legislation and a framework for sustainable groundwater management throughout California. However, the financial burden is a consistent challenge for many GSAs struggling to address SGMA requirements while overcoming regional concerns.
SGM Grant funds range from $2 million to $5 million per basin and are awarded through a competitive application process for projects that improve groundwater conditions and quality, increase water supply reliability and drought resiliency, and reduce flood risk and surface subsidence. Awarded funding will help achieve regional sustainability, protect over-drafted basins, and ensure access to affordable, safe drinking water. A Round 2 grant solicitation, anticipated in Spring 2022, will provide approximately $77 million for medium- and high-priority basins.