California awards $140M for water management projects

May 22, 2023
The state’s Department of Water Resources awarded funding to 115 projects to support groundwater recharge, flood management, water conservation, and water quality.

California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced that it has awarded $143.7 million to implement 115 projects that support groundwater recharge, strengthen flood management, increase water conservation and improve water quality through the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) program.

“California’s changing climate presents unique challenges to our regions across the state,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “These projects meet multiple needs including constructing new water infrastructure, improving water quality, protecting wildlife and preparing for a hotter and drier future. Equally important, they leverage local, federal and other state dollars to help ensure water security for all Californians is affordable.”

Proposition 1 funding totaling $143.7 million will be allocated to projects in the funding areas of Central Coast, Colorado River, Los Angeles, Mountain Counties, North Coast, North/South Lahontan, Sacramento River, Santa Ana, San Diego and San Francisco Bay Area.

This amount includes $59 million to implement projects in underserved communities and $4 million for Tribes. A full list of the funded projects can be found here.

Some highlights of the projects funded are:

  • In the Central Coast area, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District will receive approximately $900,000 to restore more than 120 acres of floodplain near the south Carmel River and remove more than 100 properties from the 100-year flood zone. The San Benito County Water District also received $900,000 to construct a managed aquifer recharge basin in the Pajaro River watershed to infiltrate 100 acre-feet per year of stormwater and supply an estimated annual average of 2,060 acre-feet per year of new water supply.
  • In the Lahontan area, the Honey Lake Valley Resource Conservation District will receive $808,581 to rehabilitate an existing wooden dam. The project will reduce flood risk for approximately 5,500 acres of both upstream property and downstream areas in a flood event.
  • In the San Diego region, the South Orange County Watershed Management Area will receive $1.2 million to capture stormwater and dry-weather runoff from a 109-acre tributary drainage area. The project includes construction of a diversion structure from the existing storm drain line, a trash separator and an infiltration basin.
  • In the Mountain Counties region, the Sierra Resources Conservation District will receive $500,000 to restore the health of fire-affected regions of Big Dry Creek and Jose Creek Watersheds of the upper San Joaquin River. The work includes removal of dead and dying trees, erosion mitigation, habitat improvements, and reforestation to support water quality and supplies for local and downstream uses.
  • In the North Coast area, the Karuk Tribe will receive $1.2 million to create 290 acres of habitat and improve streams to restore water quality for Chinook Salmon and other wildlife.