The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has awarded $83.9 million in Integrated Regional Water Management Program grants to communities across the state, including Southern California’s San Diego region.
The source of monies awarded comes from voter-approved CA Proposition 1 Water Bond, which enacted the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. The funds will support projects that address aging infrastructure, flood control, depleted groundwater levels and other critical needs in communities throughout the state.
“Water is such a vital resource, that it is critical we continue to take action to ensure communities have access to clean water supplies, reliable flood protection and healthy ecosystems” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “These grants will support agencies and projects to continue local momentum in creating a more diverse water supply portfolio, strengthening partnerships and addressing climate change.”
In San Diego County, $3.7 million was awarded to National City to support a multi-benefit community enhancement project that will reduce flood hazards to homes located along the Paradise Valley Creek. The project will divert stormwater runoff to a biofiltration basin where pollutants will be removed and will also replace old concrete lining in the creek with more fish-friendly natural streambank reinforcement.
Other key projects and their grant amounts include:
- Sewage Commission-Oroville Region – $3.8 million to replace and improve infrastructure for collecting, treating and reusing wastewater.
- Merced Irrigation District – $1.32 million to reduce flood risk and provide more reliable drinking water supplies for the disadvantaged communities of Le Grand and other surrounding areas.
- Central Coast Wetlands Group and City of Salinas – $1 million to make critical improvements to existing stormwater and wastewater infrastructure, enhancing the ability of these systems to capture, store and convey water for various beneficial uses and reduce downstream flooding.
- Lower Cosumnes River – $1 million to divert water from a nearby water supply canal during heavy storm periods and spread on 129 acres of agricultural land, allowing recharge of the groundwater basin for later use during dry periods.
- Mariposa County Resource Conservation District – $700,000 for the Bootjack Fire Station Water Storage Project, which will increase the amount of water locally available to fight the increasing number of wildfires in the watershed.
The Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) program is a collaborative effort to manage all aspects of water resources in a region. IRWM crosses jurisdictional, watershed, and political boundaries; involves multiple agencies, stakeholders, individuals, and groups; and attempts to address the issues and differing perspectives of all the entities involved through mutually beneficial solutions.
This is the third set of funding awards that have been released under this program since April 2020. An upcoming award of about $37 million for the Los Angeles/Ventura funding area is expected to be announced in the near future. To date, nearly $175.1 million has been awarded through this program.