Drought Funding

The State Water Board has funding available for projects that address either drought-related urgent drinking water needs or long-term resilience. We aim to develop relationships and collaborate with public agencies (including counties and Regional Boards), tribal governments, community water systems, and non-profit organizations serving disadvantaged communities to assist with long- and short-term drinking water projects. These entities are eligible to apply for funding.

We do not directly fund individual households. If you are an individual looking for immediate assistance, please visit the drinking water assistance page. If you are a county or partnering with a county to implement a program to assist individual households, please refer to the County-wide and Regional Funding Programs webpage.

How to Apply

Project Examples

Short-term solutions (mostly emergency repairs and drinking water delivery)

  • Bottled water
  • Hauled water (and tanks)
  • Well repair, rehabilitation, and replacements
  • Emergency interties
  • Vending machines
  • Necessary rented or borrowed equipment

Long-term solutions

  • New wells
  • Extension of service
  • Regional consolidation
  • Treatment systems
  • Distribution system improvements
  • New tanks
  • Emergency generators
  • Water recycling projects

Organizations and entities interested in funding drinking water programs for schools may apply directly through technical assistance providers.   Find more information here.

Responsibility During Emergencies

All emergencies begin at the local level and the Local Government is best positioned to provide immediate emergency relief such as bottled and hauled water. Under the State’s Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS), the Local Government should request assistance and resources from progressive levels of the state's emergency management organization as they exhaust their resources. The CalOES 2016 Administrative Order with the Water Boards outlines the requirement to follow the SEMS process during emergency and disaster operations. This allows the Regional and State organizational levels to respond and provide the required support.

Similarly, a Public Water System (PWS) must first go through their Local Government Office of Emergency Services to request emergency funding for immediate relief while simultaneously notifying the Water Board’s Division of Drinking Water of this request. This allows the request for funding assistance to follow the SEMS organizational levels for effective and timely management of the request while providing the Water Board with situational awareness to assist where necessary.

Map of Funded Projects