Small Community Funding Program - Application Process

Small Community Funding is available to help small disadvantage communities (small DACs), providing drinking water service to less than 10,000 people or wastewater service to less than 20,000 people and having a median household income (MHI) of less than 80% the statewide MHI, with technical assistance needs, interim water supplies, and implement eligible drinking water or wastewater capital improvement projects.

The Small Community Funding Program continuously accepts applications starting with a simple pre-application:

  1. Pre-Application
    • The pre-application includes a set of general questions regarding the facility/system, project description, and type of funding/assistance being requested.
    • Pre-Applications received prior to the 20th of the month will be reviewed and DFA staff contact the applicant by the 10th of the following month (for example pre-applications received by May 20th will be reviewed by DFA staff and the applicant will be contacted by June 10th).
    • To apply for funding, complete the pre-application online via the Financial Assistance Application Tool (FAAST) Select the RFP, titled “Small Community Funding Program, Pre-Application.
  2. Initial Eligibility Screening
    • After a pre-application is submitted, DFA staff will conduct an initial eligibility screening for the Small Community Funding Program. Depending on the type of project, DFA staff will direct the applicant to the appropriate funding program.
    • Applicants appearing to meet the eligibility criteria for a capital improvement project will be invited to submit complete applications (planning or construction).
    • If the project doesn’t fit under our standard drinking water or wastewater application process (technical assistance, interim water supply, Administrator, etc.), but is still eligible for Small Community Funding, DFA staff will contact the applicant to discuss next steps.
    • A final eligibility determination will be conducted by DFA staff prior to the applicant receiving funding.
  3. Planning/Construction Applications
    • DFA utilizes the same application for the Small Community Funding and the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs. Contact the Office of Sustainable Water Solutions at or (916) 341-5296 for the most recent application forms and instructions.