CAA Urgent Drinking Water Need Projects


The CAA is supported by court judgments and administrative civil liabilities assessed by the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and the Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Boards). Water code section 13442 authorizes the State Water Board to utilize CAA funds to address an urgent drinking water need. This includes needs due to drought, contamination, or other eligible emergencies.


Eligible entities include:

  • A public agency, including Regional Boards.
  • A tribal government that is on the California Tribal Consultation List maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission and is a disadvantaged community (DAC).
  • A not-for-profit organization serving a DAC; or
  • A community water system that serves a DAC.

Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Provision of interim alternate water supplies, such as bottled or hauled water.
  • Emergency improvements or repairs to existing water systems as necessary to provide an adequate supply of domestic water. Improvements or repairs will typically only be funded if shown to be a more cost-effective interim solution than provision of interim alternate water supplies. Eligible improvements or repairs include but are not limited to:
    • Well rehabilitation or replacement;
    • Emergency interties, extension of service, or consolidation projects;
    • Treatment systems;
    • Rented, borrowed or purchased equipment;
    • Design, installation and initial startup costs;
  • Certain construction projects that meet all the following criteria:
    • Project cost is less than $500,000
    • Project will serve a small DAC, primarily low-income households, or a school
    • Water system is out of compliance or at-risk and project is urgent in nature
    • Addresses an immediate health risk, untreated or at-risk water sources, or chronic compliance or water shortage problems
    • Project does not include an extensive planning component or legal complexities and is ready-to-proceed
    • Environmental work (California Environmental Quality Act [CEQA]) has been completed or project has been deemed CEQA-exempt

How to Apply

The Deputy Director of the Division of Financial Assistance (DFA) and the Executive Director of the State Water Board are delegated authority to approve up to $500,000 in CAA funds per project, for routine or non-controversial projects. Any non-routine or controversial projects, or CAA approvals exceeding $500,000 per project, will require State Water Board approval.

To apply for funding, applicants have the following options:

  1. Complete the Urgent Drinking Water Needs Application and submit to The local DDW District Office can assist public water systems by submitting the application on behalf of a water system.
  2. Complete the funding application online via the Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST). Select the RFP titled, "Interim Emergency Drinking Water and Drought Related Drinking Water Funding Application"

Funding Process Overview

Once a complete application is submitted, DFA staff will review and follow up with the applicant regarding any questions. Once all questions have been addressed, DFA staff will prepare and submit a funding recommendation to management. The DFA Deputy Director will review and either approve or deny funding.

If funding is approved, DFA staff will notify the Recipient and provide the start date for costs to be incurred. DFA staff will also work with the Recipient to develop a scope of work for the grant agreement.

Funding is through a reimbursement process. It typically takes several months to develop a grant agreement and reimbursements can only be paid out once a funding agreement has been executed. Once the agreement is executed, the Recipient will submit reimbursement requests and progress reports as the project is implemented.

Additional Resources

  Contact Information

  • Telephone: (916) 319-9066

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