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Proposition 1 Groundwater Sustainability Program

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Proposition 1 was passed by voters in November 2014 and provided $900 million for a Groundwater Sustainability Program (Assembly Bill 1471, Chapter 10). The State Water Board will administer $800 million to prevent and cleanup contamination of groundwater that serves (or has served) as a source of drinking water. The funds are available as grants.

The State Water Board adopted the Proposition 1 Groundwater Grant Program Guidelines on May 18, 2016. Non-substantive changes were made to the Guidelines after the May 18, 2016 Board Meeting; an amended version is now posted (see "What’s New" below). These changes were made under the authority of the Deputy Director.

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What's New!

Applying for Groundwater Quality Funding Program

The Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST) allows applicants/users to apply for most funding programs that are available through the State Water Board Division of Financial Assistance. Applications for groundwater quality funding (GWQF) programs must be made electronically using FAAST. A Pre-application is available for the Groundwater Quality Funding Program (i.e. eligible Site Cleanup Subaccount Program and Proposition 1 eligible applicants). A Final Application is also available for the Proposition 1 Groundwater Sustainability Program applicants as of June 10, 2016.

Please note: Applicants that are considered eligible for Proposition 1 Groundwater Sustainability Program funds will be invited to submit a Final Application. Applicants are advised to not submit a Final Application until they have been notified by State Board staff that the Pre-application review process for their proposed project has been completed.

Pre-Application Review Process: Eligible Proposition 1 Groundwater Sustainability Program Applicants
The Guidelines for the Proposition 1 Groundwater Funding Program require that State Water Board staff evaluate whether the proposed projects should be directed to other State Water Board funding programs. All eligible Proposition 1 grant program applicants should review the following Table 1 (Project Types) prior to completing a GWQF Pre-application to identify the project type that best characterizes their proposed project.

Table 1- Project Types

Planning/ Monitoring

Planning and monitoring projects include, but are not limited to, site assessment; site characterization; modeling; remedial investigation (RI); feasibility study (FS); monitoring and reporting plan; responsible party search; and preliminary engineering design.


Projects that will address groundwater cleanup or prevent the contamination of groundwater that serves or has served as a source of drinking water and will substantially reduce the contaminants in the drinking water aquifer. Examples of implementation projects are design, construction, pilot studies, and initial startup of facilities.

Drinking Water Treatment

 Projects that treat groundwater for direct potable use, with no cleanup or remediation of the aquifer, are considered “drinking water treatment projects” (i.e., regional contamination that is not conducive to aquifer cleanup due to the extent of the contamination, ongoing discharge, or naturally elevated levels of the contaminant).

Eligible applicants that select 'Planning/Monitoring' or 'Implementation' from Table 1 should choose the GWQF Pre-application in FAAST. Once applicants are invited to complete a Final Application for the Proposition 1 Groundwater Sustainability Program, there will be an application for each project type (Planning/Monitoring and Implementation) and applicants will be advised on which application they should complete.

Eligible applicants that select 'Drinking Water Treatment' from Table 1 are advised to apply for available funding from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Program. The evaluation of a project's eligibility for funds obtained from the DWSRF Program is based on evaluation criteria and funding decisions process set forth in the most current version of the DWSRF Intended Use Plan (IUP).

IMPORTANT: Drinking water treatment projects that benefit disadvantaged communities (DACs) or economically distressed areas (EDAs) are potentially eligible for Proposition 1 Groundwater Sustainability Program funding even if they apply for DWSRF funding. Applicants will be advised of possible funding from the Proposition 1 Groundwater Sustainability Program funding during DWSRF application review. Applicants who apply for DWSRF funding need not apply for Groundwater Quality Funding to be eligible for additional funding for projects benefitting a DAC/EDA.

First Round Proposition 1 Groundwater Grant Program Funding (Planning and Implementation) Timeline

Guideline and Funding Milestones


Pre-application Closes for Round 1 Groundwater Grant Program Funding

July 29, 2016

Pre-application Review for Round 1

August 1 2016 - February 28, 2017

Final Application Closes for Round 1

Approximately 45 days after Final Application invitation letter sent to applicant

Final Application Review for Round 1

5 to 7 weeks after Final Application is submitted

Preliminary Award

4 weeks after Final Application Review is complete

Grant Agreements

Spring to Fall 2017 (Round 1)

Dates in this table are approximate

Requests for Reduced Funding Match for DAC/EDA Communities

Proposition 1 Groundwater Grant Funding Program applicants are required to provide a minimum local cost share ("match funds") of fifty (50) percent of the total project cost, unless the proposed project (or components of the project) benefit a disadvantaged community (DAC) or economically distressed area (EDA). Criteria and reduced matched funding amounts can be found in Section 5.4 of the Proposition 1 Groundwater Grant Program Guidelines. Additionally, Appendix B of the funding guidelines provides a method for demonstrating eligibility for the reduced funding match for the Groundwater Grant Program. Please contact DFA staff for further assistance on the appropriate methods for determining DAC/EDA status.

Funded Projects (First Round)

The State Water Resources Control Board's Division of Financial Assistance's (Division's) Deputy Director began awarding funds for the first round of Proposition 1 Groundwater Grant Program (GWGP) on March 30, 2017. The State Board anticipates awarding additional funds over the next several months. The list of applicants and projects that receive preliminary awards will be updated as the Deputy Director approves additional projects. Please see the link below for the current list of projects that have received preliminary awards. The link also provides funding amounts that are being considered and other project related details.

NEW! List of Preliminary Award Projects (updated 05/30/17)

Archived Documents

Contact Us

For further information, contact us at:
Email: gwquality.funding@waterboards.ca.gov
Subject Line: Prop 1 Groundwater Sustainability
Phone: (800) 813-FUND (3863)

Sign-up for Email Alerts for Groundwater Quality Funding Assistance
See the "Financial Assistance (Grants & Loans)" section.