Welcome to the State Water Resources Control Board Welcome to the California Environmental Protection Agency

The California Water Boards' Annual Performance Report - Fiscal Year  2015-16 


Drinking Water Uses of Funds


The State Water Board provides financial assistance through various State and federal loan and grant programs to help local agencies, businesses, and individuals meet the costs of water pollution control, development of locally available sustainable water supplies, drinking water infrastructure, and cleanup. This funding is made available for local and regional projects that can include construction of municipal sewage and water recycling facilities, groundwater and surface water treatment projects, drinking water distribution system and source capacity improvements, remediation for underground storage tank releases, watershed protection, nonpoint source pollution control, and other water protection projects. More...

More information on the FY 2015-16 target results and FY 2016-17 targets

Fiscal Year  2015-16 
Statewide Overview of
Financial Assistance Activities

UST Cleanup fund Claims Closed: 320
UST Cleanup Fund Reimbursements: $61,765,853
Clean Water State Revolving Funded Projects: 39 
Clean Water State Revolving Funds Allocated: $1,058,469,758
Drinking Water Projects Funded: 31 

Drinking Water State Revolving Funds Allocated: $330,865,636


Graph Data Reported

Fund - How does financial assistance protect water quality?

The ongoing activities of pollution prevention and cleanup occur at some expense to the regulated community and the State. These activities can include the construction of treatment facilities, or the implementation of measures, to address or avoid water quality problems.

Types of Funded Projects

  • Construction of municipal sewage facilities/wastewater treatment plants
  • Construction of water recycling facilities
  • Remediation for underground storage tank releases
  • Watershed protection projects
  • Nonpoint source pollution control projects
  • Clean beaches
  • Agricultural discharge monitoring and reduction
  • Stormwater control
  • Repair and replacement of underground storage tanks
  • Watershed management
  • Other water protection projects

The State Water Board's financial assistance programs obtain revenue from various sources. In recent years, the State has made a concerted effort to improve water quality and water use efficiency, and maintain clean beaches through the passage of bond measures that provided funding for these critical areas. The State and Regional Water Boards have administered numerous loan and grant funding programs from these bond measures (most recently from Propositions 13, 40, 50, and 84) to improve water quality and water recycling, implement watershed programs, and monitor groundwater. In late 2008, sources of funding from these bond measures tapered off. With the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 (ARRA) on February 17, 2009, the State Water Board became one of several State agencies to receive ARRA funds. Under ARRA, an amount in excess of $280 million became available through California Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) that is administered by the State Water Board. Priorities are being focused on "shovel-ready" projects that will create jobs immediately.

For more information on ARRA.

Funding Process

The State Water Board develops and adopts project selection guidelines through a public process for its financial assistance programs. The State Water Board uses the guidelines and a variety of processes to solicit, review, and select projects for funding based on the goals of the program and the needs of project proponents (applicants). The solicitation process includes clearly defined criteria and is coordinated with other funding agencies, balancing the need for applicant assistance and making the funds available quickly. A web-based system called Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST) is available to provide an efficient means for applicants to apply for loan and grant funding offered by the Water Boards. Using FAAST, applicants can sign up for funding notifications, submit financial assistance applications, and monitor the status of their applications. The proposed projects are judged by review panels on their scientific and readiness merits. The review panels are made up of staff from the State and Regional Water Boards, partner agencies, and, occasionally, stakeholders, who are chosen to provide technical/scientific expertise, as well as regional and multiple agency perspectives. Loan and grant agreements are prepared for the selected projects.

The State and Regional Water Board use a multi-faceted approach to ensuring the success of the projects it funds, which includes establishing a clear understanding of what will be done and when, monitoring the project throughout implementation to ensure that work is conducted as specified, and Regional Water Board review and approval of all project submittals, including invoices. Water quality data collected under the funded projects are captured by the Water Boards' Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) or Groundwater Ambient Monitoring Assessment (GAMA) program.

Funding Programs

The State Water Board has numerous financial assistance programs that provide funding for many purposes. Some are loan programs, while others are grant programs. Some funding programs are administered jointly with other agencies. An overview of selected Water Board financial assistance programs (beginning with the CWSRF that received ARRA funds) are provided below. For more information on these financial assistance programs and others.

Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)
The construction of treatment facilities and other actions are necessary to address water quality problems and to prevent pollution of the State's waters.; Under the federal Clean Water Act, the State has established the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). The CWSRF is a low-interest loan program for pollution control and prevention projects, including the planning, design, and construction of publicly-owned wastewater treatment facilities, sewer collection systems, and water reclamation facilities; the correction of nonpoint source and stormwater pollution problems; and estuary enhancement activities. The CWSRF is comprised of both federal and State monies. California receives annual capitalization grants from U.S. EPA and provides a 20 percent match via State bonds and local funds.

For more information on CWSRF

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF)
The construction of public drinking water systems facilities and other actions are necessary to ensure that all Californians have access to safe, clean drinking water. Under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, the State has established the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). The DWSRF is a low-interest loan program for public water systems, including the planning, design, and construction of projects for infrastructure improvements to correct system deficiencies and improve drinking water quality for the health, safety, and welfare of all Californians. The DWSRF is comprised of both federal and State monies.

For more information on DWSRF

Proposition 1
Proposition 1 (Assembly Bill 1471, Rendon) authorized $7.545 billion in general obligation bonds for water projects including surface and groundwater storage, ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration, and drinking water protection. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) will administer Proposition 1 funds for five programs: Small Community Wastewater, water Recycling, Drinking Water, Stormwater, and Groundwater Sustainability.

For more information on Prop 1

Water Recycling Funding Program (WRFP)
The need for recycled water and other water use efficiency strategies is continually increasing as the State's population grows and water availability is reduced. The Water Recycling Funding Program (WRFP) was established to promote water recycling to augment fresh water supplies by providing technical and financial assistance to local agencies and other stakeholders to support water recycling projects and research. Between 1978 and 2008, the State passed several bond laws that provided loans and grants for the planning and construction of water recycling projects. The CWSRF is also available to provide loans for water recycling facilities that are planned for water supply purposes.

For more information on WRFP

Clean Beaches Initiative (CBI) Grant Program
Poor water quality at California beaches threatens the health of swimmers and the economy of the State. Beaches are posted with warnings when bacterial standards are exceeded and closed when a sewage spill has affected the beach. The Clean Beaches Initiative (CBI) Grant Program provides funding for projects that restore and protect the water quality and environment of coastal waters, estuaries, bays, and near shore waters. Funding priority is given to projects that reduce postings and closures caused by bacterial contamination. CBI grant funds are being used to (1) improve, upgrade, or convert existing sewer collection or septic systems to reduce or eliminate sewage spills, (2) implement urban runoff pollution reduction and prevention programs, and (3) implement management practices to eliminate upstream sources of bacterial contamination. Projects are recommended for funding by the Clean Beaches Task Force, which is comprised of beach water quality experts. Established as part of the Fiscal Year 2001-02 Budget to respond to poor water quality and the dramatic number of postings and closures revealed by monitoring at the State's beaches, the CBI Grant Program has been funded by: $32.3 million from Proposition 13 (2000); $43.7 million from Proposition 40 (2002); $23 million from Proposition 50 (2002); and $34 million from Proposition 84 (2006).

For more information on the CBI Grant Program.

Agricultural Drainage Loan Program (ADLP) and Agricultural Drainage Management Loan Program (ADMLP)
Nonpoint source pollution is the leading cause of water quality impairments in California, and agriculture is the leading contributor of nonpoint source pollution in the State. The Agricultural Drainage Loan Program (ADLP) and the Agricultural Management Loan Program (ADMLP) provide low-interest loans to city, county, district, joint powers authority, and other political subdivisions of the State involved with water management. These entities, in turn, make the funds available to individual growers for implementation of projects to address treatment, storage, conveyance, or disposal of agricultural drainage water to improve irrigation water use efficiency and water quality. The Bond Law of 1986 authorized $75 million to the ADLP; the Bond Law of 1996 authorized $30 million to the ADMLP.

For more information on ADLP.
For more information on ADMLP.

Underground Storage Tank (UST) Cleanup Fund Program
Petroleum fuel underground storage tanks (USTs) have released significant amounts to soil and groundwater and may pose threats to health and safety from contamination of drinking water supply wells, or potential inhalation of vapors within certain buildings. Federal and state laws require every owner and operator of a petroleum UST to maintain financial responsibility to pay for corrective action of releases from UST operations. The UST Cleanup Fund reimburses reasonable and necessary costs incurred by eligible petroleum UST tank owners or operators for corrective action costs. In addition to reimbursing claimants for corrective action costs, the UST Cleanup Fund provides the funding for regulatory oversight by the Regional Water Boards and certified local oversight program (LOP) agencies. The UST Cleanup Fund revenues come from a $0.02 per gallon petroleum storage fee collected from UST owners by the Board of Equalization.

For more information on the UST Cleanup Fund.

Orphan Site Cleanup Fund (OSCF)
The Orphan Site Cleanup Fund (OSCF) provides grants to eligible applicants who are not responsible for site assessment and cleanup of a petroleum release.

For more information on the OSCF.

Emergency, Abandoned, or Recalcitrant Account (EAR)
The Emergency, Abandoned and Recalcitrant Account (EAR) program provides funds for a contractor engaged by the State of California to implement corrective action at sites with petroleum releases for emergency purposes or for sites that have been abandoned or have recalcitrant responsible parties.

Site Cleanup Subaccount
The Site Cleanup Subaccount provides funds to address impacts from surface or groundwater contamination. The funding includes grants for eligible projects, funds for a contractor engaged by the State of California to implement remedies at sites, and funding for regulatory oversight by the Regional Water Boards.



( Page last updated:  3/1/17 )