Water Partnerships Toolbox

This website is dedicated to providing a collection of tools that can be used for resource sharing between drinking water systems. It contains templates, guidelines, contacts, training and other information that may be applicable to many types of water partnerships, such as local resource sharing, consolidation and regionalization. Many of the templates below can provide a starting point for various types of agreements. However, a thorough review of all possible contractual issues and independent legal review is always recommended.

Find Water Systems Near You

California Environmental Health Tracking Program

This website provides a map of the boundaries of public water systems. It is currently under development and does not include all public water systems, but is searchable by address or county.

Drinking Water Watch

All active and inactive public water systems in California are provided on this website as well as a contact phone number or address for the public water system. The listing can be filtered by county, but no map is provided.

Contact the Division of Drinking Water District Office: Division of Drinking Water Map of the Offices and Contacts

 If you are unable to find a public water system nearby, contact the District Engineer for additional support.

Collaboration Information and Templates

Mutual aid templates and guidance:

National Environmental Services Center, University of West Virginia: Mutual Aid Communities Work to Help Each Other

American Water Works Association: Utilities Helping Utilities

U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Writing Guide for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Joint Power Authority regulations and Information:

Joint Powers Agreement for public agencies (See Section 6500-6536 of the Government Code) and the Secretary of State's website. Section 6525 refers to mutual water companies combining with public water agencies.

Crafting Inter-local Water Agreements from University of North Carolina's Environmental Finance Center:

Crafting Inter-local Water Agreements

Board Training, Asset Inventory and Rate Setting Training

Board Trainings, Asset Inventory and Rate Setting Trainings can be found on the Rural Community Assistance Corporation:

Training and Events

Funding and Funding Incentives for Consolidation and Regionalization

The Division of Financial Assistance (DFA) manages the State Water Resources Control Board's financial assistance programs. These programs offer low interest loans and grant funding for qualifying planning and construction projects.

General Funding Information:

Division of Financial Assistance Organization Chart 
General Funding Information 
Funding Application Forms and Instructions 
Guidelines for Consolidation Projects 
Drinking Water Funding Intended Use Plan 
2017 Interest Rate and Disadvantaged Median Household Income Levels 
American Community Survey--US Census Information for Median Household Income Estimates 
Technical Assistance (TA) General Information 
Technical Assistance (TA) Request Form 
Emergency Drinking Water Funding Guidelines 
Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST) 
How To Videos for Submitting a Project Using FAAST

Funding Incentives for Consolidation and Regionalization:

Drinking Water Funding Intended Use Plan

  • See page 35 for details of consolidation incentives

Other Funding Sources and Links to Funding Fair Dates:

California Financing Coordinating Committee Funding Fair 
USDA Rural Utilities Service Funding 
Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Funding

Local Area Formation Information (LAFCO)

Listing of LAFCO Executive Officers: CALAFCO Executive Officer Directory

What is LAFCO and how does the process work?  It's Time to Draw the Line: A Citizen's Guide to LAFCOs

Water Rights in Consolidation and Regionalization

What about water rights? If the public water system uses surface water as a water source (lake, river, etc.) the water system likely has surface water rights with specific areas of use, called the "Place of Use." To use these rights at other locations, a petition of change of use will be required by the Division of Water Rights.

Frequently Asked Questions: Water Rights Petitions: Water Rights Petitions FAQ

Petition for Change of Place of Use: Petition for Change of Use Form

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

What is CEQA and other Frequently Asked Questions? http://resources.ca.gov/ceqa/more/faq.html

CEQA Statues: Leg Info-California Public Resources Code Section 21000 et seq. 

Guidelines for Implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act: Guidelines

CEQA Categorical Exemptions: Section 15300 through 15333

Water Partnership Relevant Sections:

  • Existing Facilities Section 15301
  • Replacement or Reconstruction 15302

CEQA Statutory Exemptions: Section 15260 through 15285

Water Partnership Relevant Sections:

  • Feasibility and Planning Exemption Section 15262
  • Pipeline Exemption Section 15284

USEPA’s Water Partnership Website

Contact Us

For assistance on water partnerships and consolidations, contact our coordinators:

Michelle Frederick, P.E., Northern California
(707) 576-2731
Caitlin Juarez, Southern California
(559) 447-3395