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Drought Funding for Counties

As of August 2021, Governor Newsom has declared a state of drought emergency in 50 out of 58 California counties. The State recognizes that many of these counties are struggling to help their residents deal with the impacts of drought. While state agencies have resources for responding to drought-related water shortages and are tasked with long-term drought resilience planning, counties are best positioned to assist with emergencies at the local level and serve as first responders. The State Water Board and Department of Water Resources (DWR) are partnering with counties to develop regional programs that will help fill emergency drought response funding gaps, especially in counties that have a high risk of wells going dry and/or a large number of state small water systems and domestic wells.

We plan to collaborate on assessments (e.g., outreach and sampling), interim solutions (e.g., bottled water or hauled water and tanks), and long-term solutions (e.g., well repairs/replacements or consolidation) for state small water systems and domestic wells. Counties, or NGOs serving the county, that receive funding will be responsible for managing and implementing the program. The State will reimburse the counties or NGOs for costs incurred related to the implementation and management of these programs.

map of current organizations providing drought response and technical assistance by county
Map of organizations providing drought response and technical assistance by county. The division of jurisdiction between the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Board (SWRCB) determines which agency is responsible for outreach to counties and the development and funding of regional programs
(Click map for larger image)

  Contact information

General Drought Questions

State Water Board:
drought@waterboards.ca.gov
(844) 903-2800

Department of Water Resources (DWR):
(916) 653-5791

State Water Board Division of Financial Assistance Emergency Drought Funding

Contact: Matt Pavelchik
Matthew.Pavelchik@waterboards.ca.gov
916-323-0624

DWR Drought Funding

Contact: Fethi Benjemaa
Fethi.Jemaa@water.ca.gov
(916) 902-7027