Backup Generator Funding Program


The Backup Generator Funding Program (Program) will provide backup generators to drinking water systems susceptible to service interruptions from public safety power shutoffs (PSPS). The Program is funded through the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund (SADW Fund) and will be administered by the California Rural Water Association (CRWA) and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC). Approximately $6 million has been authorized for program development and implementation as early as September 2021. This is currently a pilot program with potential to expand into future years to provide generators to additional drinking water systems and wastewater systems.

Generator recipients must meet the following criteria:

  • Serve small (less than 10,000 people) disadvantaged (median household income [MHI] <80% statewide MHI) communities;
  • Be classified as community water systems (excluding mobile home parks, RV parks, and other types of entities where backup power generation needs may go beyond providing water services will not be eligible for funding); AND
  • Agree to having Technical Assistance perform a technical, managerial, and financial (TMF) assessment, and to take necessary steps to address recommended actions noted by the TMF assessment.

Additionally, if a water system is currently undergoing consolidation, the Division of Financial Assistance (Division) may consider needs for a generator both before and after consolidation.

CRWA and RCAC will administer the program in the Southern and Northern Field Office Branches of the Division of Drinking Water, respectively:

Counties covered by CRWA

Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura

Counties covered by RCAC

Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, Yuba

  See the Divison of Drinking Water District Offices Map

  Application Process

Application for initial round of funding will be by invitation only. Priority for funding is based on a combination of (1) probability to experience power shutoffs and (2) level of impact on critical water services during a power shutoff. The Division is working closely with regulatory agencies to establish the Potential Priority List to include community water systems that are preliminarily identified as Priority 1 or 2. CRWA and RCAC will conduct outreach and invite systems on the Potential Priority List to submit an application for backup generator funding. List may be updated through the application period.

Application is open from October 18, 2021 to January 19, 2022.

The submitted applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  The Division will make the final decision on priority category and approval for funding. Priority 1 systems will be approved for funding in the order that applications are received.  If there is uncommitted funding after the application period, funding will be open to the identified Priority 2 systems.

Once the Division approves funding for a system, CRWA and RCAC will work with the system to cover all tasks related to generator installation, including selecting an appropriate type of generator(s), completing plans and specifications (if applicable), acquiring permits, purchasing and installing the generator, and providing training and maintenance support (including purchasing manufacturer warranty).

  Contact Us

For general information and questions, please contact: