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Calif DWR Awards $17 million in Prop 50 Drought Assistance Grants

August 27, 2008

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has awarded $17 million in Proposition 50 grants statewide to fund water saving programs that address California’s current drought.

In response to Governor Schwarzenegger’s June 4 Executive Order  declaring drought conditions in
the state and calling for immediate action, DWR expedited the funding
from its Urban Drought Assistance Grant Program to fund water
conservation programs throughout the state.  The funds will be used for
water conservation activities including rebate programs, public
education and outreach, leak detection, and retrofit of systems for
greater water efficiency.  Of the $17 million, $4.5 million will go
toward programs and projects in disadvantaged communities
DWR received nearly 300 applications requesting more than $72 million.
DWR thoroughly reviewed each application and awarded grants on a
competitive basis, looking at the importance of the projects under
current water shortages and drought conditions as demonstrated by
community need or local support.
Among the 53 applicants that were awarded grants are:

  • $2,000,000 to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern
  • California for its California Friendly Turf Removal Pilot Program.
  • $1,997,870 to the Sacramento Regional Water Authority for
  • implementation of a variety of water saving measures including
  • installation of water meters, washing machine rebates and public
  • outreach efforts.
  • $1,000,000 to the Inland Empire Utilities Agency for irrigation system retrofits.
  • $247,000 to the California Rural Water Association to help disadvantaged rural communities detect leaks.
  • $250,000 to the East Bay Municipal Utility District for a high-efficiency toilet rebate program.

The final award list is available online at:

Listen to statements regarding these grants and the current drought
situation from Wendy Martin, statewide drought coordinator for DWR.


The Department of Water Resources operates and maintains the State Water
Project, provides dam safety and flood control and inspection services,
assists local water districts in water management and water conservation
planning, and plans for future statewide water needs.

Contact the DWR Public Affairs Office  for more information
about DWR’s water activities.

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