Proposition 1 Round 2 Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Implementation Grant Program
The IRWM Grant Program is designed to encourage integrated regional strategies for water resource management in California by providing funding for projects and programs throughout the state including climate change adaptation, providing incentives for collaboration and setting priorities in water resource and infrastructure management, and improving regional water self-reliance while reducing reliance on Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Grant applications are submitted by an eligible IRWM Region representative (applicant) and an application may have multiple projects from Local Project Sponsors (LPS). To be part of the application and access grant funding through their relationship with the applicant, LPS must meet eligibility requirements specified in the 2019 IRWM Grant Program Guidelines. Projects must be included in an adopted IRWM Plan that is consistent with the 2016 IRWM plan standards. The State’s 48 IRWM regions cover almost 90% of the State’s area and 99% of its population. The applicant must demonstrate that the project is listed in the IRWM Plan project list. Each LPS of a project included in an IRWM Implementation proposal must adopt the IRWM Plan.
Each individual agency proposing a project(s) must adopt the IRWM Plan. Regional Water Management Groups will not be allowed to adopt an IRWM Plan on behalf of their member agencies. Subject to regional priorities, projects may include, but are not limited to, the following: Water reuse and recycling; Water-use efficiency and water conservation; Local and regional surface and underground water storage, including groundwater aquifer cleanup or recharge projects; Regional water conveyance facilities that improve integration of separate water systems; Watershed protection, restoration, and management projects, including projects that reduce the risk of wildfire or improve water supply reliability; Stormwater resource and flood management; Conjunctive use of surface and groundwater storage facilities; Water desalination projects; Decision support tools to model regional water management strategies to account for climate change and other changes in regional demand and supply projections; Improvement of water quality, including drinking water, groundwater, wastewater treatment, water pollution prevention, and management of urban and agricultural runoff; Regional projects or programs as defined by the IRWM Planning Act (Water Code §10537).
Proposition 1 authorized $510 million for DWR to award IRWM grants, with specified allocations to 12 Funding Areas in California. Of the $510 million, $25.5 million (5%) is designated for DWR’s grant administration costs, $15.3 million (3%) is designated for DWR’s planning and monitoring costs, and $10.2 million (2%) is designated for other State costs (issuance of bonds). Previously awarded funds include $4.2 million for IRWM Planning Grants and $51.7 million for DAC Involvement Grants. At least 10% of authorized funds ($51 million) will be reserved for projects that directly benefit Disadvantaged Communities, with the minimum 10% requirement applied to each Funding Area. DWR plans to administer two rounds of solicitations for Proposition 1 IRWM Implementation Grants. The Round 1 Implementation Grant solicitation was awarded approximately $211 million in grant funds. The Round 2 Proposal Solicitation process to award the remaining funds (approximately $191 million) is ongoing. The first Phase ended on August 19, 2022. The second Phase will end on February 1, 2023.