Updated guidelines for California’s Clean Water Grants released

Posted in: Environmental, Infrastructure, Water

water-300x200pxThe California State Water Resources Control Board recently released updates to the Intended Use Plans that impact the funding of water projects. In 2016-17, the board expects to disburse approximately $689 million for water quality improvements.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund is an important source for funding for public agencies responsible for water quality management. This federal revolving fund program finances the protection and improvement of our nation’s water quality.

In California, the funding program is administered by the State Water Resources Control Board. The board adopts plans and policies for disbursement of the funds that critically impact water agencies. These funding plans and policies are published annually in Intended Use Plans. The IUP includes plans for a portion of Proposition 1 funds.

The following are the key takeaways for the 2016-17 Intended Use Plans:

Clean Water State Revolving Fund

This program has historically provided affordable financing for publicly-owned treatment works, non-point source projects and estuary projects. The bulk of the funding is used to fund advanced wastewater treatment while other applications include sewer system rehabilitation, collectors and storm sewers. Estimates for 2016-17 are not available, but the board estimates $822 million in spending to finance new projects through fiscal year 2020-21. This includes $58.9 million in principal forgiveness. 

Small Community Grant Program

This program is designed help finance communities that cannot otherwise afford a loan or similar financing to move forward with water quality improvements. In 2016-17, the board has authority to spend $234.2 million under this program, of which 10 percent would be reserved for severely disadvantaged communities.

Water Recycling Funding Program

This program provides funding for water recycling projects, including grants and loans. The State Water Board has the authority to commit and spend $261 million from Prop 1 for Water Recycling Funding Program loans and grants. Of this amount, about $90 million may be committed in 2016-17. At present, $45.7 million has already been committed.

Stormwater Grant Program

This program supports projects such as green stormwater infrastructure, rainwater and stormwater capture, and stormwater treatment facilities. Prop 1 (the 2014 vote measure) allocated $200 million for this program. It is unclear at this point how much will be available in 2016-17.

Reduced Interest Rates

If the total amount of financing is less than $10 million and the recipient is an economically disadvantaged community, a reduced interest rate may be approved.

If you have any questions about the Clean Water State Revolving Fund or Prop 1 funds, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Rahul Ranade

About the Author

Rahul Ranade addresses water infrastructure challenges today with a keen eye on the future. This helps water agencies stay a step ahead of ever-evolving demands on their systems. “The sense of urgency and public importance attached to water projects makes working on them a rewarding experience,” says Rahul.

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