The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is awarding funding support for six projects to address the impact of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). A total of $26 million in grant funding is being made available for the SGMA projects. The funding support comes from the Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program. Sixteen individual construction projects within Critically Overdrafted Basins will take place through the six grant awards.
“California’s current drought conditions following a second consecutive dry year speak to the importance of managing our groundwater for long-term reliability,” DWR Director Karla Nemeth said in a news release. “Today’s funding awards further the state’s support for local leaders as they manage their groundwater supplies, particularly supporting communities at risk of drought impacts.”
The Fresno Irrigation District has been awarded nearly $4.9 million for Kings Basin 2021 GSP Implementation Projects. Mid-Kaweah GSA will use the $3.7 million grant for Kaweah Subbasin Groundwater Recharge and Sustainability Projects. The Southern Merced Subbasin Recharge Project overseen by the Merced Irrigation District will be supported by nearly $5 million. Madera County is receiving a combined $8.4 million for the East Madera Subbasin Recharge Project Phase 1 and Eastside Bypass Recharge for Subsidence and Flood Risk Reduction Phase 1. Westlands Water District GSA will receive nearly $4 million for the Pasajero Groundwater Recharge Project.
The SGMA projects include the construction of 60 wells in Fresno County to use stormwater to replenish diminished groundwater aquifers. Three projects will help develop infrastructure for Flood Managed Aquifer Recharge on 45,000 acres of farmland in Madera County. DWR is set to begin working with grantees immediately in the development and execution of the grant agreements. A second round of the grant program is set to begin in the spring of 2022 with approximately $70 million in grant funding to be made available. The grant support is made possible by Proposition 68.