State Approves Up to $25 Million Grants to Benefit San Diego Water Reliability

July 23, 2008

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has approved a grant package worth at least $20.6 million that will provide…

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has approved a grant package worth at least $20.6 million that will provide funding for 20 local projects designed to improve the San Diego region’s water supply reliability, water quality and natural resources. The San Diego region’s grant package may increase to as much as $25 million, once Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs the state’s 2009 fiscal budget.

The San Diego-area projects are part of the 2007 San Diego Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Plan, which aims to coordinate local water planning activities. The San Diego package was among a number of similar efforts statewide that have been funded over the past year by the state under Proposition 50, a water bond measure approved by voters in 2002.

The San Diego-area projects will provide benefits throughout the region, from the international border in the south to the county line in the north. Projects supported by the grant include funding for water conservation programs, recycled water infrastructure retrofits, infrastructure upgrades, pollution reduction activities, and habitat conservation and preservation.

Click here for a list of the projects submitted for consideration and the corresponding grant amount requested.

The grant application was submitted in January following an extensive three-year planning and community outreach effort led by the Regional Water Management Group (RWMG) and the Regional Advisory Committee (RAC). The RWMG was formed by the San Diego County Water Authority, the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego following the passage of Proposition 50. The group coordinates development of the San Diego IRWM Plan. The RAC, which comprises 27 local water stakeholders, advises the three RWMG agencies.

The IRWM Plan reflects a comprehensive approach to water resources planning that integrates ongoing local planning efforts and perspectives to provide comprehensive planning and resolve existing or potential conflicts. It represents an unprecedented effort in the area of water planning and management for the San Diego region. The plan has brought together for the first time many diverse stakeholders in the area of water management – water and wastewater agencies, stormwater permit holders, land use agencies, river conservancies, environmental and watershed advocacy groups, and the public — to plan for regional water supply needs and protect the region’s unique natural resources.

Proposition 50 authorizes the state to spend $3.4 billion in general obligation bonds in support of projects involving fresh water and coastal resources. The measure authorized the spending of up to $500 million to encourage IRWM planning and implementation throughout the state. For more information about the San Diego IRWM Plan, visit


San Diego IRWM project list

Project title

Primary proponent

Total  project cost

Recommended funding amount

1 — Implementation of Integrated Landscape  & Agricultural Efficiency Programs

San Diego County Water Authority



2 — Irrigation Hardware Giveaway and Dry Weather Runoff Reduction Demonstration

City of San Diego



3 — Over-irrigation Runoff/Bacteria Reduction

City of Encinitas



4 — Santee Water Reclamation Facility Expansion

Padre Dam Municipal Water District



5 —  Recycled Water Retrofit

San Diego County Water Authority



6 —  Recycled Water Distribution System Expansion, Parklands Retrofit, and Indirect Potable Reuse / Reservoir Augmentation

City of San Diego



7 –  San Vicente Reservoir Source Water Protection through Watershed Property Acquisition and Restoration

City of San Diego



8 —  El Capitan Reservoir Watershed Acquisition and Restoration Program

San Diego River Park Foundation



9 —  Northern San Diego County Invasive Non-Native Species Control Program

Mission Resource Conservation District



10 —  Santa Margarita Conjunctive Use Project

Fallbrook Public Utility District



11 — Carlsbad Desalination Project Local Conveyance

Olivenhain  Municipal Water District



12 —  San Diego Region Four-Reservoir Intertie Conceptual Design

Sweetwater Authority



13 – South San Diego County Water Supply Strategy

Sweetwater Authority



14 —  El Monte Valley Groundwater Recharge and River Restoration Project – Phases 1 and 2

Helix Water District



15 – San Diego Regional Pollution Prevention

San Diego Coastkeeper



16 —  Biofiltration Wetland Creation and Education Program

Zoological Society of San Diego



17 —  San Dieguito Watershed Management Plan Implementation Project

San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy



18. —  Chollas Creek Runoff Reduction and Groundwater Recharge

County of San Diego



19 —  San Dieguito Watershed Management Plan Implementation Project

San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy



20 —  San Diego River Watershed Management Plan Implementation Project

San Diego River Parkway Foundation



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  • The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $268 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. A public agency created in 1944, the Water Authority delivers wholesale water supplies to 23 retail water providers, including cities, special districts and a military base.

    Media Contact Information

    Grace Sevilla

    Phone: (619) 855-5135