Water Authority Receives $1.37 Million State Grant to Support Conservation Programs

Short Title
Water Authority Receives $1.37 Million State Grant to Support Conservation Programs
August 29, 2008

The San Diego County Water Authority has been awarded a $1.37 million urban drought assistance grant from the Department of Water Resources (DWR).

“We greatly appreciate the efforts by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and DWR to provide this funding. This funding is urgently needed to help the Water Authority and its 24 member agencies respond to the unprecedented water supply challenges facing our region,” said Water Authority Board Chair Fern M. Steiner. “The conservation-related programs being funded will help increase our region’s near term water savings and enhance longer term strategies for saving water.”

DWR awarded a total of $17 million in grants to help communities respond to the statewide drought. The funding was made available in response to the Governor’s drought declaration in June. The Water Authority received the third largest award among 53 grants given statewide.

The Water Authority intends to use the grant funds to accelerate implementation of programs aimed at improving outdoor water conservation, to assist member agencies with analyzing tiered rate structures and to maintain a high level of public education about the urgent need to save water.

Specifically, the funds will be used to:

· Expand the Water Authority’s intern program at Cuyamaca College that trains students in landscape conservation principles and practices.

· Develop a web-based tool to help member agencies analyze tiered rate structures. The water pricing models will provide member agencies the ability to estimate how different rate structures will impact water use.

· Maintain a high level of regional public outreach through enhanced funding of current conservation campaigns and development of marketing programs that encourage low-water landscapes.

Statewide, the Urban Drought Assistance Grant Program 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. DWR received 283 proposals requesting $74,345,915. 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.

To view the list of recipients, visit the DWR web site at

http://www.water.ca.gov/news/newsreleases/2008/082708awardprop50.doc

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