Governor Newsom announces $5.1 billion package for water infrastructure and drought response as part of $100 billion California comeback plan


Mavens Notebook, May 10, 2021

From the Office of the Governor:

Governor Gavin Newsom today proposed a $5.1 billion package of immediate drought response and long-term water resilience investments to address immediate, emergency needs, build regional capacity to endure drought and safeguard water supplies for communities, the economy and the environment. The Governor’s proposal comes as part of a week-long tour highlighting the Administration’s comprehensive recovery plan tackling the most persistent challenges facing California.  

“Shoring up our water resilience, especially in small and disadvantaged communities, is imperative to safeguarding the future of our state in the face of devastating climate change impacts that are intensifying drought conditions and threatening our communities, the economy and the environment,” said Governor Newsom. “This package of bold investments will equip the state with the tools we need to tackle the drought emergency head-on while addressing long-standing water challenges and helping to secure vital and limited water supplies to sustain our state into the future.”

In addition to the $5.1 billion investment, the Governor is proposing $1 billion to help Californians pay their overdue water bills. 

The Governor announced the package today in Merced County while visiting the San Luis Reservoir, which sits at less than half of capacity and just 57 percent of average for this date. Earlier in the day, Governor Newsom significantly expanded his April 21 drought emergency proclamation to include Klamath River, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Tulare Lake Watershed counties. In total, 41 counties are now under a drought state of emergency, representing 30 percent of the state’s population.

Governor Newsom announces $5.1 billion drought and water infrastructure package at San Luis Reservoir.

The Governor’s $5.1 billion proposed investment, over four years, aligns with his July 2020 Water Resilience Portfolio, a roadmap to water security for all Californians in the face of climate change. It is shaped by lessons learned during the 2012-16 drought, such as the need to act early and gather better data about water systems. The package includes:

  • $1.3 billion for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, with a focus on small and disadvantaged communities. 
  • $150 million for groundwater cleanup and water recycling projects. 
  • $300 million for Sustainable Groundwater Management Act implementation to improve water supply security, water quality and water reliability. 
  • $200 million for water conveyance improvements to repair major water delivery systems damaged by subsidence. 
  • $500 million for multi-benefit land repurposing to provide long-term, flexible support for water users. 
  • $230 million for wildlife corridor and fish passage projects to improve the ability of wildlife to migrate safely. 
  • $200 million for habitat restoration to support tidal wetland, floodplain, and multi-benefit flood-risk reduction projects. 
  • $91 million for critical data collection to repair and augment the state’s water data infrastructure to improve forecasting, monitoring, and assessment of hydrologic conditions. 
  • $60 million for State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program grants to help farmers reduce irrigation water use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural pumping. 
  • $33 million for fisheries and wildlife support to protect and conserve California’s diverse ecosystems. 
  • $27 million for emergency and permanent solutions to drinking water drought emergencies.

Learn more about current conditions, the state’s response and informational resources available to the public at the state’s new drought preparedness website.

Wildlife Conservation Board’s 2019 Proposal Solicitation Notice – due June 28

The Wildlife Conservation Board’s 2019 Proposal Solicitation Notice (PSN) for its Forest Conservation Program is now available.  Nonprofit organizations and government agencies (federal, state, and local) are eligible to apply. The program has $30 million in funding for projects targeted at an area including most of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade regions.

Proposed projects may include planning, implementation, or acquisition projects within the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains in California.  PSN priorities include meadow restoration, post-fire habitat recovery, and aspen stand restoration as well as acquisitions that protect meadows, migration corridors, or habitat connectivity.

All applicants must complete the simple online Pre-Application by 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time on June 28, 2019. WCB will then invite select applicants to submit full proposals. For questions regarding this PSN or the Program, please contact WCB’s Forest Conservation Program at

SNC awards grant to Plumas Audubon for Forest Health project in Genesee Valley

NEWS RELEASE  – June 6, 2019

Sierra Nevada Conservancy Governing Board Awards More Than $3 Million for Restoration Projects

(AUBURN, Calif.) – At its quarterly meeting, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) Governing Board approved a total of $3,122,551 in funds for five different projects focused on improving watershed and forest health throughout the Sierra Nevada.

Each of the selected projects strike at the heart of the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program (WIP), SNC’s large-scale restoration initiative designed to improve ecosystem and community resilience in the Region.

“The projects authorized for funding by our board today will provide community protection and improve forest and watershed health more broadly,” said Sierra Nevada Conservancy Executive Officer, Angela Avery. “These are great examples of the type and kind of work that the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program is focused on implementing with our partners across the region.”

Four of the approved projects are specifically forest health grants funded through Proposition 1 (The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014) and Proposition 68 (The California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018). The Yuba Watershed Institute was awarded $300,000 for its ‘Inimim Forest Restoration Project – Phase 1 to aid in forest restoration and watershed health in Nevada County. Sagehen Creek Field Station, a research and teaching facility of the University of California at Berkeley located in the Tahoe National Forest, was awarded $1 million for its Pushing the Larger Landscape Into Resiliency Through Fire project. An additional $721,487 was authorized to the Sierra Foothill Conservancy in Mariposa County for the Von Der Ahe Forest Enhancement Project and $506,714 went to the Plumas Audubon Society for its efforts to improve the health of the forests in the Genesee Valley, a significant tributary to the north fork of the Feather River.

Finally, $594,350 was allotted for the Blacksmith Project, an undertaking by the El Dorado National Forest to aid in landscape resilience and improve growing conditions for trees in a 6,000-acre area east of Georgetown, Ca. Funding for this project came from CAL FIRE’s California Climate Investments (CCI) grant program, which puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work throughout the state to help improve public health, the environment, and the economy by reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs).

Additional information about these projects and the programs that fund them can be found at in the June 2019 Board Meeting materials.

California Water Plan eNews – 5/15/19

This week’s California Water Plan eNews includes:

  • Secretary Crowfoot discusses California water issues in wide-ranging interview
  • Climate Change Program releases vulnerability assessment for DWR assets
  • $48.5 million awarded by CDFW to 38 ecosystem projects statewide
  • CNRA accepting grant proposals for green infrastructure projects
  • Exploring how natural and working lands can contribute to carbon neutrality
  • Annual Groundwater Sustainability Agency Summit set for next month in Fresno
  • The Nature Conservancy adds resources to its Groundwater Resources Hub

California Water Plan eNews – 4/24/19

This week’s California Water Plan eNews includes:

  • $222 million available in grants for IRWM implementation projects
  • Rural drought advisory group to meet next week in Sacramento
  • 2019 grant cycle being planned for wetlands and meadows grants
  • Climate change research program to collect input at six California colleges
  • Strategic Growth Council to adopt new operating guidelines at next meeting
  • Southern California Water Coalition quarterly luncheon set for Friday in Carson
  • Helping agencies maintain groundwater quality while complying with SGMA

California Water Plan eNews – 4/3/2019

This week’s California Water Plan eNews includes:

  • Advisory council issues water data recommendations to establish new consortium
  • Webinar will cover improving communication between water suppliers and communities
  • Wildfire webinar will provide lessons learned by California water agencies
  • Save the dates for the annual UWI water conference in San Diego
  • Commissions plan joint workshop to review decarbonization goals
  • California water quality issues to be addressed at Stanford panel discussion

California Water Plan eNews – 12/26/18

This week’s California Water Plan eNews includes:

  • Registration is open for next month’s webinar on Update 2018 draft
  • Flood-MAR concerns to be discussed during next month’s listening session
  • New program offers State funding for maintenance of flood control facilities
  • $37 million in grants available for cultural, community, and natural resource projects
  • Delta Science Council’s Adaptive Management Forum set for February in Davis
  • Webinar will look at present and future indoor household water efficiency
  • California, Washington, and British Columbia team up to improve forest health