Instream Flow Water Purchase Program

Portal ID:
Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
Last Updated:



The Instream Flow Water Purchase Program (WPP) establishes financial instruments and agreements necessary to ensure water for beneficial instream flows are made available from those with legal rights to use or dedicate water.


Projects must measurably enhance streamflow at a time and location necessary to provide fisheries or ecosystem benefits or that improve upon existing flow conditions. To ensure the greatest environmental benefit, promote the recovery of species, and improve upon existing flow conditions, the Instream Flow Water Purchase Program’s focus shall be on funding the acquisition of instream flows in the Sacramento-San Joaquin watershed provided January through June, with priority for flows provided in dry and critically dry water year types. Eligible applicants include individuals, non-profit groups, and public local entities that meet minimum qualifications set forth in these Guidelines.

Minimum qualifications will require applicants to provide at least 2,000 acre-feet of water through sale, lease, license, dedication or other binding mechanism, including forbearance, for purposes of instream flow enhancement between January 1st and June 30th in every water year type in which the water right holder proposes to provide water.  These flows must be provided in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watershed for at least 10 water years (subject to negotiation if only provided in specific water year types), unless a proponent is seeking to act as a block grantee, in which case the required minimum volume of water provided will be 5,000 acre-feet or greater. In such cases, all other minimum qualifications shall remain the same.


Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Business
  • Individual
  • Nonprofit
  • Public Agency
  • Tribal Government

Eligible Geographies:

The WPP program shall focus on funding the acquisition of instream flows in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watershed that can be made available below the furthest downstream reservoirs.

Important Dates

The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantmaker. Time listed as “00:00” equates to midnight.
The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
10 yrs or more

Funding Details

The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
See Notes Below
A single grant opportunity may represent one or many awards. Some grantors may know in advance the exact number of awards to be given. Others may indicate a range. Some may wish to and wait until the application period closes before determining how many awards to offer; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.

Available Funding Notes:

Up to $360 million from Prop 68 and General Fund combined

The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • State

Funding Source Notes:

Approximately $125 million of Proposition 68 California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018, and up to $235 million of general fund.

The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Other

Funding Method Notes:

Details provided in Grant Guidelines

How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.


For questions about this grant, contact:
Steve Rothert, 1-916-539-4400,