Small Community Drought Relief Program

Portal ID:
Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
Last Updated:



The purpose of the Small Community Drought Relief Program is to provide immediate and near-term financial and technical support to help small communities survive this and future droughts. 


The Small Community Drought Relief Program (Program) was authorized by the Legislature pursuant to the Budget Act of 2021 (Stats. 2021, ch. 69, §112) and its Trailer Bill, Assembly Bill 148 (Stats. 2021, ch. 115, § 97). The Trailer Bill authorized specified state agencies, defined as implementing agencies, to, subject to an appropriation for these purposes, to make grants and direct expenditures for interim or immediate relief in response to conditions arising from a drought scenario to address immediate impacts on human health and safety and on fish and wildlife resources and to provide water to persons or communities that lose or are threatened with the loss or contamination of water supplies.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Nonprofit
  • Public Agency
  • Tribal Government

• Public agencies (e.g., Counties, cities)• Public utilities• Special districts (e.g., school districts, community service districts, irrigation districts, flood control districts, reclamation districts)• Colleges and universities• Mutual water companies• Nonprofit organizations1• Federally recognized Indian tribes• State Indian tribes listed on the Native American Heritage Commission's California Tribal Consultation List

Eligible Geographies:

Eligible projects shall be in counties included in Governor Newsom’s state of emergency proclamations for 2021. Any county or jurisdiction included in a future drought proclamation by the Governor or for circumstances for which the SWRCB determines that drought conditions necessitate urgent and immediate action to ensure availability of safe drinking water, to protect public health and safety, will also qualify for funding.

Important Dates

Application deadline The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantor.
Expected award announcement The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
August 2021
Period of performance The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
3 Years

Funding Details

Total estimated available funding The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
Expected number of awards 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.
Estimated amount per award 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.
Letter of Intent Required? Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Requires Matched Funding? Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.
Funding Source: 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:

The Small Community Drought Relief Program (Program) was authorized by the Legislature pursuant to the Budget Act of 2021 (Stats. 2021, ch. 240, § 80).

Funding Method: 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).
  • Reimbursement(s)

Funding Method Notes:

Small communities impacted by the drought are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications will be processed as they are received until funds are exhausted or until December 29, 2023, whichever comes first.

How to Apply

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


For questions about this grant, contact:
Small Community Drought Relief Program, 1-559-230-3309,