The Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience Program (SAFER)

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Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
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The Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience Program (SAFER) is a set of tools, funding sources, and regulatory authorities designed to ensure that one million Californians who currently lack safe drinking water receive safe & affordable drinking water as quickly as possible. The SAFER Program’s goal is to provide safe drinking water in every California community, for every Californian.


In 2019, Senate Bill 200 (SB200) established the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water (SADW) Fund to address funding gaps and provide solutions to water systems, especially those serving DACs, to address both their short- and long-term drinking water needs.  The SADW Fund is one of several funds that are part of the larger SAFER Program. 

Complementary funding sources administered by the State Water Board’s Division of Financial Assistance for drinking water projects include: General Fund allocations, the Cleanup and Abatement Account, Proposition 68 Drinking Water, Proposition 1 and Proposition 68 Groundwater, and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), which offers repayable, low-interest financing and loans with partial or complete principal forgiveness.

Up to $130 million per year will be available from the SADW Fund for ten years (starting with Fiscal Year 2020-21) for local assistance and state operations. The amount available from complementary funding sources varies each year. 

The priority uses of the SADW Fund include: 1) addressing any emergency or urgent funding needs, where other emergency funds are not available and a critical water shortage or outage could occur without support from the Fund; 2) addressing community water systems (CWSs) and school water systems out of compliance with primary health standards, focusing on small Disadvantaged Communities (DACs); 3) accelerating consolidations for systems out of compliance, at-risk systems, as well as state smalls and domestic wells, focusing on small DACs; 4) providing interim solutions and initiating planning efforts for long-term solutions for state smalls and domestic wells with source water above a primary maximum contaminant level (MCL).  Anticipated expenditures of the SADW Fund will be consistent with the priorities and will be used in conjunction with other available complementary funding available in the larger SAFER Program to address funding gaps.  Priorities for the complementary funding sources part of the larger SAFER Program generally align with the priorities of the SADW Fund. 


Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Nonprofit
  • Public Agency
  • Tribal Government

Eligible recipients include public agencies, nonprofit organizations, public utilities, mutual water companies, California Native American Tribes, administrators, and groundwater sustainability agencies. Funding provided to a public utility that is regulated by the Public Utilities Commission or a mutual water company must have a clear and definite public purpose and benefit the customers of the water systems and not the investors/shareholders.

Eligible Geographies:

Projects funded by the SAFER Program using GGRF monies will either facilitate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions or improve climate change adaptation and resiliency of GGRF Disadvantaged Communities (DACs), GGRF Low-Income Households, or GGRF Low-Income Communities.

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.
4 years

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.
Yes ( see Description for details )
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:

This program is expected to receive annually 5 percent of the annual proceeds of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) (up to $130 million) until June 30, 2030

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.
  • Federal and State

Funding Source Notes:

Safe and Affordable Drinking Water (SADW) 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).
  • Reimbursement(s)

How to Apply

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


For questions about this grant, contact: