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.
Eligible recipients of funding from the SADW Fund 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 or shareholders.
- 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.
How to Apply
State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.
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