Water Desalination Grant Program

Portal ID:
Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
Last Updated:



The objective of the Water Desalination Grant Program is to provide grant funds to eligible applicants to facilitate, where appropriate, the development of brackish water and seawater desalination projects to meet the water resources needs of the state.  The focus of the Program is on the development of potable water for municipal uses.


One or two Construction or Design Pilot Projects will be awarded grants to desalinate naturally-occurring brackish (>1,000 mg/L TDS) or saline water to directly support local or regional potable municipal water resources and directly or indirectly provide water supply benefits to the State.  A total of $600,000 of Proposition 50 funds are available.

In addition to other benefits, proposed projects will be evaluated on the following:

• Increased potable water supply to increase public health and the quality of municipal water supply systems (CWC §79767(c))

• Increased water supply reliability (CWC §79767(a))

• Improved water desalination technology, process efficiencies, and methodologies (CWC §79767(e) & §12947(c))

• Advanced methods that minimize adverse impacts to the environment associated with desalination processes and new water supplies which decrease reliance on diversions from the Delta or instream flows (CWC §79767(b) & §12946)

• Contribute to decreasing environmental impacts caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which includes energy efficiencies (i.e., water-energy nexus) (CWC §79767(b) & §12946).

Projects must have a completed feasibility study showing evaluated alternatives, appropriate CEQA documentation to support the project, and be ready to be implemented within 6 months of project award.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Nonprofit
  • Public Agency
  • Tribal Government

Also eligible: Investor-Owned Utilities Mutual Water Companies

Eligible Geographies:


Matching Funding Requirement:

The Applicant is responsible for providing a Funding Match from non-state grant sources of at least fifty percent of the total Funded Project cost in the form of cash or donated services.  This Funding Match may be suspended or reduced for a project that is serving a qualified disadvantaged community or economically distressed area.

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.
Nov-Dec 2020
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
to be determined

Funding Details

The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
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.
1 – 2
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.
$100,000 – $600,000
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.
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:

Proposition 50

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:

Grantees will use a DWR-supplied template to submit invoices for reimbursement.

How to Apply

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


For questions about this grant, contact:
Sean Sou, 1-916-651-9269, sean.sou@water.ca.gov