PA 22/Drought Project

Emergency Drought Grant Program

Implementation of the approximately $22 million Emergency Drought Grant Program, a water demand reduction effort, is being planned through a committee approach for the Santa Ana River and Upper Santa Margarita Watersheds.

The Project Agreement (PA) 22 Committee was established by the SAWPA Commission on October 17, 2014 to make policy decisions regarding the implementation of the Program which will include watershed aerial mapping, tools and support for retail water agencies to implement conservation-based rate structures, web-based and technological tools to encourage conservation, and turf grass replacement.

The Program is being funded through local funding match provided by regional water agencies and a Department of Water Resources administrated grant. Funds from the grant are provided by the sale of state general obligation bonds approved through a referendum of the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006 (Proposition 84, Chapter 2). The Program was initially developed through the One Water One Watershed 2.0 implementation process, which administers grant funding and facilitates local project development at the watershed level for the Santa Ana River basin.


Click here for the agenda, speaker biographies, and information related to the Water Rates Workshops.

Aerial Mapping:This portion of the Program includes mapping the urban areas of the watersheds using the latest technology available through infrared imagining that can distinguish between vegetated and non-vegetated areas. The digital mapping data will be provided to water agencies throughout the watershed.

Conservation Based Rate StructuresThis portion of the Program includes providing tools and funding to retail water agencies in the watershed to assist their implementation of conservation based rate structures. These rate structures can create incentives for water use efficiency, and can charge the lowest prices for the most essential uses, by establishing tiers that reflect the agency’s true water service costs.

Conservation Using Technology: This portion of the Program includes a web based tool which will allow retail water agencies in the watershed to connect with their customers and encourage conservation.

Water Efficient Landscaping: This portion of the Program includes providing a financial incentive to create a market based transformation from turf grass to drought tolerant landscaping. The incentive, which will be in the form of a rebate, will be available to Homeowner Associations and public agencies across the watersheds on a first come, first serve basis.