Proposition 84 IRWM 2014 Drought Grant

Implementation of the approximately $23 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 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.

Watershed Contacts List with Proposition 84 Drought Round Project Concepts

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.

PA 22 Committee Meetings


The PA 22 Committee meets on the fourth Thursday of every month. Note: Unless otherwise noted, all Committee meetings begin at 8:00 a.m. and are held at SAWPA (11615 Sterling Avenue, Riverside, CA 92503).

Click here to view agenda packets and minutes for the PA 22 Committee meetings.

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. For additional information, visit the Aerial Imagery and Related Water Use Efficiency Tools section.

Using Aerial Imagery to Drive Changes in Customer Water Use

Note: Workshops are held throughout the watershed at SAWPA member agency offices. For information contact Rick Whetsel at

SAWPA offers 2015 aerial imagery data to help water agencies in the Santa Ana River Watershed calculate outdoor water demands. (Note: Updated aerial mapping is in development.) To create water budgets by parcel, SAWPA collected the 2015 3-inch high resolution aerial imagery.

This data was used to conduct an analysis of vegetated landscape including measurements of irrigated turf, shrub and trees, as well as non-irrigated landscape aggregated at the parcel level. For additional information, visit the Aerial Imagery and Related Water Use Efficiency Tools section.

This 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.

Emergency Drought Grant Program Water Rates Workshops

Local retail water agency board members, general maangers, and chief financial officers were invited to attend an important workshop focused on water rate structure development tools that could help maintain revenue stability and sufficiency while water sales are declining. These workshops were important in light of Governor Edmund G. Brown ‘s Executive Order released on April 1, 2015 that directs urban water suppliers to develop rate structures and other pricing mechanisms to maximize water conservation.

Water Rates Workshop Material
Agenda Packet
What Works in Water Conservation – Presentation by Ken Baerenklau
How Allocation Based Water Rates are Established – Presentation by Thomas P. Ash
Grant Funding Support – Presentation by Mark Norton
Comparison of Conservation-Based Water Rate Models
To receive funding support and/or technical assistance related to conservation based water rates, contact Ian Achimore at

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.

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.