State or Federal?
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) will begin a continuous application process for the Water Desalination Grant Program (Program), which provides state grants to eligible entities for water desalination projects. DWR is seeking proposals for grant funding to support brackish water and seawater desalination projects. Applications will be reviewed and qualified projects will be awarded on a first ready, first served basis until all grant funds are exhausted. The continuous application process will be conducted with the same submittal and review process described in the Round 4 Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP). The application period begins February 26, 2018. See the "Due Date Notes" section for additional details.
Eligible Entities
Local Public Agencies, Native American Tribes, Nonprofit Organizations
Eligibility Notes
As provided for in Proposition 1 (Section 79712(a)-(b)), eligible Applicants are:
- Public agencies (city, county, city and county, special district, joint powers authority, a State agency or department, or other political subdivision of the State);
- Non-profit organizations (qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States Code);
- Indian Tribes (including both State tribes listed on the Native American Heritage Commission’s California Tribal Consultation List, and federally recognized tribes);
- Investor-owned utilities (IOUs) regulated under Public Utilities Code section 216; and
- Mutual water companies

Only a single water management entity may apply for funding.

The four types of desalination projects that can be funded are:
- Construction projects of a full-scale permanent desalination facility and related infrastructure;
- Feasibility study projects;
- Environmental documentation projects for compliance with CEQA or National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); and
- Design pilots, a small-scale prototype for a full-scale project or component of a project.

Research Pilot projects are not eligible for funding under the Continuous Application Process.
Due Date Notes
GRanTS will be available after February 21 to begin application preparation. After 8:00 am (PST) on February 26, 2018 applications can be submitted by sending an email to to notify DWR that the application in GRanTS is officially submitted for review. The receipt of the email will be considered the application submittal date and time. Applications will be reviewed and qualified projects will be awarded on a first ready, first served basis until all grant funds are exhausted.
Most Recent RFP Release Date
Jan 24, 2018
Max Award
Total Possible Multi-Year Award
Annual or Multi-Year?
Preliminary Items
A Desalination Grant public workshop with Continuous Application Process will be held on February 5, 2018.
Match Required?
Match Notes
The Round 4 PSP required applicants to provide a funding match from non-state grant resources of at least 50 percent of the total funded project cost in the form of cash or donated services.
California Department of Water Resources, Water Recycling and Desalination Section
Competition Notes
The maximum award amount noted here is based on award ranges for round 4 of this grant program (in 2017). The DRW has not yet confirmed that these award maximums apply to the new "continuous" round of grantmaking. Refer to page 18 in the round 4 RFP ( for additional details on the
round 4 award maximums for each project type.
Further Information
Richard Mills at or (916) 651-0715 is the primary contact for information in the PSP. Nancy King at or (916) 651-7200 is the secondary contact.

Round 4 PSP can be found here:
Link to Further Information
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