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The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California


During Spring 2019, Metropolitan awarded five grants to the following colleges:


$10,000 California Polytechnic University, PomonaDevelopment of Monitoring and Remote Operating Platform For Point of Use Water Treatment Dr. Ali Sharbat
$20,000 California State University, Los AngelesSustainable technologies and applications to decentralized water treatment systems Dr. Sonya Lopez
$20,000 University of California, Los AngelesARG prevalence and fate in bio solids and impact on the resistome of spreading groundsDr. Jennifer A. Jay
$10,000 San Diego State University Solar Thermal Energy Concentrated with Fresnel Lens for Seawater Dr. Temesgen Garoma
$20,000 University of California, Riverside Development of Chloramine Photolysis as an Innovative Treatment for Organic Contaminant Removal for Water Reuse Dr. Haizhou Liu


Watch a video on the past information event held on Oct. 13, 2017. Prospective applicants learned about the RFP and application process. 

Watch a video on the Southern California World Water Forum College Grant Program.

Program Background

In 2006, the “International Decade of Fresh Water​” was proclaimed by the United Nations to raise awareness about global water issues. To underscore the importance of water quality and conservation issues, Metropolitan partnered with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation – U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Friends of the United  Nations, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County and Water For People to create a grant competition for local colleges and universities that would promote new water conservation technologies and policies or communications programs. The Forum also helps to generate student interest in engineering, environmental science and related careers in the water industry, promoting economic and workforce development in Southern California. 

Project Overview

Grants of $10,000 are awarded for research and development on the implementation of water-use efficiency technology, policy research and communication strategies that can be cost-effectively implemented in Southern California and internationally, including developing nations.
In accordance with the 2002 UN World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, "…proposals should improve efficient use of water resources…while preserving or restoring ecological integrity, with human domestic or industrial and agricultural needs."

College teams must provide the following:

  • Design a project, rendering or prototype with a local or global focus of either:
    • An applied research concept (i.e., local watersheds);
    • An efficient water-use technology or process; or
    • A communications strategy.
  • Develop a business plan for implementation that includes: 
    • A budget
    • Timeline
    • An environmental, financial, societal and public policy implementation of the proposed concept, technology or process
    • An estimate of project benefits  
  • Complete a final report that provides:
    • A summary of research and outcomes
    • Qualitative and quantitative benefits
    • Evidence that the project could become fully sustainable


This is an inter-disciplinary project. Student teams from the following academic disciplines or Institutes for Water Resources are eligible to apply:



Civil Engineering


Environmental Science


International Studies

Landscape Irrigation Science

Political Science

Public Administration

Urban Planning

All colleges and universities within the USBR service area are eligible to apply. The service area includes parts of California, Nevada and Arizona. Click here for USBR Map.

Click here for USBR allowed and disallowed expenses.

Current Recipients

RFP Policy Update

​Most universities charge an administrative overhead fee to recover part of the cost of providing institution-wide support services.  These include administrative costs such as accounting, financial reporting,  human resources, utilities and facility maintenance and repair.  The fees range from 2.5% - 25%.  Effective Oct. 1, 2007, all colleges are asked to limit their administrative overhead fee to 10% (or less) of the WWF grant award.

Pending approval of the college administration:

  • The Grant Manager might waive a percentage of their overhead fee.
  • The college team may list that waiver amount as a donation towards their in-kind match.
World Water Forum