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The amount of water we have on Earth remains fairly constant. It is used and reused and recycled. There are no “untapped” supplies of fresh water. Stretching the use of our limited water supplies requires a lot of creativity. To support these efforts, Metropolitan has several incentive programs aimed at testing and developing different ways to conserve and extend the water we have available.
Local Resources Program
The Local Resources Program is the linchpin for Metropolitan’s in-region supply development. The LRP encourages and accelerates projects to recycle water, treat degraded groundwater and desalinate seawater by offering direct incentives based on the amount of water produced. The projects help reduce demand for imported water supplies and increase water supply reliability regionwide. We currently fund a total of 116 projects across Southern California.
Applications are accepting on a rolling basis; member agencies can apply anytime as long as the program is active.
Incentives for Business:
Water Savings Incentive Program
This program offers funding for commercial, industrial, agricultural and large landscape projects that reduce water use. Project funding is based on the quantity of water saved. Incentives go as high as $0.60 per 1,000 gallons saved annually over the project life, with a maximum of 10 years. More than 125 projects have been funded by Metropolitan through the WSIP.
Projects that qualify include:
Download the program flyer here.
Please submit applications well in advance of your anticipated project start date. This will allow time for us to review the project for eligibility, have any questions answered and approve funding before your project begins. Funding for this program is limited and applying does not guarantee payment. Incentives are reserved for projects on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.
For questions, email Socalwater$mart
or call (888) 376-3314.
One Water Awards Program
The One Water Awards Program is a water-efficiency awareness campaign to encourage businesses and other non-residential industries to participate in the Water Savings Incentive Program. This spring, a special awards ceremony will highlight past participants and leaders in the commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors who have achieved incredible water-savings through their funded projects. Their projects are located throughout the six-county service area and will be recognized for their technological innovations, environmental stewardship and water sustainability. The awards will be streamed here on May 22, 2023, at 11:30 am.
On-site Retrofit Program
Metropolitan’s On-site Retrofit Program provides financial incentives directly to public or private property owners in Metropolitan’s service area to convert imported water irrigation or industrial water systems to recycled water service. Incentives of up to $195 per acre-foot for ten years of estimated water use are available, with a cap at the actual retrofit costs. Items eligible for incentives include project design; permitting; construction costs associated with the retrofit of imported to recycled water systems; connection fees and required recycled water signage. Systems that are already under construction are NOT eligible for funding.
The program works on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications are accepted until funding for this program is exhausted. Once an application is reviewed and approved, applicants receive a notification that includes an estimated incentive amount along with a list of deadlines that must be met to qualify for funding. Incentive payments are made when all invoices and eligible costs are verified and the connection and use of recycled water becomes operational. If a project is disqualified, applicants may re-apply as long as the project is not under construction.
Click here to apply and here for a program overview. For terms and conditions, click here.
Questions, contact Jessica Arm.
Future Supply Actions Funding Program
As part of Metropolitan’s long-term One Water resource strategy, this funding program promotes technical advances to better prepare the region to adapt to future water supply uncertainties. Since the program’s initiation, a total of $6.5 million has been awarded to Metropolitan member agencies. The program has helped fund more than two dozen technical studies and pilot tests exploring innovative approaches to local water supply development in Southern California. Awards have been given to studies in the areas of recycling, groundwater, seawater desalination and stormwater.
Completed project reports and webinar recordings for the past round of studies are available below. Click here for the full list of 2013 funded projects, and for the full list of 2018 funded projects click here.
The upcoming FSA Webinar is Thurs., June 15, at 2 pm. Click the flyer and register here.
City of Anaheim - Regional Assessment of Stormwater Capture, Treatment, and Infiltration for Groundwater Enhancement
Calleguas Municipal Water District - Los Robles Golf Course Groundwater Utilization Pilot Study
Calleguas Municipal Water District - Arroyo Las Posas Stormwater Diversion Feasibility Study and Percolation Test
City of Santa Ana - Restoration of Local Recharge Sources from Invasive Dreissenid Mussels
San Diego County Water Authority - Multi-Jurisdictional Optimization of Surface and Groundwater Supplies in the San Dieguito River Watershed
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District - Phase 2 White Paper: Tapping into Available Capacity in Existing Infrastructure to Create Water Supply and Water Quality Solutions
Eastern Municipal Water District - Purified Water Replenishment Brine Concentration Pilot Project
San Diego County Water Authority - Demonstration of Preformed Chloramines for Biofouling Control and California Toxics Rule Compliance
City of Fullerton - Demonstrating Virus Log Removal Credit for Wastewater Treatment and Reverse Osmosis for Potable Reuse at OCWD
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District - Application of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning to Advanced Water Treatment Facilities for Indirect Potable Reuse
West Basin Municipal Water District - Development of an Approach for the Evaluation of Brine Diffuser Shear Mortality
San Diego County Water Authority - Carlsbad Desalination Plant Wedgewire Screen Pilot Study
Innovative Conservation Program
Metropolitan is always looking for great ideas and ways to save water. This research-focused grant program, in collaboration with the Southern California Gas Company, allows us to form partnerships with public and private organizations to evaluate the potential and reliability of innovative water-saving devices, technologies and strategies.
The program operates on a two-year cycle. Projects funded for the latest cycle in 2022 are expected to be announced this spring.
For questions about the ICP, contact Tina Andry.
Sprinkled throughout Metropolitan’s six-county service area are pockets of learning – conservation demonstration gardens, native garden tour stops, school programs and community workshops all designed to teach about the importance of water.
Their common thread is funding received through Metropolitan’s Community Partnering Program, which provides up to $2,000 in sponsorships to community-based organizations including nonprofits, professional associations, educational institutions and public agencies. Eligible projects include water-related educational outreach programs like community forums, workshops and water festivals, water-themed curriculum and supplies for grades K-12, after-school programs, exhibits, promotional materials and native plant and California Friendly® garden signage.
Applicants who serve our disadvantaged communities – which represent about half of Metropolitan’s service area – are especially encouraged to apply for sponsorships.