Have you ever come up with a great way to conserve water or educate others about the importance of our creeks and streams and then realize you need help turning your idea into action?
Our Grants & Partnerships Program allows Valley Water to work with the community to make a difference together. This year, we have $1.4 million available for projects that advance our mission of providing safe, clean water for a healthy life, environment and economy. This is funded by Measure S, the renewal of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in November 2020.
There is no minimum or maximum amount per project. Grant applications are due by Friday, March 4, 2022.
The specific categories we are looking to fund projects in are:
- Water Conservation: The goal of this category is to identify devices, programs and strategies that can help save water and promote conservation efforts. We are looking specifically – but not exclusively – at projects that research new and innovative water conservation programs and technologies.
- Pollution Prevention: This category looks to reduce contaminants in water, which could be accomplished through education, technical assistance or other means.
- Volunteer Cleanup Efforts and Education: These grants are meant to assist with cleanup and watershed stewardship activities, as well as education and outreach about our watersheds.
- Wildlife Habitat Restoration: These projects are meant to support or restore native plants and animals. There are several ways to go about this, from creating or enhancing wetlands to removing non-native, invasive plants to protecting threatened or endangered species.
- Access to Trails and Open Space Grants: Access to our natural environment is important. These projects provide and increase access to open space and creekside trails.
If you have a project that fits within one of these descriptions, we encourage you to apply!
We are particularly interested in projects that promote equity, allowing resources to reach historically underserved areas or have not received grant funding support from the program in the past. Bonus points are offered to projects that serve disadvantaged communities, applicants applying for the first time, and applicants that demonstrate financial stability.
Who can apply?
For this round, we are accepting applications from organizations and groups such as:
- Public agencies
- Organized community groups
- Nonprofit organizations
- Student and senior groups
- Community centers
- Special districts
- Organizations serving disadvantaged communities
- Faith-based organizations
- Scout troops
- Private companies (for water conservation research grants only)
How do I apply?
Visit valleywater.org/grants to view the 2022 Standard Grant Guidelines, which includes detailed information about the online application process, minimum requirements and eligibility criteria. You can also find the frequently asked questions, more resources and samples/templates to assist you with your application.
We encourage you to attend a virtual informational workshop for the details and application tips to better prepare yourself to submit a strong and competitive proposal.
Virtual Information Workshops:
- January 12, 2022, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. (RSVP – https://bit.ly/Grants2022Jan12)
- January 25, 2022, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (RSVP – https://bit.ly/Grants2022Jan25)
Contact us at email@example.com or (408) 630-2080.
What is being done to provide more water resources?
Valley Water is working on several fronts to increase our county’s water supply and storage.
One solution to drought is increasing our county’s use of recycled and purified water, which provides a drought-resilient, locally controlled water source. Currently, we use recycled water for landscape, industrial and agricultural uses. But we want to take the next step by using purified water to replenish groundwater basins in Santa Clara County and diversify our drinking water supply.
Valley Water’s short-term goal is to produce up to 11,000 acre-feet per year of purified water that will help replenish our groundwater aquifers by 2028. That’s enough water to serve about 50,000 households of three people each year in Santa Clara County.
On Tuesday, Dec. 14, the Valley Water Board of Directors approved a staff recommendation to finalize needed agreements with the City of Palo Alto to allow Santa Clara County to expand its use of purified water, a drought-proof water source. This action will enable Valley Water to build a new, advanced water purification center in Palo Alto to replenish our county’s groundwater.
Our agency continues to evaluate the proposed expansion of Pacheco Reservoir in south Santa Clara County as an option to increase the amount of water we can store for emergencies. We are gathering input from our community, and our Board will consider the costs and environmental factors as we assess the project.
We are also engaged in potential partnerships for water storage outside our county, including the Sites Reservoir Project in the Sacramento Valley and the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project in Contra Costa County.
Fixing Anderson Dam so it can safely withstand a large earthquake remains a top priority. We expect to begin construction this year on a larger outlet tunnel which will allow us to better manage water levels in Anderson Reservoir. Once the tunnel is complete, Valley Water will begin rebuilding the dam and spillway.
Upon completion, Valley Water will be allowed to fill Anderson Reservoir. For the past few years, Anderson was limited to 58% of its capacity because of seismic concerns.
During this drought emergency, Valley Water is also taking action by withdrawing previously banked water supplies, purchasing emergency water from our partners, and aggressively increasing conservation measures to help meet demand and support our groundwater basins.