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Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants in California


What does this program do?

This program helps eligible communities prepare, or recover from, an emergency that threatens the availability of safe, reliable drinking water.

Who may apply?

  • Rurally located public bodies
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Federally recognized tribes
  • Applicants must show that a major decline in quantity or quality of water occurred within two years of the date of the application. Grants are also awarded when a significant decline in quality and quantity of water is imminent. 

What kind of event can qualify as an emergency?

  • Drought or flood
  • Earthquake
  • Tornado or hurricane
  • Disease outbreak
  • Chemical spill, leak or seepage
  • Other disasters

NOTE: A federal disaster declaration is not required.

What is an eligible area?

  • Rural areas and towns with populations of 10,000 or less -- check eligible addresses
  • Tribal lands in rural areas
  • Colonias

The area to be served must also have a median household income less-than the state's median household income for non-metropolitan areas. Contact your local RD office for details.

How may the funds be used?

  • Water transmission line grants up to $150,000 to construct waterline extensions, repair breaks or leaks in existing water distribution lines, and address related maintenance necessary to replenish the water supply
  • Water source grants up to $1,000,000 for the construction of new wells, reservoirs, transmission lines, treatment plants, and/or other sources of water (water source up to and including the treatment plant)

Are matching funds required?

  • Partnerships with other federal, state, local, private and nonprofit entities are encouraged

How do we get started?

  • Applications for this program are accepted year round, 
    online through RD APPLY or through your local RD office.
  • Program resources are available online (forms, guidance, certifications, etc.).

Who can answer questions?

What governs this program?

  • Code of Federal Regulation, 7 CFR 1778
  • Section 306A of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?

This program helps prevent damage or restore households and business' access to clean, reliable drinking water in eligible rural areas and towns following natural disasters. Funding can improve the natural environment and encourage manufacturers and other businesses to locate or expand operations.

NOTE: Please select your state in the dropdown menu above to find the state office contact information and speak to a program specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you time in completing your application.

National Architect Requirements:

There are no other architect, engineering or environmental requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above. 

There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.

State Office:
Main Phone Number: (530) 792-5800
USDA Rural Development
Attn: Water Programs
430 G St, Agency 4169
Davis, CA 95616

Lisa Butler, Community Facilities Programs Director
lisa.butler@usda.gov | (559) 754-3146 or (559) 309-6381

Sally Tripp, State Office Community Programs Specialist
sally.tripp@usda.gov | (559) 754-3149

Luis Andrade, Water Environmental Programs Director
luis.andrade@usda.gov | (760) 355-2208 ext. 108 or (760) 457-1829

Antonio Ybarra, State Office Community Programs Specialist
antonio.ybarra@usda.gov | (559) 490-8035

County Contacts

Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa Siskiyou, Sonoma, & Trinity
Reef Atwell-Smith, Santa Rosa | reef.atwellsmith@usda.gov | (707) 536-0246
Daniel Alvarado, Eureka | daniel.alvarado@usda.gov | (707) 832--5596

Lassen, Modoc & Shasta 
Debra "Debbie" McCoy, Alturas | debbie.mccoy@usda.gov | (530) 233-4137 ext. 111

Butte, Colusa, Glenn & Tehama 
Justin Garey, Davis | justin.garey2@usda.gov | (530) 792-5834

El Dorado, Nevada, Plumas & Sierra
Michael Vukas, Davis | michael.vukas@usda.gov | (530) 792-5824

Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Sutter, Yolo & Yuba
Robin Yasso, Auburn | robin.yasso@usda.gov | (530) 217-6241

Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Clara & Santa Cruz 
Esther De La Cruz, Salinas | esther.delacurz@usda.gov | (831) 975-7762

Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Stanislaus & Tuolumne
Tonja Galentine, Modesto | tonja.galentine@usda.gov | (209) 287-3626
Sara Brookes, Modesto | sara.brookes@usda.gov | (209) 287-3639

Fresno, Madera & Tulare
Alba Lazaro, Fresno | alba.lazaro@usda.gov | (559) 490-8028

Kern, Kings Inyo, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara & Ventura
Al Correale, Santa Maria | al.correale@usda.gov | (805) 863-9938
Marcos Ramos, Santa Maria | marcos.ramos@usda.gov | (805) 863-9922

Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino & San Diego 
Edgar O. Ortega, Imperial | edgar.o.ortega@usda.gov | (760) 355-2208 ext. 102
Roberto Palomino, Imperial | roberto.palomino@usda.gov | (760) 355-2208 ext. 101
Monica Telles, Indio | monica.telles@usda.gov | (760) 347-3675 ext. 3470

Christina Swegles, Phelan | christina.swegles@usda.gov | (760) 843-6882 ext. 124

State Engineers 
Michael Starinsky, Davis mike.starinsky@usda.gov | (530) 792-5814
Robert Neilson, Visalia | robert.neilson@usda.gov | (559) 754-3156

Community Programs Technician
Jennifer Torres, Visalia (Payments/ Auditor's Request) | jennifer.torres@usda.gov | (559) 754-3147

State Environmental Coordinator 
Jennifer Gooler, Santa Rosa | jennifer.gooler@usda.gov | (707) 596-0845