SDWSRF Funding Process
Universal Pre-Application (UPA)
Project Priority List (PPL)
Here’s a brief overview of the process that systems must follow in order to receive funding:
Q: Who is eligible to apply for SDWSRF funding?
A: Community water systems and non-community water systems operated by not-for-profit entities are generally eligible for funding.
Q: What is eligible for SDWSRF funding?
A: The SDWSRF program primarily supports construction of public water system facilities (sources, treatment, distribution, storage, and new meter installation). Funding is also available for planning activities including feasibility studies and final engineering design.
Q: Is my system eligible for grant funding?
A: Grant funding is always subject to the availability of funds, and you must meet both of the following criteria to potentially receive grant funding:
Serve a disadvantaged or severely disadvantaged community
Be a publicly-owned system or a not-for-profit water company (Mutual Water Company)
While eligible severely disadvantaged systems can receive 100% grant funding, eligible disadvantaged systems can only receive up to 80% grant funding depending on an analysis of their loan affordability. SDWSRF will need to review a full application to perform the affordability analysis.
Note: Water systems that receive 100% grant will be required to perform a water rate study.
All public schools are automatically eligible for 100% grant.
Privately-owned water systems (i.e. mobile home parks, churches, schools, etc.) cannot receive grant funds despite their income status. However, grant-eligible systems can potentially receive grant funding for consolidating a private system.
Q: What is considered a disadvantaged community? A severely disadvantaged community?
A: SDWSRF compares a system’s median household income (MHI) to that of the statewide MHI. Systems with an MHI less than 80% of the statewide MHI are considered disadvantaged while systems with an MHI less than 60% of the statewide MHI are considered severely disadvantaged.
Q: What are the SDWSRF loan terms?
A: The interest rate for non-disadvantaged communities is 50% of California’s general obligation bond rate with a maximum repayment term of 20 years. Any loan issued to a disadvantaged community will come with a zero percent interest rate. A disadvantaged community can request a repayment term of 30 years depending on loan affordability.
Q: What is the maximum amount that can be funded by the SDWSRF? Is there a limit on my grant? (Per project, per water system)
A: The SDWSRF program offers two types of project funding, planning and construction. Planning funding is limited at a maximum of $500,000 per project and can be offered as grant, loan, or a combination of both depending on eligibility. Construction funding is limited at $20M per project and $30M per system per year. However, an applicant may be awarded up to the full cost of a project in the form of a loan bearing interest at the established rate. Grant is limited to $3,000,000 per construction project per water system but the grant amount may be determined to be lower based on affordability. In addition, all funding are subject to funds availability.
Q: Can I apply to get reimbursed on my ongoing construction project?
A: No. Construction project applications would have to be reviewed and approved by SDWSRF program prior to starting construction to ensure that all applicable SDWSRF requirements are satisfied.
Q: Can I get funding to re-finance a completed project?
A: No, SDWSRF cannot fund refinancing of a completed project.
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Q: Who can register to submit a Pre-Application (Pre-App)?
A: An authorized representative of an eligible public water system may register as a user for the UPA and will be able to submit Pre-Apps once approved by CDPH district office.
Q: I have previously submitted Pre-Apps for SRF funding; do I have to register again to submit new Pre-Apps?
A: Yes, you will have to register as a new user of the UPA to submit new Pre-Apps. Once you have registered, you can continually submit future Pre-Apps.
Q: I have registered with the Drinc Portal for the Electronic Annual Reporting (eAR) system; do I have to register again for the UPA?
A: Yes. You will have to register as a new user of the UPA to submit new Pre-Apps, because they are two distinct systems.
Q: Can I register to represent more than one water system?
A: Yes, you can register to represent more than one water system, and you may add or remove any water system anytime.
Q: Can more than one user register for a water system?
A: Yes, more than one user can register for a water system. However, Pre-Apps can only be accessed by the user who created them.
Q: How do I know my water system number?
A: You can locate your water system number on the water permit issued by the CDPH district office or County Health Department. You can also look up your water system on the Drinking Water Watch website or contact your local District office (PDF).
Q: Can I make changes to and/or submit additional documents for a previously submitted Pre-App?
A: Please contact your District office for further instructions on modifying previously submitted Pre-App as it would depend on the processing status of your Pre-App.
Q: Can I submit a Pre-App for more than one project?
A: Yes. We recommend you submit each Pre-App with a unique name that identifies the project. This is especially important for similar projects (e.g. Transmission main replacement – north of Oak Street; Transmission main replacement – west of Maple Street).
Q: If my water system has an ongoing project under planning or construction, can I still submit a Pre-App for another project?
A: Yes, you can submit a Pre-App for another project for a different problem.
Q: Do I need to hire an engineer to help me submit a Pre-App?
A: No. In general, the Pre-App should be completed by the water system’s authorized personnel who know about the problem and possibly the project needed to solve the problem. If you need assistance in filling out an application, please call your local District office (PDF).
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Q: How often is the Project Priority List established?
A: The SDWSRF PPL is a multi-year list that will be updated within three (3) months following the UPA cut-off date.
Q: How are Pre-Apps ranked on the SDWSRF PPL?
A: Pre-Apps are ranked based on the problem that it would address. Details on the SDWSRF ranking criteria can be found here (PDF).
Q: If my project is placed on the SDWSRF PPL, does this guarantee that it will be funded?
A: No, only projects ranked in the fundable range will be invited to submit a full SDWSRF application.
Q: How can I verify I have a project on the PPL?
A: We suggest that you check the existing SDWSRF PPL, prior to submitting a new pre-application. If your system’s project funding needs are not reflected on the existing PPL, you should submit a Pre-App for each project in need of funding.
Q: Can I request my project category ranking on the PPL be changed?
A: SDWSRF may re-evaluate a project if additional information becomes available which may result in a change in the project ranking category. Contact your local District office (PDF) for more information on re-evaluation of your project ranking.
Q: What will happen to projects on the existing PPL?
A: Pre-Apps on the existing PPL will remain on the PPL until funded. Water systems may request their project(s) be removed from the PPL. The SDWSRF may subsequently determine a project ineligible based on new information and thus remove a project from the PPL.
Q: My project is on the SDWSRF PPL. What would happen next?
A: The SDWSRF will send a letter of invitation to a specific range of the highest ranked projects on the PPL to complete and submit a full application for funding. Invitation letters and a Statement of Intent (SOI) are generally sent out by the SDWSRF program semi-annually.
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