Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority Receives Grant for Regional Climate Resilience Program

January 22, 2024

Riverside, CA – The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) has been awarded a ground-breaking grant from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research’s Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP) to work with key partners and communities to help build climate resilience in the Santa Ana River Watershed.

The grant funds of $644,190 will be used to develop a first of its kind Santa Ana River Watershed Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan for the region that aims to address climate risks such as drought, wildfire, increasing temperatures, sea level rise, and flooding in the Santa Ana River Watershed by identifying vulnerabilities and developing adaptation projects. The new Plan will augment SAWPA’s existing One Water One Watershed (OWOW) Program, which has been enhancing water reliability and watershed resources in the region for over 20 years. Grant partners include SAWPA’s member agencies, the Soboba Band of Luiseňo Indians, and the Inland Southern California Climate Collaborative (ISC3), a nonprofit focused on fostering climate resilience in communities.

The partnership between SAWPA, the Soboba Band of Luiseňo Indians, and ICS3 brings together a diverse range of expertise and resources. By combining their knowledge and efforts, the project aims to create a comprehensive and effective plan that will mitigate the impacts of climate change and ensure the long-term sustainability of the Santa Ana River watershed.

In addition to its focus on enhancing the resilience of the Santa Ana River Watershed, the grant awarded to SAWPA is fundamental and crucial for engaging with community-based organizations in the region. By partnering with local CBOs, SAWPA will be able to reach and involve communities in the implementation of the Plan. This engagement is essential to ensure that the plan addresses the specific needs and concerns of the communities within the watershed. By working closely with CBOs, SAWPA will be able to foster collaboration, gather local knowledge, and promote community input of the plan, ultimately leading to more effective and sustainable outcomes.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant from ICARP and partner with the Soboba Band of Luiseňo Indians and the Inland Southern California Climate Collaborative,” said Rachel Gray, Water Resources and Planning Manager of SAWPA. “This funding will allow us to develop innovative strategies to address climate change risks and identify projects that build resilience in the Santa Ana River Watershed. We are committed to working together to protect our communities, environment, and water resources.”

The grant award is a testament to SAWPA’s dedication to environmental stewardship and its commitment to engagement and innovation.

The grant funding was part of $21.7 million awarded statewide as part of ICARP’s Regional Resilience Planning and Implementation Grant Program.

SAWPA is a regional Joint Powers Authority that is comprised of five member agencies including Eastern Municipal Water District, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Orange County Water District, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, and Western Municipal Water District. Together, the member agencies work collaboratively to ensure a reliable and sustainable water supply for the region while protecting and enhancing the natural resources of the Santa Ana River watershed.

For more information about SAWPA and its ongoing initiatives, please visit



The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA), a public water agency was formed as a joint powers authority and is located in Riverside, California. SAWPA focuses on a broad range of water resource issues including water supply reliability, water quality improvement, recycled water, wastewater treatment, groundwater management, brine management, and integrated regional planning. SAWPA’s mission is to manage the Inland Empire Brine Line and to develop and maintain regional plans, programs, and projects that will protect the Santa Ana River basin water resources to maximize beneficial uses within the watershed in an economically and environmentally responsible manner. To learn more, please visit

About Soboba

The Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians is a federally recognized tribal government established by executive order on June 18, 1883. The Tribe supports the well-being of its tribal members by providing a wide range of services through Tribal government programs and departments such as the Soboba Fire Department, Public Works, Family Services, Housing, Cultural Resource, and more. The Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians is the proud owner and operator of the Soboba Casino Resort and Legacy Bank. Visit

About ISC3

The Inland Southern California Climate Collaborative (ISC3) is co-facilitated by UC Riverside’s School of Public Policy and Office of Sustainability. ISC3 works to build the capacity of local and regional governments, advocating for more equitable climate funding and resources in the Inland SoCal region. ISC3’s mission is to unite diverse stakeholders and cultivate collaborative efforts to tackle the pressing climate-related challenges affecting San Bernardino, Riverside, and Imperial Counties. Through collective action, ISC3 strives to mitigate the worst effects of climate change while simultaneously fostering resilience in communities in the face of current challenges, ranging from extreme heat and droughts to wildfires and floods. To learn more, please visit

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