Central Valley Disadvantaged Community Water Quality Grants Program

About the Fund

In partnership with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB), Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment has developed a grants program to support disadvantaged communities working on water quality issues throughout the Central Valley. The grants will be funded through Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) payments that may be used to satisfy part of administrative civil liabilities imposed by the Water Board. Since the program helps direct future SEP payments to community-based water quality projects, the purpose of the application process is to develop an annual Project List. Organizations with projects that meet both the disadvantaged community and water quality criteria will then be placed on the Annual Project List.

Successfully completing the application process and being placed on the Annual Project List does not mean that you will be automatically awarded a grant. It does mean that your organization will become eligible to be selected by dischargers who are involved with a CVRWQCB enforcement process in the coming year, or otherwise be matched with a CVRWQCB settlement where there is a close nexus between the nature of the project and the underlying violations alleged in the enforcement action. Please be aware: all grant applications should be considered publicly-available documents, and the full text of all applications recommended for the 2018 Project List shall be provided to CVRWQCB board members and published on the CVRWQCB’s website.

Community-based watershed stewardship organizations in the Central Valley, Sacramento Valley, west slope of the Sierra Nevada or east slope of the coast range wishing to submit applications for consideration for funding should carefully review the Eligibility Criteria, Application Instructions, and other information in this announcement. After submitting this Letter of Inquiry, applicants may be asked for additional information or clarification of answers to specific questions.

Grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. If a larger SEP became available, larger grants may be possible to organizations with the capacity to conduct a larger project or scale a project. So, please include information about how you could expand a proposed project. Grants should not exceed 25% of your organization’s typical annual expenses. Multi-year requests are allowed – in such instances, the annual amount sought should not exceed 25% of typical annual expenses.


  • Letters of Inquiry must be submitted by January 25, 2019 at 5pm.
  • Full funding applications must be submitted by February 8, 2019 at 5pm.

How to Apply

Please sign up here to receive notifications of future grant opportunities.

Eligibility and Priorities

To be eligible for a grant from the Central Valley Disadvantaged Community Water Quality Grants Program, the applicant and project must meet all of the following criteria. Submitting an application for consideration does not in any way guarantee any level of funding whatsoever. Click here to read more and review project examples. 

A Note for Previous and Current Grantees:

  • If your organization has previously received funding from this Fund and is: a) on track and meeting or exceeding all of its required interim milestones; and is, b) scheduled to be fully completed within the first half of 2019, then you are eligible to submit a new application for the 2019 Project List.
  • If your organization received funding in 2018 for more than 50% of its total requested project budget, you have to sit one year out and are not eligible to apply for the 2019 Project List. This mandatory one year “sit-out” helps make space on the project list for other worthy community-based organizations.
  • If your organization was on the 2018 Project List and: a) did not receive any funding; or b) received funding for 50% or less of its total project budget, it is eligible to roll over. “Roll-overs” will be provided with a streamlined update process. If you are uncertain regarding your roll-over status, please contact the Rose Foundation. If you are uncertain regarding your roll-over status, please contact the Laura Fernandez at (510) 658-0702 x304 or lfernandez@rosefdn.org


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