Watershed Coordinator Program

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2020 Sustainable Groundwater Management Watershed Coordinator Grant Program​​

A new round of grants are being offered for watershed coordinators in regions impacted by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act​​ (SGMA). These watershed coordinators will work with local groundwater sustainability agencies, landowners, and local governments to identify and implement projects to help develop landowner driven solutions to increase groundwater sustainability and meet broader statewide goals of biodiversity and climate resiliency. Draft guidelines for this grant program will be available for review and public comment in March 2020.​

About Watershed Coordinators

California's watershed systems play a critical role in delivering vital water supplies throughout the state. Because watersheds vary greatly across different geographies of the state, regionally tailored watershed management efforts are necessary for success. Watershed coordinators play an important role increasing watershed health.  ​​​​​

A watershed coordinator is a position that the state funds for a local government or non-profit to work with local stakeholders and downstream beneficiaries. The purpose is to develop plans and projects to improve watershed health, and to achieve state and local natural resources goals. Their work is centered around the ability to leverage local relationships and understandings, to build broad and trusting coalitions across a watershed and to cultivate a shared vision of progress. Key state policy goals that watershed coordinators help to ​achieve include:

  • Water Supply and Quality​​​​​
  • Outdoor Access
  • Forest Health and Fire Prevention
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Biodiversity and Species Recovery
  • Environmental Education
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate Resiliency

Watershed Coordinator Program Background

The watershed coordinator program has been in place since 2000 and has documented effectiveness throughout the state, achieving the following goals: developing and implementing watershed improvement plans aligned with multiple statewide and regional objectives; bringing diverse stakeholders together to implement collaborative efforts to improve California's watersheds; identifying and securing additional funds for watershed improvement projects and watershed coordinator positions; educating residents of the watersheds on how to best manage and care for them.

There are currently eight (8) watershed coordinators funded for three (3) years through the Forest Health Watershed Coordinator Program in the Sierra and coastal regions. This program focused on forest health is helping materialize the goals of Executive Order N-10-19 in projects and plans: prioritizing multi-benefit approaches that meet multiple needs at once; utilizing natural infrastructure to achieve these priorities; embracing innovation and new technologies; encouraging regional approaches among water users sharing watersheds; incorporating successful approaches from other parts of the world; integrating investments, policies and programs on the ground; strengthening partnerships. 


​​​Please contact watershed program staff with questions or comments:​

​​via email at wcp@conservation.ca.gov​ ​​or phone at (916) 324-0850