Announcements regarding hearings, grants, and public comment notices of importance to California's rural counties.
USDA Launches AskUSDA to Improve and Streamline Customer Experience
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched AskUSDA, a centralized contact center that offers customer service and consistent information for the public. If you are looking for USDA information, the AskUSDA site makes it easy, providing information from across the organization all in one place. With a unified search function that provides the top 10 results from across the USDA, and access to live chat agents on weekdays between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. EST, AskUSDA assures that farmers, researchers, travelers, parents, and more have efficient access to the information and resources they need. Representatives are also available by phone on weekdays between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at (833) ONE-USDA. Inquiries can also be sent via email at any time to email@example.com.
NCWA Seeks Communications Specialist
The Northern California Water Association is accepting applications for Communications Specialist. Interested individuals should e-mail a cover letter, resume and portfolio of communications by December 1, 2020 to firstname.lastname@example.org. The job announcement and additional details are available here.
DWR Offers $26 Million in Competitive Grants for COD Basins
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the final Proposition 68 Implementation Proposal Solicitation Package for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program. The program will award $26 million to critically overdrafted groundwater basins for Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) implementation projects that address drought and groundwater challenges, groundwater recharge projects, or projects that prevent or clean up contaminated groundwater used for drinking water. An assistance workshop webinar will be held December 3, 2020, at 2 p.m., to review the application process and answer questions. Register here.
Round 1 grant applications must be submitted using DWR’s online submittal tool and will be accepted from November 9, 2020 through January 8, 2021. A Round 2 solicitation is expected to open in Spring 2022, and will offer at least $77 million in additional grants for medium priority, high priority, and critically overdrafted basins. For more information visit the Grants and Loans webpage, or email SGWP@water.ca.gov.
Public Comment Open for Madera Groundwater Sustainability Plans
Four groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) for the Madera subbasin are online at DWR’s SGMA Portal and are open for public comment through December 23, 2020.
Public comments on the GSPs are welcomed and encouraged – a SGMA Portal account is not necessary. Information about how to comment on a plan can be found in a fact sheet in English and Spanish.
For questions, email email@example.com.
California Water Commission Public Workshops to Focus on Conveyance Needs, Funding Options
In coming months, the California Water Commission will conduct a series of virtual public workshops to seek public input on the state’s role in funding water conveyance projects. The workshop series will focus on specific regions of California. Participants from each region are encouraged to discuss conveyance infrastructure needs, a potential state role in funding such infrastructure, and potential sources of financing. The Commission will use the information gathered at the regional workshops to help formulate a policy paper with recommendations on a state role in financing climate-resilient conveyance. The draft paper will be available for public comment before it is finalized and presented to the Administration in mid-2021. A complete schedule and details on how to take part in the workshops will be posted at a later date.
Upcoming Webinar on Local Government Funding for Improving the Environment
The California Air Resources Board announced a webinar series, beginning in November, on applying for California Climate Investments, also known as cap-and-trade dollars. On December 9th from 1:30-2:30pm, a webinar will be specifically tailored for Local Government Funding. Grant opportunities can range from affordable housing to restoration of wetlands. To register, see here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.