The state Department of Water Resources on Wednesday announced $28 million for 25 projects around the state expected to save water and energy, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The projects include $2.5 million for Merced homes to install water meters, which can be read and tracked by satellite. The city made a move earlier this year to put meters into about 10,800 homes, which makes up about half of the city.
The grants are meant to help California respond to the immediate drought while building resiliency to cope with future droughts and climate change, according to a news release. The grants are the first to use proceeds from California’s cap-and-trade program for combating climate change.
$2.5 million Grant funds from the state Department of Water Resources to install water meters in Merced
About $680,000 was also granted to Bakersfield for its plans to add irrigation controls to 18 parks. Another $2.5 million is headed to Sacramento’s Department of Utilities District Metered Areas for Water Loss Control.
More than 70 percent of the funding will provide benefits to disadvantaged communities, the release stated.
In all, the department estimates the 25 projects could save 270,000 acre-feet of water and prevent the release of approximately 199,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. Irrigation water is measured per acre-foot, which is the amount of water required to cover an acre of land 1 foot deep, or about 325,900 gallons.
Through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, the department and other state agencies are looking to invest in projects that reduce carbon pollution and create jobs, according to the news release.
The department awarded an additional $9 million appropriated in Assembly Bill 91, drought legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in March.
The 2014 Water-Energy Grant Program provides funding to support programs that promote efficient water and energy use by residential, commercial and institutional users.