California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program Details: Arrearage Funding Program Survey Is Now Open
Survey is Required to be Eligible for Funding; Workshop Taking Place August 19
The California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program (Program), passed as part of Assembly Bill 148, is being developed and implemented by the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board). This Program will provide funding for “community water systems” that have experienced revenue shortfalls and arrearages on water and wastewater bills during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Program will prioritize issuing funding to community water systems first, and will extend funding to wastewater providers if the Program still has funding available after providing relief to community water systems.
Community water systems must follow the State Board’s guidance and take proper steps to qualify for funding. A “community water system” is a public water system that meets the definition of Health and Safety Code section 116275, subdivision (i) and generally serves at least 15 service connections used by yearlong residents, or regularly serves at least 25 yearlong residents of the area served by the system. The State Board has instructions on how to determine if a water system is classified as a community water system here.
The State Board has opened the period for completing a survey of community water systems to gather information about statewide arrearages and revenue shortfalls. The State Board is expected to give more information about the survey, and the Program generally, at the upcoming workshop on August 19. The survey and applicable guidance, along with an FAQ document, a link to the Workshop Notice and other information is available on the State Board’s website here. The survey will remain open until September 10, 2021, and the application process will begin shortly after that date. The period to submit an application for funding will stay open for 60 days.
Overview of the Program’s Initial Stages
The State Board is currently conducting a survey of community water systems to determine statewide arrearages and water enterprise revenue shortfalls, and will subsequently adopt a resolution establishing guidelines for application requirements and reimbursement amounts. The State Board will begin accepting applications within 14 days of adopting the resolution. After the close of the application period, the State Board will disburse funds to community water systems that have completed the survey and applied for funding.
Actions to Participate in the Program
- Community water systems should begin gathering the data required to be included in the application package. Details are included in the State Board’s Workshop Notice.
- Community water systems must ensure they have submitted the 2020 Electronic Annual Report to participate. Failure to submit timely and complete data may jeopardize a water system’s eligibility for financial assistance under the Program.
- Community water systems must submit their taxpayer identification forms to the State Board so that the State Board can issue payments to the community water systems.
- Community water systems must ensure they complete the State Board’s survey before the September 10 deadline. The survey is a prerequisite to the application for funding.
- Additionally, community water systems should attend the State Board’s August 19 workshop to stay informed on the Program status.
Please visit the State Board’s website and attend the August 19 workshop for more information.
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