California voters approved the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1). Proposition 1 authorized the Legislature to appropriate $200 million to the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) to administer the California Stream Flow Enhancement Program (Program). The Program awards grant funding on a competitive basis to projects representing the mission of the WCB and address the three goals of the California Water Action Plan: reliability, restoration, and resilience. Funding is directed to projects predicted to result in significant enhancement to the amount, timing and/or quality of water available for anadromous fish, special status, threatened, endangered or at risk species; or provide resilience to climate change.
Specifically, the goals of the Program are to:
• Support projects that lead to meaningful increases in the availability and quality of water in streams, particularly by protecting and restoring functional ecological flows for streams and wetlands identified as priority for fish and wildlife.
• Support projects that work to remove key barriers to securing enhanced flows for nature (e.g., by making it easier to change the timing of flows as needed, crafting long-term programs that allow for short-term leases/transfers for nature, or streamlining processes for long-term transfers of water for stream flow)
• Support projects that allocate resources for infrastructure (e.g., gauges) for evaluating streamflow conditions in California’s streams that help better understand how streamflow conditions respond to efforts to improve flows.