Analysts pushed back on a proposal for immediate grants to support groundwater sustainability during a budget subcommittee hearing this week.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is requesting $60 million to help regions draft and implement plans for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The administration wants half of that to be available as soon as the budget is passed in June. The funding would help with the design and construction of water projects outlined in the plans.

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The overall request had broad support. But the Legislative Analyst’s Office said the immediate funding provision had not met a high bar set for early allocations. The administration has already taken some of that money “off the table” to support other programs.

The Finance Department pushed back, arguing the money would “accelerate economic stimulus, primarily in the Central Valley.”