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State Water Board DROPS Program Awards $30 Million to Schools to Promote Stormwater Capture

Contacts: Miryam Barajas
George Kostyrko

May 29, 2015

LOS ANGELES - Today the State Water Resources Control Board announced 30 school districts and institutions throughout California will receive more than $30 million in funds to educate students and create on-campus projects relating to stormwater capture and water conservation.

State Water Board Vice Chair Frances Spivy-Weber presented the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) with its grant award of $5 million Friday morning at Victory Boulevard Elementary School in North Hollywood.  In front of school and district administrators, as well as students and parents groups, Spivy-Weber praised the Drought Response Outreach Program for Schools’ (DROPS) focus and the 30 educational institutions who were awarded the grants.

“With a fourth year of record-setting drought, programs such as DROPS play an important role in educating our young folks about the different ways we can conserve water, especially with our current drought conditions,” Spivy-Weber said. “Students will get to see first-hand how stormwater capture systems work right on their campuses. They’ll also be taught the importance of conservation and how they can be good stewards of one of our most precious resources. Our goal with this effort is for students to take this information home and share it with their families, creating entire water-wise households. As we continue to deal with the current drought and the growing effects of climate change, educating our youth about conservation now is a high priority.”

“The district is extremely grateful for these grants and the opportunity to lead in the development of stormwater capture features for schools and to begin the implementation and development of an effective water resource sustainability curriculum,” LAUSD Director of Maintenance and Operations Roger Finstad said.

DROPS was developed  in response to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s Drought State of Emergency issued on Jan. 17, 2014 to provide funds to schools and school districts for projects that  are designed to reduce stormwater pollution and provide multiple benefits, including water conservation, water supply augmentation, energy savings, increased awareness of water resource sustainability and reduced dry-weather runoff. Project examples include: vegetated swales; stormwater planters; pervious paving; rainwater harvesting and water-wise landscaping to name a few.

The State Water Board received 49 applications by the Jan. 15, 2015, submittal deadline with the total funding for the 30 approved projects coming in at $30,320,389. All projects are required to be completed by March 31, 2019.

The DROPS grants are funded through unallocated funds from Propositions 13, 40 and 50.

The following projects have been awarded funding through the DROPS grant program:

DROPS Grantee

Grant Award

DROPS Grantee

Grant Award

Anaheim Union High School District


Northern Humboldt Union High School District


Anderson Valley Unified School District


Paso Robles Joint Unified School District


Atascadero Unified School District


Perris Elementary School District


Butte County Office of Education


Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District


Chico Unified School District


Romoland School District


Newport-Mesa Unified School District


San Diego Unified School District


Downtown College Preparatory


San Luis Obispo County Office of Education


Elk Grove Unified School District


Santa Cruz City Schools


Encinitas Union School District


Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District


Fontana Unified School District


Santee School District


Fresno Unified School District




Garden Grove Unified School District


Temecula Valley Unified School District


Los Angeles Unified School District


Twin Ridges Elementary School District


Los Nietos School District


Twin Rivers Unified School District


Lucia Mar Unified School District


Northern Humboldt Union High School District


Montebello Unified School District


Paso Robles Joint Unified School District




To learn more about DROPS, view the program’s fact sheet.

Visit Drought.ca.gov to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought, and for more water conservation ideas visit SaveOurWater.com

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