May 27, 2021

Governor Newsom Announces $5.1 Billion Package for Water Infrastructure and Drought Response

This package addresses immediate, emergency needs and aims to build regional capacity to manage droughts and safeguard water supplies.


Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a $5.1 billion package of immediate drought response and long-term water resilience investments.

The proposed investment would span over four years and aligns with the July 2020 Water Resilience Portfolio.

The California Comeback plan includes: $5.1 billion for drought preparedness and response; a $1.3 billion climate resilience package to prepare for extreme heat, sea level rise, and environmental justice priorities; and a $3.2 billion investment to set a path to 100% zero emissions. 

This package addresses immediate, emergency needs and aims to build regional capacity to manage droughts and safeguard water supplies, stated a press release from The Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom. 


The plan’s key goals for drought preparedness include:

  • Investments for safe drinking water, water supply and reliability, and flood resilience;
  • Nature-based solutions;
  • And Immediate drought support; 
    • $27 million is proposed for emergency and permanent solutions to drinking water drought emergencies.
    • $300 million for drought relief and urban water management grants for approximately 2,400 small community water systems that serve schools and all of California’s 58 counties.

The plan also seeks: $211.5 million over two years to protect communities from sea-level rise and flooding through coastal wetland restoration; $140 million for flood risk and reductions efforts for 1.1 million people; and $200 million for habitat restoration and multi-benefit projects.

“Shoring up our water resilience, especially in small and disadvantaged communities, is imperative to safeguarding the future of our state in the face of devastating climate change impacts that are intensifying drought conditions and threatening our communities, the economy and the environment,” said Newsom in the press release. “This package of bold investments will equip the state with the tools we need to tackle the drought emergency head-on while addressing long-standing water challenges and helping to secure vital and limited water supplies to sustain our state into the future.”

Gov. Newsom has also created The Drought Resilience Taskforce, which meets regularly to coordinate and direct state response to the drought.

The state’s response to current conditions and informational resources available to the public can be found here.

Read related content about drought resilience: