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Water Smart Grant FAQ

Classroom Challenge FAQ


Who can apply for a grant through the Water Smart Grant Program?

Teachers, grades 4-6, teaching at a school in a Cal Water service area are eligible to apply for a grant for their classroom water project.

How do I find out if I'm in a Cal Water service area?

Scan our list of eligible schools.

Can I submit more than one application?

Yes, you can submit multiple applications, but you can only be approved for one grant per program year.

I don't see my school listed but we are in a Cal Water service area. What should I do?

Please check your school address on the Cal Water service area map or Contact Us with your school information and we can verify your eligibility status.


How much are the grants?

Each grant is $100.

May I receive more than one grant?

No, a teacher can receive no more than one grant through the Water Smart Grant program per program year.

How are the grants distributed?

All grants are distributed as gift cards.

Can persons outside of the classroom be involved in the project?

Yes. We encourage classrooms to engage their families and community.

The Application

How do I apply for the grant?

The application is simple and can be completed online. Head to our Application page, select your school, fill out the application form, then review and accept the grant terms and conditions and submit.

What is the application deadline?

Applications are accepted all year, although only one grant can be received per applicant per program year. For the purposes of determining when additional grant funds may be available, the program year is considered to run from July 1st through June 30th. 

Was my application received?

Upon completing the application process, you will receive a confirmation email. If you have applied and have not received a confirmation email, please contact us immediately.

The Project

I'm looking for a class speaker. Where can I find a water expert?

Try nearby universities, museums and nature centers. Local professors, retired naturalists/scientists, and naturalists from non-profit organizations and local nature centers can be amazing resources!

What additional resources are available for help with the project?

If you are looking for project tips and guidelines, handbooks are available on the Classroom Challenge Resources page. Although the Classroom Challenge is no longer active, its resources remain available and can provide possibilities to help with the direction of your grant project.

Does our project need to be approved in advance?

Yes, please await grant approval and the receipt of funds before starting any project. It is also important that you have your principal's approval for your participation in the program.

What should the project be about?

Sample topics include issues around water conservation and water quality, but projects are not limited to these areas. The project topic is up to yourself and your class. It must focus on caring for water, but the specific topic has no limit. Be creative! Originality is encouraged.


After applying, how long should I expect to wait before I hear back on my application status?

You should receive an immediate email informing you that your grant application has been received. You should then hear back within 30 days as to the status of your application.

If I am selected for a grant, when will the grant be distributed?

If selected, you will receive your grant within 30 days of grant approval.

After receiving funds, how long do I have to complete my classroom water project?

Once funds have been distributed, follow-up materials on your classroom project should be submitted to Cal Water within 30 days.

Follow-Up Materials

After completing my project, what do I submit back to Cal Water?

Participating teachers must return a cover sheet and photos, all submitted online.

What is included in the follow-up materials?

  • A teacher reflection (150-500 words)
  • Up to five student quotes (150-500 words)
  • Photos of the project and/or participating teacher.

Can the photos include students working on the project?

No, students should not be included in the submitted photos, for the protection of their privacy.

How many photos should we include in the follow-up materials?

Follow-up materials should include 3-5 photos.

How do I submit my follow-up materials?

Your follow-up materials must be submitted online here.

Other Questions

I have other questions not listed in the FAQ. What should I do?

Contact us for help.

I prefer to speak to someone. Is there someone that I can call for help?

We will soon have a number for your inquiries. When that number is available it will be posted here.