Air Resources Board

The California Air Resources Board is charged with promoting and protecting public health, welfare and ecological resources by reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The Board’s responsibilities include implementing AB32, The California Global Warming Solutions Act [2006] that targets reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.  One of the policy tools implemented by the Board pursuant to AB32 is California’s Cap and Trade Regulation that established limits (caps) on emissions from sources that account for 85 percent of the state’s GHG emissions.

Organizations that are unable to cost-effectively reduce their emissions to comply with AB32 can purchase California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) through an auction process managed by the ARB. Revenues from sales of CCAs are invested in accordance with auction proceeds investment plans developed through a public stakeholder process and in consultation with other state agencies.

In May 2013, ARB issued its Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds Investment Plan for fiscal years 2013-14 through 2015-16. Reducing GHG emissions by reducing water-related energy consumption was specifically identified as a recommended priority for CCA investment in the Governor’s 2013-14 Budget Proposal, as are other water sector strategies. Projects eligible to receive CCA funds include those that:

  • Reduce GHG emissions associated with water use and supply;
  • Reduce energy used for water supply, conveyance, treatment;
  • Water conservation, capture and storage;
  • Water system and use efficiency, such as energy efficiency in water pumping/conveyance, and use of biogas from wastewater treatment plants to generate energy or fuels; and
  • Advanced renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, including water efficiency.