The Central California Agency supports the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) strategic goals for the protection of tribal water rights through effective water resources management and planning.

Water Management, Planning, and Pre-Development. The BIA manages the Water Resources Program for the purpose of managing, conserving and utilizing reservation water resources. The first priority for these program funds is to provide necessary technical research, studies, and other information for Indian tribes to serve as informed and prudent managers of their water resources. These efforts may occur through partnerships or through coordination and cooperation with other governmental entities to obtain information describing surface and ground water assessments, inventories, monitoring, modeling and gauging. Additionally, these funds are used for the preparation of comprehensive reservation water management and development plans, use surveys, interagency drought management planning, and necessary assessments to define and characterize tribal water resources.

Water Rights Negotiation and Litigation. The BIA manages the Water Rights Program for the purpose of confirming and defining Indian water rights through litigation and court decree or through negotiated settlement. The first priority for program funds is to provide all documentation and other materials deemed necessary to further the United States' water rights claims on behalf of Indian tribes or individuals. These materials may include preparing hydrographic survey reports; determining surface and ground water supplies; identifying arable lands; completing a practicably irrigable acreage (PIA) assessment; determining point(s) and means of diversion, purpose(s) and place(s) of use, and amount of water diverted or depleted; and conducting studies to determine the water needs of fish, wildlife, or other resources for which Indian tribes have reserved rights. These funds may also be used to provide similar materials as necessary to facilitate active Indian water rights negotiations undertaken by the Secretary of the Interior.

The Tribal Priority Allocations (TPA) for Water Resources program provides funding for Tribal staff to administer water supplies to ensure sustainability on Indian trust lands. The Water Resources program, in full partnership with Tribes, is committed to the President’s priority to both support Tribal Nations and address water resources issues affecting Tribal trust land.

For additional program information please go to Indian Affairs Office of Trust Services / Division of Water and Power / Branch of Water Resources.

Funding Requests

Funding requests for the Water Management, Planning, & Pre-Development, and Water Rights Negotiation/Litigation Programs are administered through a competitive funding process listed in Indian Affairs’ published process, “Notice of Revised Instructions for Preparing and Prioritizing Water Program Funding Requests” (Federal Register, Vol. 70, No. 201, October 19, 2005).

Central California Agency annually solicits funding requests from tribes served by the Agency. Project proposals and funding requests for FY 2025 are currently being accepted and must be submitted by Friday August 30th, 2024.

For further information or technical assistance please contact Chris Bujalski, Agency Hydrologist, at or (279) 667-3580.