The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority is pleased to announce and invite public agencies and 501c3 organizations to participate in the Community Water Internship program. Through the program, students from California State University campuses and local community colleges will be funded to assist with community engagement and education projects related to water in disadvantaged communities in the Santa Ana River Watershed.

Applications from agencies and organizations will be evaluated on a rolling basis beginning August 15, 2017.  Fall semester students will begin applying for these roles in August and September.

In partnership with SAWPA, the California State University Water Resources and Policy Initiatives (WRPI) is administering the internship program component of the Disadvantaged Communities Involvement Program.  Students will begin their internships in pairs at each agency or organization starting fall 2017 or winter 2018, depending on the timeline proposed by each participating organization.

If your organization meets the eligibility criteria and has a community engagement, public affairs, or community education project related to water appropriate for this internship, we encourage you to submit a project proposal through the WRPI website.

Eligible projects must include activities related to disadvantaged community involvement with water. This is a broad definition, but the key to it is involvement of communities, as that is the chief goal of the funding that supports the internship. For example, projects could address environmental justice and health-related or water policy-related issues through community organizing and meetings. Projects can address water issues of any kind, including but not limited to drinking water quality, flood risk management, stormwater or wastewater management, and groundwater.

The following are the project eligibility requirements:

  • Public agency or 501c3 nonprofit
  • Located within the Santa Ana River Watershed. For reference, see
  • Serve people within the Santa Ana River Watershed.
  • Project serves people who live in a disadvantaged community, an economically distressed area, or an underrepresented community in the Santa Ana River Watershed. For reference, see
  • Project related to water resources management.
  • Project involves community engagement and education or public affairs work.
  • Student interns improve engagement with people in disadvantaged communities through this project.
  • Project tasks appropriate for up to 360 hours of under graduate/300 hours of graduate work.
  • Project tasks clearly defined.
  • Project stakeholders from disadvantaged and underrepresented communities clearly identified.
  • Advisor at the agency committed to this project
  • Project be valuable experience for a graduate seeking a career in water management, public affairs, or community engagement and organizing.

If you are uncertain if a particular project would qualify or if you have questions after reviewing the linked material, please contact Mike Antos, SAWPA Watershed Manager (, or Christina Rodriguez, WRPI internship manager (

The application is an online form but will require that you complete the Sensitive Position Description Form (found on the website) prior to starting the application.  The form will need to be completed, signed (as required), scanned, saved, and then uploaded into the application when prompted.

It is important to remind you of a few points as you start your application:

  1. This system does allow you to pick up where you left off as long as you use the same IP address. If you try to access the application from a new computer, it will assume you are a new user and you will have to start from the beginning.
  2. This system does allow you to go back and check your answers but we are unable to change your application once it has been submitted – so please check all of your answers before you submit your application as complete.
  3. You are able to submit more than one project.

You may access the application here:

The Disadvantaged Communities Involvement (DCI) Program is funded by a Proposition 1 grant administered by the Department of Water Resources.  The DCI program builds from the strong foundation of knowledge and outreach developed throughout earlier One Water One Watershed (OWOW) integrated planning efforts.  The program will explore the strengths and needs of overburdened communities in the watershed, through engagement and education, uncover and share the needs and capacities within the water agencies and communities, and will assure integrated water management projects that are supported by communities are made ready for implementation and prioritized in the OWOW Plan Update 2018.