Sacramento, CA – April 3, 2023 – Today the California Community Action Partnership Association (CalCAPA) announced their affiliate offices are prepared to assist Californian’s in taking advantage of the expansion of eligibility for Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), which recently extended the assistance to cover current water bills as well as past due water bills.

In California, the original post pandemic water financial crisis had several million dollars in outstanding water bills. A direct reflection of the number of residents who are struggling to make ends meet. While the state acted swiftly in 2022 to ensure families continued to have utilities, a new household water crisis is emerging.

The program has recently expanded eligibility to include low-income households who are either current or have a past due balance on their water bill.  This program policy adjustment allowing current bills to be included in LIHWAP services will help relieve the financial pressure and allow families to plan their future household expenses better LIHWAP is a limited term, federally-funded program that provides financial assistance to help low-income Californian’s struggling to pay residential water and wastewater bills.

But it won’t last long, families have to apply now.

“California recognizes that water and wastewater services are essential for public health and well-being, and the department is committed to assisting low-income Californians in need of financial support to keep their water flowing,” said David Scribner, Director, California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD).  “This expansion of eligibility to include households with current bills will provide much-needed assistance to Californian’s impacted by higher costs of living and struggling to pay their water bills.”

In California, it has been estimated that there continues to be hundreds of millions in outstanding water bills.  A direct reflection of the number of residents who are struggling to make ends meet.  “California households struggling to make ends meet are often disproportionately impacted by the cost of basic necessities like power and water,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary, California Health and Human Services Agency.  “This program can act as a safety net and help relive the financial pressure some low-income households face by providing critical assistance to help pay their water bills.”

“The expiring of both state and federal protections against utility shutoffs and rental evictions matched with the ongoing rise in daily living cost are mounting pressures on families. At CalCAPA, we have worked diligently to create online support materials including a checklist and access to our affiliate office locations so it’s as easy as possible for our community members to take advantage of the extended assistance available,” David Knight, Executive Director, CalCAPA.  “It’s our goal to have Californian’s utilize our affiliate offices and talk to our staff who are ready to assist in distributing the additional funding so critical in helping families throughout our state.”

Eligibility for water and wastewater bill assistance through LIHWAP depends upon a variety of factors, including household income, availability of funding, place of residence, and water or wastewater utility provider.  Income eligibility is 60% of the State Median Income and varies depending on household size.  A water utility must be enrolled in LIHWAP to receive direct payment of assistance and in order for a customer to participate in the program.  Not all water systems participate in LIHWAP.

CalCAPA has created a Frequently Asked Questions document AND a Checklist of items required to complete the application process.  To access these materials along with a list of affiliate offices where residents may submit their application, go to: