Review of Watershed Stewardship Grant applications

How we score applications for green infrastructure projects.

Review process

Community Challenge Grant Program (CCG) and San Francisco Power Utilities Commission (SFPUC) staff review each application to make sure it:

  • Is complete
  • Meets the purpose of Watershed Stewardship Grant (WSG) funding
  • Meets WSG guidelines

CCG and SFPUC staff review and score applications based on the Evaluation Criteria. They then submit recommendations to the City Administrator who decides final awards. Grant awards may be less than the amount requested in the application.

Evaluation criteria

We use the following criteria to score applications. The most points you can get is 100.


  • Does the narrative explain the project goals? (10 points)
  • Is there a conceptual plan of the project drawn to scale? (10 points)
  • Does the 5-year maintenance plan explain how you'll preserve and maintain the project? (10 points)
  • Is the budget complete? Is each line item within the budget cap percentages? (5 points)


  • Do you plan to harvest and use rainwater? (5 points)
  • Do you plan to install green stormwater management facilities, like bioretention planters and permeable pavement? (5 points
  • Do you plan to remove impervious surfaces and replace them with pervious surfaces or plantings (5 points)
  • Do you plan to pilot a technology or idea that would be new to San Francisco? (5 points)


Is the project well-planned? Are you ready to implement it? 

For projects like permeable pavement and rain gardens, you must show an understanding of current site conditions. These conditions include:

  • Soil type
  • Subsurface utility conflicts
  • Proximity to building foundation
  • How the stormwater will flow safely into and out of the new facility 

See the Stormwater Management Requirements for more information

If we approve your project, you must enter into a contract within 3 months. You must finish a mid-scale project within 12 months. Large-scale project must be completed within 18 months. (10 points)

Do you have the design and engineering support you'll need to be successful? 

Most project teams must include a landscape architect or civil engineer. This professional will need to assess stormwater flows on site and design the proposed project to manage flows. Designs should meet SFPUC and other CCSF design standards for green infrastructure. 

Project teams doing simple sidewalk landscaping don't need this design and engineering support. (5 points)

Does the project budget show the project's expenses and revenue?

Your budget must:

  • Be realistic
  • Include supporting documentation

Supporting documentation should ideally include contractor and materials supplier estimates, quotes, or bids. (5 points)

Do you have a plan to completely fund the project? 

You must show how your team will pay for the complete project. If the funding you request won't be enough to finish, tell us how you will secure complete funding. Show us that there won't be any funding gaps exist that will delay starting the project. (5 points)

Geographic distribution, demonstration, and public access/participation 

Have you received funding from CCG/WSG before?

We will prioritize high quality applications from groups that haven't received funding from us in the past. (5 points)

Is the project within an Environmental Justice (EJ) or Disadvantaged neighborhood?

We will prioritize projects in these neighborhoods. To see if your project is in an EJ or Disadvantaged neighborhood, check out the San Francisco Environmental Justice Areas and Disadvantaged Communities map(5 points)

Will the public have access to the project?

The public must be able to see or access the finished project. (5 points)

Will residents of the neighborhood have the chance to participate?

We encourage community involvement in every phase of the project. This includes planning, design, implementation, and maintenance. (5 points)

Project match 

Is the match realistic and appropriate for the project? (5 points) 

Last updated May 19, 2022