Water quality funds available from Watershed Improvement Review Board

Under Iowa law, the Council has a permanent seat on the Watershed Improvement Review Board, a state body that makes grants to local watershed improvement projects.  The board has significant discretion in making its grants, making it a flexible and important source of funds for water quality improvement in Iowa.

From a press release by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship:

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged eligible groups to apply for grants to support projects that will improve water quality in the state. Approximately $3 million is available through the Watershed Improvement Review Board to support qualifying projects.

Funds are available to local watershed improvement committees, soil and water conservation districts, public water supply utilities, county conservation boards, cities and counties.

Funds are typically matched with other funds by the organizations receiving assistance and will support a variety of projects across the state focusing on protecting water quality and improving the health of the state’s waterway.

Projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, those addressing agricultural runoff and drainage, flood prevention, stream bank erosion, municipal discharge, storm water runoff, unsewered communities, industrial discharge and livestock runoff. At least half the funds, or $1.5 million, must be used to support projects focused on implementing the Iowa Water Quality Initiative.

Each project can request up to $300,000 in funding over three years.

Potential applicants should review the RFA in full at http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/IWIRB.asp to make sure their proposal qualifies.

All applications are due on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 and will be reviewed on November 8 by the Watershed Improvement Review Board. The Board is comprised of representatives from agriculture, drinking water and wastewater utilities, environmental organizations, agribusiness, the conservation community along with two state senators and two state representatives. A funding announcement is expected to be made in November

Application materials can be downloaded from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship website at http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/IWIRB.asp. To receive more information or ask questions, contact Jerry Neppel at 515-281-3599.

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