Northey Urges Groups To Create Water Quality Projects

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey Thursday 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 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.