Iowa Department of Agriculture officials are encouraging eligible groups to apply for grants to support projects that will improve water quality or help prevent flooding in the state. The more than $5 million in grant funds that are available are to be used by local watershed improvement committees, soil and water conservation districts, public water supply utilities, county conservation boards, cities and counties. Those are the groups that can apply for this money.
"These funds are available to support projects that address specific problems that impact the water quality or that can reduce flooding in our state," says Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. "Protecting and improving water quality is central to the work of the soil conservation division of our state department of agriculture, and these funds support projects that are able to make documented improvements in our state's water quality as well as address potential flooding."
Conservation projects eligible for funding
Projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, those addressing agricultural runoff and drainage, flood prevention, streambank erosion, municipal discharge, storm water runoff, unsewered communities, industrial discharge and livestock runoff.
Each project can request up to $500,000 in funding over five years.
All applications are due on Friday, August 14, 2009 and will be reviewed by the Iowa 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.
Apply now for funding - deadline is Aug. 14
An announcement of which groups the board will award the grants to is expected be made in mid October.
There are several new guidelines that are a part of this Request for Applications. Projects can now be funded over five years instead of just three, says Northey. Also, counties are now eligible applicants and flood prevention has been added as a purpose of the program.
Application materials can be downloaded from the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship Web site at www.iowaagriculture.gov/IWIRB.asp. To receive more information or ask questions, contact Jerry Neppel at 515-281-3599.