More watersheds receive funding from state of Iowa

More watersheds receive funding from state of Iowa

Seven watersheds are getting new grants from Iowa Watershed Improvement Review Board.

In late January, the Iowa Watershed Improvement Review Board approved seven new applications totaling $1,003,091 in grants to support projects that will improve water quality in the state. The grant funds will be matched by recipients, who will provide $2,490,115 in funding from local partners to support these projects. As a result, $3,493,206 will be invested to support water quality improvements in watersheds throughout Iowa.

STRONG DEMAND: Demand continues strong for state cost-share funding for soil conservation and water quality practices. In fiscal 2014, nearly 2,400 Iowa farmers invested $13 million putting soil conservation practices on the land while the state provided $9.5 million in cost-share.

Watershed Improvement Fund projects are built on a partnership between federal, state and local organizations, with a focus on improving water quality, says Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. These projects will address runoff and drainage, sedimentation, urban stormwater, livestock runoff, shoreline stabilization and a number of other issues that directly impact the state's waterways and water quality.

This funding is matched by the watersheds receiving grants
The approved projects have already completed watershed assessments that identify critical water resource concerns and will focus on implementing specific water quality improvements. Approved projects will begin after a grant agreement is signed between the applicant and the Watershed Improvement Review Board. Soil and water conservation districts, public water supply utilities, counties, county conservation boards, cities, and local watershed improvement committees were eligible to apply for funding, and individual projects could request up to $250,000 from the program.

Funding for these projects was made available from the Watershed Improvement Fund using unspent funds from completed projects, interest earned on program accounts and other sources. The Watershed Improvement Review Board is comprised of representatives from agriculture, drinking water and wastewater utilities, environmental organizations, agribusiness, and the conservation community along with two state senators and two state representatives.

To receive more information or to ask questions about Iowa's watershed cost-share funding program, contact Jerry Neppel at the Iowa Division of Soil Conservation. This division is part of the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship. His phone number is 515-281-3599.

A complete list of approved applications is as follows: 

Watershed Name

Organization

County

Grant Amount

Little Bear Creek Watershed

Poweshiek Soil and Water Conservation District

Poweshiek

$109,736

Fox River Watershed

Davis Soil and Water Conservation District

Davis, Appanoose

$130,000

Waubonsie Creek Watershed

Mills Soil and Water Conservation District

Mills, Fremont

$250,000

Twelve Mile Creek Lake Watershed

Union Soil and Water Conservation District

Union, Adair

$143,145

Cooper Creek Watershed

Appanoose Soil and Water Conservation District

Appanoose, Wayne

$241,000

Lake LaVerne Watershed

Story Soil and Water Conservation District

Story

$45,210

Iowa Great Lakes Watershed

Dickinson Soil and Water Conservation District

Dickinson

$84,000

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