USDA NRCS Seeks Applications for Conservation Innovation Grants

The US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) has announced that applications are being accepted for its Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program.  NRCS will provide up to $20 million for CIG grants that stimulate the development and adoption of innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on agricultural lands.  State and local governments, Federally recognized Indian Tribes, non-governmental and educational organizations, private businesses, and individuals are encouraged to apply.  NRCS will accept pre-proposals for initial review before inviting entities to submit full proposals. Pre-proposals are due Tuesday, February 24, 2015.  For more information and to apply, visit the NRCS web site HERE and/or APPLY.

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Mark Your Calendars for Fix a Leak Week: March 16–22

Mark your calendars for Fix a Leak Week that will take place from March 16-22.  This week serves as a great way to jump-start your water conservation outreach in 2015 by reminding customers of water utilities and the general public to save valuable water and money this week (and all year long) by checking and fixing their plumbing, fixtures, and irrigation systems.

EPA’s WaterSense program is encouraging its partners (including state drinking water programs) to promote the benefits of fixing household leaks and reducing water waste by hosting “Chasing Leaks” running races and other community events. For ideas, check out the map with links to last year’s events.  If you are a WaterSense partner and are planning Fix a Leak Week events or outreach; would like to receive assistance; and/or would like to receive recognition and promotional help, please contact the WaterSense program by February 27, 2015.

WaterSense will also host a Fix a Leak Week Twitter party on Monday, March 16, 2015, from 2:00pm to 3:00pm (eastern). This will be a virtual gathering where partners tweet or retweet using the hashtag #FixALeak to get Fix a Leak Week trending.

For more information, visit EPA’s Fix a Leak web site and/or EPA’s WaterSense web site.  If you have any questions regarding WaterSense, Fix a Leak Week, or the March 16 Twitter party, please contact the WaterSense Helpline at (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) or watersense@epa.gov.

Plan Now for National Groundwater Awareness Week: March 8-14

The 17th annual National Groundwater Awareness Week will take place from March 8-14 this year.  The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) invites you to celebrate the week by helping to educate the public about groundwater and its importance to public health, quality of life, and the environment.  State drinking water programs will want to share the materials and messages that NGWA has created with their utilities and the public about groundwater and water well stewardship (including information for private well maintenance).  Please take a look at the following resources that are available for your use.  Some can be used as is and others can be adapted or customized to your state or a local community.

Please join NGWA and the promotional partners (including ASDWA) in letting the public know about groundwater and how to be a good groundwater and water well steward. A big thanks goes out to those state agencies that have already committed and are listed on the Groundwater Awareness Week web page!   To be listed as a promotional partner, for more information, and to ask questions, please contact Cliff Treyens of NGWA at ctreyens@ngwa.org.