Organizations are Gearing Up for the 2018 Farm Bill

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It’s that time again to get ready for the reauthorization of the next Farm Bill in 2018. ASDWA is engaging in discussions with a variety of partner organizations as well as the Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA), to help emphasize the connections to drinking water quality and protection in the Farm Bill’s conservation title. Here is what some of them are doing with regard to their Farm Bill priorities.

AWWA:  The American Water Works Association (AWWA) issued a press release emphasizing the opportunity to encourage partnerships in the Farm Bill. This includes working with water utilities and all stakeholders interested in productive farming practices and safe water to form innovative collaborations that can achieve mutual goals. The AWWA press release notes that they would like to see Congress make an explicit connection between conservation measures and drinking water quality in the Farm Bill’s conservation title. AWWA wants to see that change by:

  • Providing strong funding for conservation programs.
  • Adding a specific goal of protecting sources of drinking water as a priority for all Natural Resources Conservation Service(NRCS) conservation programs.
  • Encouraging NRCS state conservationists, state technical committees, and working groups to work with water utilities in identifying priority areas in each state.
  • Increasing the NRCS cost-share for measures that provide considerable downstream water quality benefits.
  • Dedicating ten percent of conservation funding to protecting sources of drinking water through existing programs.

Visit AWWA’s web site to view the full press release.

NASDA:  The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) established priorities for the next Farm Bill that call for enhanced investment in American agriculture that provides producers the tools they need to succeed. NASDA also emphasized that the Farm Bill is vital to providing consumers access to the safest, highest quality and most affordable food supply, which is essential for our nation’s economy and security. Some of NASDA’s priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill include trade promotion; voluntary conservation programs; specialty crop block grants; research, education and economics; and food safety. While the NASDA press release does not specifically mention water, the NASDA staff have expressed their support for conservation measures that protect water quality, and are planning to have further discussions with ASDWA and ACWA as efforts move forward on the Farm Bill.

FIFBC:  The Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition (FIFBC) released its 2018 Farm Bill recommendations that focus on the need to continue to support rural communities, rural jobs, private forest owners, and the economic and environmental benefits forests provide. The National Association of Conservation Districts, the Nature Conservancy, and the Trust for Public Land are among the 42 members of the Coalition that represents forest owners, conservationists, hunters, anglers, forest industry, and natural resource professionals. Three of the five priorities outlined by the Coalition that are particularly relevant to water and drinking water include:

  • Increasing the long-term protection and conservation of forest resources from threats such as wildfire, insects and diseases, and promote the use of fire as an important forest management tool.
  • Encouraging the retention and perpetuation of forestland and associated values, goods, and services.
  • Streamlining and otherwise improving forest and conservation programs to better enable use by private landowners and land managers to address the above issues.

The FIFBC press release about the Farm Bill acknowledges clean water among the benefits that the nation’s forests provide, though it is not specifically mentioned in the priorities for the Farm Bill.

 

 

 

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Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program Announces New RFP and Webinars

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The Healthy Watersheds Consortium (HWC) Grant Program has posted its 2018 Request for Proposals (RFP).  Up to $3 million is available this year and applications are due by February 1, 2018. The goal of the grant program is to accelerate strategic protection of healthy, freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds by:

  • Developing funding mechanisms, plans, or other strategies to implement large-scale watershed protection, source water protection, green infrastructure, or related landscape conservation objectives;
  • Building the sustainable organizational infrastructure, social support, and long-term funding commitments necessary to implement large-scale protection of healthy watersheds; and
  • Supporting innovative or catalytic projects that may accelerate funding for or implementation of watershed protection efforts, or broadly advance this field of practice.

For more information, visit the website and plan to attend the following webinars.

  • On Tuesday, September 26th from 2:00pm – 3:00pm (eastern), the HWC Grant Program will host a webinar entitled, “Peaks to People Water Fund: Lessons learned in the proof of concept phase and demonstration of the Watershed Investment Tool,” to share information about how these 2016 grant recipients helped to accelerate forest restoration in Colorado to reduce the threat of severe wildfire in watersheds.  Register here.
  • On Wednesday, October 11th from 2:00pm – 3:30pm (eastern), the HWC Grant Program will host an informational webinar to provide an overview of priorities for the 2018 program and allow participants to ask questions.  Registration is limited and a recording will be posted on the website within one day for anyone who misses it. Register here.

 

Water Deeply Article on New Mexico Water Authority $1M Investment to Protect Headwaters

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Water Deeply, an online news publication, has published an article entitled, “New Mexico Water Agency Finds Innovative Way to Protect Headwaters.” The article highlights how the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority in New Mexico just donated $1 million to help protect the land in its headwaters.  This money is being pledged to the Rio Grande Water Fund, a consortium of partners who’s goal it is to protect the San Juan-Chama and Rio Grande watershed lands from catastrophic forest fires.  The fund is used for forest restoration projects on about 600,000 forested acres in the headwaters that provide drinking water for about half the state’s population.  Read the article here.

Register Now for the ASDWA CWA-SDWA Webinar: Creative Uses of Clean Water Funding for Drinking Water Benefits

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Date:  Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Time:  1:00 to 2:30pm (eastern), 10:00 to 11:30am (pacific)

REGISTER HERE

On August 29, ASDWA will host a Clean Water Act – Safe Drinking Water Act (CWA-SDWA) webinar entitled, “Creative Uses of Clean Water Funding for Drinking Water Benefits.”  The purpose of the webinar is to build on the efforts of ASDWA, ACWA, GWPC, and EPA to share and promote CWA-SDWA coordination activities across state and EPA water programs.  State, interstate, tribal, and federal water programs, water utilities, technical assistance providers, and anyone else who would like to participate is encouraged to attend.  During the webinar, presenters from the Virginia and Washington Drinking Water Programs and the Skagit Public Utilities District (in WA) will share how they collaborated with their state Clean Water Programs and other partners to creatively use some non-traditional funding routes to benefit their drinking water utilities, including one very small and disadvantaged water system.

EPA and Forest Service Webinar on CWSRF Funding for Land Conservation Projects

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On Thursday, April 13 from 1:30 to 3:00pm (eastern), EPA and the U.S. Forest Service will host a webinar entitled, “Sponsorship:  A Unique Tool for Funding Land Conservation Projects with the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF),” as part of the CWSRF webinar series.  During the webinar, Mike Curley, the author of Fundamentals of Water Finance, will discuss the use of sponsorship programs for funding land conservation projects with the CWSRF.  In addition, Patti Cale-Finnegan from the Iowa CWSRF program and Jerry Rouch from the Ohio CWSRF program will provide specific examples from their states and explain the role of sponsorship and partnerships with land trust organizations.  At the time of the webinar, please log on directly at:  https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/spf-ucf/.  To view the announcement, go HERE.

 

The Nature Conservancy Publishes Source Water Protection Benefits Report

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The Nature Conservancy has published a report entitled, Beyond The Source: The environmental, economic and community benefits of source water protection in partnership with the Natural Capital Project, Forest Trends, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Latin American Water Funds Partnership.  The report discusses the benefits of healthy source waters as vital natural infrastructure for water quality and quantity, biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and mitigation, food security, and human health and well-being.  The report also analyzes investment costs and co-benefits for protection and restoration activities and best management practices at local and global scales, using examples from cities in the U.S. and across the globe.

Proposals Now Being Accepted for 2017 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grants

The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grants Program has announced its 2017 request for proposals. The program is a collaboration between the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the Wildlife Habitat Council, in cooperation with EPA, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FedEx, the Southern Company and the Alcoa Foundation.  The Five Star and Urban Waters program will award approximately $2.5 million in grants nationwide to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds and the species and habitats they support. Projects include a variety of ecological improvements including: wetland, riparian, forest and coastal habitat restoration; wildlife conservation; community tree canopy enhancement; and/or water quality monitoring and stormwater management; along with targeted community outreach, education and stewardship.

Priority will be given to projects in urban, suburban and/or rural areas that advance water quality goals in environmental justice communities such as neighborhoods with high concentrations of minority and low-income populations. In addition, EPA’s Urban Waters Program will give special consideration to project proposals that advance the priorities in the 19 Urban Waters Federal Partnership designated locations.

  • Proposals are being accepted through January 31, 2017.
  • Register for the webinar on November 15th from 2:00 to 3:30pm (eastern).
  • For more information, visit the website.

 

SWC Learning Exchange Webinar: Accelerating Investment in Watershed Protection

le_homepage_bannerThe Source Water Collaborative is pleased to announce the next webinar in the Learning Exchange Webinar Series.  This third webinar will feature a virtual panel discussion on “Accelerating Investment in Watershed Protection,” with three distinguished panelists who will share their perspectives and answer audience questions on establishing and growing successful watershed investment programs.  The panelists are Robert Morgan of the Beaver Water District in Arkansas; Peter Stangel of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, and Todd Gartner of the World Resources Institute.

NEW Date:  Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Time:  1:00pm – 2:30pm (eastern time)

Register for the webinar here.

Register Now for the August 25th Creative Partnerships Webinar by the Source Water Collaborative

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Register now for the Creative Partnerships webinar on August 25th from 12-1pm (eastern) that will be the first in the Source Water Collaborative’s (SWC) new Learning Exchange webinar series. The Learning Exchange has been launched in celebration of the SWC’s ten-year anniversary and aims to strengthen the effectiveness of source water practitioners across the country by providing a platform to share experiences, transfer knowledge, and learn about funding and technical resources available to support their efforts.

During this first webinar, source water protection leaders will discuss their experiences with non-traditional partners and share tips on:  how to select potential partners and establish new partnerships; common barriers encountered and ways to overcome them; and sustaining and expanding partnerships for long-term engagement. Webinar presentations will include:

  • Lynn Thorp from Clean Water Action, and Steve Via from American Water Works Association (AWWA), who will share how they partnered with the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) to register their concerns with EPA that the final Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards should not leave water systems to grapple with bromide when a Clean Water Act program could help them avoid Safe Drinking Water Act compliance problems caused by pollution discharges upstream.
  • Jim Capurso with the U.S. Forest Service, who will share tips from the Drinking Water Providers Partnership, an effort that facilitates environmental conservation and restoration in municipal watersheds across the Northwest. This partnership includes multiple agencies: USDA Forest Service, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Washington Department of Health, the EPA, the Bureau of Land Management, the Geos Institute, and WildEarth Guardians.

Registration is free and open to anyone who would like to participate.

Learning Exchange Launch and Webinar by the Source Water Collaborative

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The Source Water Collaborative (SWC) is celebrating its ten-year anniversary with the launch of the new Learning Exchange—an information sharing platform for people and organizations working to protect sources of drinking water.  The Learning Exchange aims to strengthen the effectiveness of source water practitioners across the country by providing a platform to share experiences, transfer knowledge, and learn about funding and technical resources available to support their efforts.  Over the next five months (August –December 2016), the Learning Exchange will offer organized events, communications, and resources by theme.  For this first month’s theme of Creative Partnerships, the SWC has posted a variety of resources and photos from its member organizations on its webpage; developed sample tweets for sharing information through social media, developed a document with tips for collaborating with nontraditional partners, and will conduct a webinar as follows.

 

Webinar on August 25th from 12-1pm (eastern):  ASDWA will host the first Creative Partnerships webinar in the Learning Exchange webinar series. During the webinar, source water protection leaders will discuss their experiences with non-traditional partners and share tips on how to select potential partners and establish new partnerships; common barriers encountered and ways to overcome them; and sustaining and expanding partnerships for long-term engagement. Registration is free and open to anyone who would like to participate.  Webinar presentations will include:

  • Lynn Thorp from Clean Water Action, and Steve Via from American Water Works Association (AWWA), will share how they partnered with the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) to make sure EPA heard that the final Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards should not leave water systems to grapple with bromide when a Clean Water Act program could help them avoid Safe Drinking Water Act compliance problems caused by pollution discharges upstream.
  • Jim Capurso with the U.S. Forest Service will share tips from the Drinking Water Providers Partnership, an effort that facilitates environmental conservation and restoration in municipal watersheds across the Northwest. This partnership includes multiple agencies: USDA Forest Service, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Washington Department of Health, the EPA, the Bureau of Land Management, the Geos Institute, and WildEarth Guardians.

 

Learning Exchange Webpage:  Visit the SWC’s new webpage to find more tools and testimonials to help you get started finding the right partners.  Learning Exchange resources and events are available to all interested groups, and you are encouraged to participate and contribute in ways that suit you and your organization’s interests. Opportunities will vary each month and may include:

  • Stories of success that showcase projects and partnerships making a difference in communities across the country and how others may duplicate these successes.
  • Knowledge sharing events such as webinars, brown bags, and virtual workshops.
  • Shareable quotes, graphics, and tips to support your organization’s operations and outreach efforts.
  • Technical and educational materials recommended to peers by Collaborative member organizations and Learning Exchange participants.
  • Opportunities to converse with peers through online networking forums and social media.

 

The Source Water Collaborative offers a unique vehicle to bring together various perspectives and expertise that individuals and organizations may not be able to access on their own. Through the platforms of our national members and network of local collaboratives, we can offer a powerful venue for participants to connect with partners and build collective understanding.

 

Want to share your story on the Learning Exchange?  Do you have a success story, valuable tip, or technical resource you would like to share? Reach out to info@sourcewatercollaborative.org with your idea.