AWWA Webinar on Leveraging Private Capital to Protect Source Waters

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AWWA will host a webinar on April 4th from 1:00 to 2:30 pm (eastern) entitled “Leverage Private Capital to Protect Source Waters.” During the webinar, participants will hear how healthy forests can reduce costs to municipalities, utilities, and water-dependent companies by ensuring clean and abundant water supplies and by reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires and floods. A brief overview of the state of the science, research, and analysis of the importance of source water protection will be given, and case studies of other utilities’ experiences will be offered. The cost is $75.00 for members and $125.00 for non-members. Register for the webinar here.


USDA Releases 2018 Farm Bill and Legislative Principles

USDA farm bill principles

On January 24th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a new 2018 Farm Bill and Legislative Principles document. The principles in the document are categorized into a variety of topics to serve as a roadmap for Congress to understand and address the needs of agricultural and forest landowners in the next Farm Bill. Some of the principles in the document that can support drinking water protection include:

  • Ensure that voluntary conservation programs balance farm productivity with conservation benefits…
  • Support conservation programs that ensure cost-effective financial assistance for improved soil health, water and air quality and other natural resource benefits.
  • Expand Good Neighbor Authority and increase coordination with states to promote job creation and improve forest health through shared stewardship and stakeholder input.
  • Offer the tools and resources that incentivize private stewardship and retention of forest land.

For more information, visit USDA’s website to read the press release and view the principles document.

Organizations are Gearing Up for the 2018 Farm Bill


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.




Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program Announces New RFP and Webinars


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


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


Date:  Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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


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

CWSRF workshop

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:  To view the announcement, go HERE.


The Nature Conservancy Publishes Source Water Protection Benefits Report


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.