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’s Water Finance Center Hosts Stormwater Finance Webinar Series 

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EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center is hosting a stormwater finance webinar series in collaboration with the Water Environment Federation. This webinar series will explore both traditional stormwater financing strategies as well as new and innovative approaches. Each webinar will provide a deep-dive, technical overview of specific successful and leading-edge examples of how communities have supported their stormwater programs. The next webinar is planned as follows with additional webinars to be announced soon.

  • May 23, 2017– 2:00-3:00pm ET – Washington DC’s Stormwater Retention Credit Program Register for webinar

For more information, visit: https://www.epa.gov/waterfinancecenter/leading-edge-stormwater-financing-webinars

 

NASCA Webinar on Conservation Program Success Stories

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On May 16th, from 10:00am to 12:00pm (eastern), the National Association of State Conservation Agencies (NASCA) will host a webinar entitled, “Success Stories of Voluntary, Incentive-Based Conservation Programs.”  The webinar will showcase success stories of work led by conservation districts, state conservation agencies, and their partners to address natural resource issues. REGISTER HERE

Today at 2pm! USDA NRCS Webinar on NWQI Watershed Planning

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NRCS will host a webinar today, April 25th, at 2:00pm (eastern) with presentations on “Watershed Planning from a National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) Perspective”. Participants will learn about the watershed assessment process and the importance of partnerships for NWQI watershed efforts.

How to join the webinar? You may join the webinar by clicking the ‘Join’ button HERE within 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.

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.

 

EPA Webinar on Source Water Protection Data, Tools, and Economic Benefits

On March 28, EPA’s Office of Research and Development and EPA’s Office of Water will host a webinar about source water protection data, tools, and economic benefits as part of the monthly Small Drinking Water Systems Webinar Series.  During the webinar, presenters will:

  • Describe how several web-based GIS applications, data resources, and analytical tools can be used to update source water assessments and protection plans, prepare utilities for emergency situations, and support partnership efforts; and
  • Review economic studies that estimate the benefits of improving source water quality for treatment plants, as well as a general approach that compares the benefits to source water protection costs.

For more information and to register, 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.

NRCS Announces FY ’17 Funding for Regional Conservation Partnership Program Projects

By Kira Jacobs, US EPA Region 1

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced its funding for the FY 2017 Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) projects.  This year, $225 million will be invested nationwide!

This is the third round of projects being funded for the RCPP.  The RCPP provides conservation assistance to producers and landowners for the purpose of improving the nation’s water quality (including drinking water sources), combating drought, enhancing soil health, supporting wildlife habitat, and protecting agricultural viability.  Partners must provide matching funds or in-kind contributions, and may include state government agencies (including drinking water programs), water utilities, NGOs, and universities.

In the spirit of collaborating with other partners, I encourage you to read through the list of FY 2017 RCPP projects by state.  Some of them indicate an obvious connection to source water protection (such as projects on the list in Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, and West Virginia).  In other cases, the nexus with source water protection is more subtle.  I encourage you to “dig a little deeper” if you see a project in your state that is located in a source water protection area where you are currently working or would like to work.  The purpose of these projects is to encourage collaboration and leverage the expertise of numerous partners.  NRCS offices in each state can assist you in identifying and reaching out to the partners if you are unable to find information online.  Also, the NRCS website includes projects awarded for the past several years (the program began in 2015).  Since most programs are multi-year, you may want to refer to the past years’ projects as well.

Click here for the full list of 2015 projects.

Click here for the full list of 2016 projects.

An example of an ongoing RCPP project where source water protection is a key component of the project is the Connecticut River/Long Island Sound RCPP.  This 2015 RCPP project brings together dozens of partners in six states.  Source water protection is a stated priority for this project, even though the Connecticut River is not a drinking water source!   When the project was conceived, the Connecticut Association of Conservation Districts decided to include source water protection in one of its three focus areas for the project, Land Protection.  It was determined that, because this vast watershed is home to so many large municipal drinking water supplies, it is important to protect their sources.  As a result, $3.25 million is being directed to land protection in priority source water protection and critical habitat areas.  To learn more about this project, please refer to the project website:  http://www.lisw-rcpp.com/

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EPA Releases Report on Progress Made to Reduce Water Pollution from Nonpoint Sources 

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EPA has released the first-ever national snapshot of the Agency’s work to reduce water pollution from nonpoint sources, which affect more than 80 percent of the country’s assessed rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs.  Through the strong state, tribal, and territorial partnerships built through EPA’s Clean Water Act Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Program, more than 6,000 miles of streams and 164,000 acres of lakes have been removed from EPA’s impaired waters list.

The report found that EPA’s 319 grants are a catalyst toward water quality improvement—of 538 water bodies with documented water quality improvement, states reported a total $1.78 billion of funding was provided for restoration work. Of that amount, $13% ($238 million) is attributed to Section 319 funding.  EPA’s Nonpoint Source Program Report highlights other major accomplishments and offers a glimpse of the more than 2,000 nonpoint source projects underway across the country, including a variety of projects located in drinking water supply areas.

Learn More