A program dedicated to reducing the amount of groundwater withdrawn in Arizona’s five Active Management Areas (AMAs) has announced that it is accepting applications for its $2 million Groundwater Conservation Grant.
The grant program, which has set a February 14, 2020 deadline for entries, accepts proposals for a wide variety of groundwater conservation projects and programs.
The categories include proposals focusing on water innovation and technology, infrastructure water efficiency, ecological enhancement and public outreach and engagement.
Overall, those projects are expected to include strategies and technologies that protect Arizona’s groundwater resources for current and future generations. In large part, those goals include reductions in the consumption and withdrawal of groundwater, reduction in the loss and waste of water, improvement in water efficiency, and increases in the reuse and recycling of wastewater.
Project administrators have identified several priorities for 2020 applicants. Among those priorities are projects that demonstrate “new, innovative qualities,” as well as evidence of contributions of additional funds or resources toward the project beyond the grant itself.
Additionally, the projects that demonstrate multiple benefits, or a higher impact in terms of groundwater conserved (or water augmented for the purpose of conserving groundwater), will be prioritized.
The WMAP have supported a wide-ranging array of projects and programs dedicated to water conservation throughout the years.
Among the recently supported programs is the Arizona Project WET, a long-running, multi-state initiative that promote responsible water stewardship “by providing teacher professional development that evolves instructional practice and deepens content knowledge” according to the APW website. Another is the “Water Use It Wisely” campaign, which promotes water conservation in Arizona’s urban communities through a “Don’t tell us to save water. Show us how” ethos.
This particular conservation grant program was funded by a $2 million General Fund appropriation as part of the DCP legislation that was passed in the 2019 session to increase available monies for groundwater conservation in the AMAs. The grant will be distributed among the AMAs based on population size and will be administered by the Arizona Department of Water Resources Water Management Assistance Program (WMAP). Most other projects administered by WMAP are funded primarily from groundwater withdrawal fees collected from the people who withdraw groundwater in an AMA from a non-exempt well – that is, from higher-capacity wells that are capable of drawing more than 35 gallons of groundwater per minute.
ADWR will host a grant application workshop on December 10 at 8:30 a.m. in Room 3175 at the Department’s offices at 1110 W. Washington St. in Phoenix and will be available via webinar.
Application solicitation, including Notice of Funding Opportunity, grant timeline, and electronic forms, may be found on the Arizona Office of Grants and Federal Resources website. Applications must be submitted through this website in order to be considered.
More information on the grant and application process can be found on the WMAP page.