More Iowa water quality demonstration projects requested

More Iowa water quality demonstration projects requested

Posted Oct. 14, 2014

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is requesting pre-applications for targeted watershed demonstration projects focused on water quality.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced yesterday that potential projects have until November 17, 2014, to submit a pre-application. Project pre-application guidance, which includes a map of priority watersheds, can be found at under “Hot Topics” or can be requested by contacting the department’s Division of Soil Conservation at (515) 281-5851.

“This round of funding will focus on supporting innovative projects that will work with a broad coalition of stakeholders to have a positive impact on water quality,” Northey said. “These new projects will build upon the 13 demonstration projects currently under way that are working with farmers to implement and then demonstrate how different practices can help improve water quality.”

The 13 existing projects represent a commitment of just over $6 million by the department with nearly 70 partners and numerous landowners leveraging in excess of $10 million to conduct outreach and demonstration activities and install conservation practices.

Projects must be within the nine large priority watersheds that have been identified by the Iowa Water Resources Coordinating Council (WRCC). The nine priority watersheds are the Floyd, West Nishnabotna, East Nishnabotna, North Raccoon, Boone, South Skunk, Skunk, Middle Cedar and Turkey.

These nine large watersheds, also known as HUC8 watersheds, include 429 subwatersheds, or HUC12 watersheds. Applications will be accepted for projects focused on a single subwatershed within the priority watersheds or for projects that group multiple subwatersheds into a single application.

Projects will include concentrated efforts to demonstrate conservation practices paired with strong outreach/education components to disseminate information on these practices to promote increased awareness and adoption of available practices and technologies for achieving reductions in nutrient loads to surface waters. Successful projects will serve as local and regional hubs for demonstrating practices and providing practice information to farmers, peer networks and local communities.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts, watershed groups and other non-governmental organizations are eligible to submit applications. Applicants will be able to seek up to three years of funding for a project, with the possibility of future extensions depending on funding availability and project performance.

The maximum five-page pre-application must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Monday, November 17, 2014. Pre-applications selected to submit a full application will be notified by December 1, 2014, and the full applications will be due on February 2, 2015. Projects selected to receive funding will be announced by the end of February.

More information can be found in the project pre-application guidance found at under “Hot Topics.”