The Watershed Improvement Review Board (WIRB) recently approved ten applications totaling more than $2.3-million in grants to support projects that will improve water quality or reduce flooding in the state. Among the projects is the Adair Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) covering Adair and Cass Counties, which will receive $298, 562 for the West Fork Middle Nodaway River. And, the West Pottawattamie SWCD will receive $279,811 for the Mosquito Creek Project in Pottawattamie County.
The grant funds will be matched by recipients, who will provide over $6.5-million in funding from the local communities to support these projects. As a result, $8.8- million will be going to support conservation work in priority watersheds throughout the state.
The approved projects have already completed watershed assessments that identified critical water resource areas and will focus on implementing specific water quality or flood reduction improvements. The projects will start after a grant agreement is signed between the applicant and the Watershed Improvement Review Board. Soil and water conservation districts, public water supply utilities, counties, county conservation boards, cities, and local watershed improvement committees were eligible to apply. Individual projects could request up to $300,000.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says “These projects are a partnership between federal, state and local organizations that are committed to improving Iowa’s water quality. By supporting projects that address runoff and drainage, sedimentation, urban stormwater, livestock runoff, streambed and bank stabilization and a number of other issues, these projects are focused on issues that directly impact the state’s waterways and water quality.”
WIRB received a total of $3 million this year and at least half of the funds must be used to support voluntary, science based water quality practices referenced in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.