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Source Water Protection Grants Program

Grants to Nebraska Political Subdivisions
to Protect Drinking Water Sources

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ)

Deadline Date:

06/16/19 4:00 PM


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Grants to Nebraska political subdivisions representing small communities for the protection of public drinking water quality and quantity. Activities may also address public drinking water education. Eligible types of requests include projects involving source water protection strategies, and those that will implement protection activities in existing source water protection areas, designated future source water protection areas, and in the associated communities.

Community involvement and education, in how to protect and improve its drinking water source, is also a central theme in these grants. Purely educational projects, without tangible action, will be discouraged.

Projects will be expected to provide long-term benefits to drinking water quality, and/or quantity, education. Types of projects that may be eligible for funding include only those that are directly associated with source water protection measures such as:

-Public education
-Water recycling and other conservation programs
-Support for pollution prevention
-Restoration and/or conservation of the source water protection area
-Development of a Wellhead, Watershed Protection Plan, or Drinking Water Protection Plan
-Water quality monitoring at critical points in protection areas
-Evaluations of agricultural practices and education on best management practices
-Installation of signs at boundaries of zones or protection areas
-Structures to divert contaminated runoff from the source
-Closure of abandoned wells

Rather than providing the grant to complete one task such as well abandonment, it is preferred that grants be provided to help establish and develop comprehensive local source water protection programs. Source water protection programs are ongoing, locally designed voluntary efforts to protect drinking water sources used by community water systems. Grants can be used to develop a Wellhead or Watershed Protection Plan but only in conjunction with a source water protection program.

Funding Priority: The prioritization criteria are designed to target those projects and activities that are more diverse, far-reaching and address a particular drinking water need in the State.

Items of consideration when selecting projects include:

-Does the project have a clear source water protection focus?
-Is commitment demonstrated by the water supplier and/or local government(s) to develop, implement, support and sustain a local Source Water Protection program after funding is received?
-Do the proposed tasks address all categories of Source Water Protection: Quality, Quantity and Education?

Eligible activities are projects that provide long-term benefits to drinking water quality, quantity, and/or education. Eligible projects include:

-Contaminant source identification – research / investigation.
-Contaminant pathway removal – includes the closure of abandoned or unused wells.
-Contaminant removal – pollution prevention and waste reduction
-Contaminant source management – implementation of best management practices (BMPs), ordinance development, and implementation of a Source Water or Wellhead Protection Plan.
-Education and information sharing – workshops, brochures, meetings, and media campaigns.
-Development of a Drinking Water Protection Management Plan which is an alternative to 9-element watershed management plans. These plans will focus on wellhead protection areas. Plans must address implementable groundwater best management practices. (For additional information please refer to the Fact Sheet attached)

General Program Information:

Source Water Protection Grants are available for proactive projects geared toward protecting Nebraska’s drinking water supplies by addressing drinking water quality, quantity and/or education. Eligible applicants are political subdivisions in Nebraska that operate a public water system, having a population of 10,000 or less with groundwater sources, and demonstrate serious financial hardships.

Rather than providing the grant to complete one task, it is preferred that grants be provided to help establish and develop comprehensive local source water protection programs, enhance cooperation and education among citizens, local government, businesses, and agricultural producers. Grants can be used for the development of a Wellhead Protection Plan, but only in conjunction with the implementation of pollution prevention tasks.

New Eligible Activity:

Funding is available to develop Drinking Water Protection Management Plans which are an alternative to 9-element watershed management plans. These plans will be specific to Wellhead Protection Areas. Plans must develop implementable groundwater best management practices.

The purpose of this plan is to provide an analytic framework for managing efforts to restore and protect a community’s drinking water. With the development and approval of this plan, communities may be eligible to apply for Clean Water Act section 319 Nonpoint Source Program grants to assist in the implementations of these management practices.

Project areas include:

-Wellhead protection areas - groundwater systems,
-Officially designated future wellhead protection areas, and
-Populations served under these systems.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181635

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Term of Contract:

The project period may not exceed two years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are political subdivisions, in Nebraska, that operate a public water system having a population of 10,000 or less with groundwater sources.

Applicants will need to demonstrate serious financial hardships.

Hardship eligibility criteria:

-MHI (Median Household Income) of the political subdivision population must be less or equal to 120% of the statewide MHI reported in the 2008-2012 ACS five-year estimate of $51,381.
-Applicants that don’t meet the hardship eligibility may submit a financial hardship report to the Department for additional consideration justifying the grant request.

To obtain your MHI refer to your community data sheet on the AWIN page:

Ineligible Activities:

-Activities related to the operations and maintenance of drinking water systems including: treatment, transmission, distribution, consolidation or storage.
-Land purchases.
-Projects that only develop a traditional Source Water or Wellhead Protection Plan and do nothing toward implementation of the plan; these plans should not be confused with a Drinking Water Protection Management Plan.
-Projects requesting only personnel expenses.
-Projects geared towards the security aspect of Source Water, such as security fencing and cameras.

Pre-Application Information:

There is a 10% match requirement. At least a 10% non-federal match to the total project cost is required. For example, a project totaling $20,000 will receive $18,000 in grant funds and would have a requirement of $2,000 in match. The match can be in-kind and/or cash.


-May 12, 2017: All questions regarding this invitation must be received in writing.

-May 19, 2017: All written questions regarding this invitation and their answers will be posted on the NDEQ website or mailed to potential applicants that specifically request such.

-June 16, 2017: Proposals, including a DUNS number, must be received at the NDEQ Lincoln office by 4:00 PM of this due date.

-June 2017: Proposals are reviewed by a committee.

-July 2017: Projects are selected and sponsors notified. Funding is made available to begin projects pending approval of a final Project Implementation Plan and finalization of a funding agreement.

Source Water Protection Grants Questions and Answers

Invitation for 2017 Source Water Protection Proposals:!!RFP.nsf&documentId=EA36A75175DC485C8625810E005F4593&action=openDocument

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Source Water Coordinator
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
1200 N Street, Suite 400, The Atrium
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-8922

Phone 402-471-2186
Toll Free: 877-253-2603

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Nebraska