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Grants to Iowa Nonprofits, Water Supply and Watershed Management
Authorities, and Agencies in Eligible Areas to Reduce Water Pollution

Water Quality Initiative - Urban Conservation Projects

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Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) - Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality

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Grants to Iowa nonprofit organizations, water supply and watershed management authorities, and government agencies in eligible areas for projects to reduce water pollution. Applicants must contact staff and submit a letter of inquiry prior to a full application. Funding is intended for reduction projects, outreach, and education in urban areas.

IDALS is accepting pre-applications for projects that demonstrate strong ties to the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. These projects will focus on adoption and implementation of urban conservation practices that provide nutrient load reductions to water resources in combination with outreach and education components demonstrating how projects will work to support the nonpoint source action items outlined in Section 1 of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Applicants should demonstrate the ability to deliver low-impact development strategies and practices and have established strong partnerships with stakeholders that have or will be contributing significant resources to the project.

Desired outcomes for these projects will include concentrated efforts to demonstrate urban conservation practices paired with strong outreach/education components to disseminate information on these practices. The education and outreach components will promote increased awareness and adoption of available practices and technologies for achieving reductions in nutrient loads to surface waters. 

Applications can consider two options based on the scope of the proposed project. Option 1 projects will be evaluated under the same parameters as prior years’ WQI urban funding. Option 2 offers an opportunity to fund larger scale, more complex projects based on the comprehensiveness of the project. Urban conservationists can help assist applicants in deciding which option to pursue:

  • Option 1: Implementing urban conservation practices on a site or development scale to demonstrate to the public and other communities how these practices function on the landscape and their effectiveness to manage stormwater. Outreach and educational activities are included to inform others about these practices and to increase adoption across the state.
  • Option 2: Implementing projects with urban and NRS conservation practices that comprehensively treat and impact an entire area such as a subwatershed, section of town, multiple communities, or development sites. This regional management approach provides large scale water quality and quantity benefits by treating and managing multiple storm events. Outreach and educational activities may be included where appropriate. 

Priority will be given to applications that can demonstrate the ability to rapidly implement the project and practices funded under this RFPA.

Eligible expenses can be found at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182456

Term of Contract:

Funds must be targeted for obligation no later than June 30, 2022 with installation completed no later than December 31, 2023. A high quality project with the possibility of future phases may be eligible for additional funding depending on future funding availability, project quality and project performance. Project funds will be available upon execution of a funding contract with IDALS (anticipate contracts will be in place on or prior to April 1, 2022). Projects cannot incur reimbursable expenses or document match contributions before the funding contract is executed.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants: Cities, counties, county conservation boards, Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCDs), or other units of government, not-for-profit non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) authorized by the secretary of state, public water supply utilities or watershed management authorities are eligible to submit applications.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate legal authority to construct and maintain practices in the intended location prior to submittal of applications.

Due to the nature of this program and the emphasis on implementation of urban conservation practices and documentation supportive of the nutrient reduction strategy, applicants must collaborate with IDALS Urban Conservation Program staff.

Applicants are also strongly encouraged to partner with stakeholders that will benefit from installation of urban conservation practices and would be able to assist with education and information transfer.

Pre-Application Information:

Pre-applications are due: No later than 4:30 PM Friday, December 3, 2021.

The projected timeline for the complete application process is detailed below:
- Pre-applications open: October 1, 2021
- Pre-applications due: December 3, 2021
- Selected pre-applications notified: January 7, 2022
- Full-applications due: February 11, 2022
- Selected full-applications notified: March 4, 2022
- Anticipated project start date: April 1, 2022

Pre-applications must be submitted to be considered for full-application submittal.

Potential applicants must schedule a meeting with an IDALS Urban Conservationist to help formulate strong projects and pre-applications. Pre-applications will be reviewed by IDALS, and applicants requested to submit full applications will be notified by January 7, 2022. Pre-applications must be submitted to be considered for full-application submittal.

Submit one electronic copy of your project application to IDALS. Hard copies of the pre-application will not be accepted without an electronic copy. Arrival date and time of the electronic copy will be used to determine whether an application has been submitted on time. Pre-applications must be received by 4:30 PM on December 3, 2021. No information relating to the application submitted after this time will be accepted.

Expense payments will be made on cost reimbursable basis.

Contact Information:

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

Applications will be accepted by either of the following methods:

1. Submit the electronic copy of the pre-application via CD, Flash drive, etc. to the address below:
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality
c/o Nicole Gubbels
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines IA 50319

2. Submit the electronic file containing your application in an attachment by e-mail addressed to

For assistance with pre-applications contact the Regional Urban Conservationist for your area or the Urban Conservation Program Coordinator:
- Urban Conservation Program Coordinator: Paul Miller – 515-281-5833 or
- Southwestern Iowa: Cassie Druhl – 515-725-0150 or Cassie.Druhl@
- Northwestern Iowa: Breanna Horsey – 712-732-3096 x309 or
- Eastern Iowa: Amy Bouska – 319-499-4841 or
- Central Iowa: Jennifer Welch – 515-776-4237 or

For additional assistance, please contact the following IDALS Water Quality Initiative staff:
Matt Lechtenberg
Water Quality Initiative Coordinator

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Iowa: Urban areas

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