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2018 Feasibility Study Grant

Grants to Oregon Agencies, Tribes, Individuals, and Businesses to
Determine the Feasibility of Water Conservation and Reuse Programs

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Oregon Water Resources Department (WRD)

Deadline Date:

10/17/18 5:00 PM Receipt


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Grants to Oregon local governments, tribes, individuals, businesses, firms, and associations to assess the feasibility of developing projects that address water storage, reuse, and conservation. Funding is intended to support the costs of studies to determine whether to proceed with the implementation of the project.

The Water Resources Development Program seeks to help individuals and communities address instream and out-of-stream needs now and into the future. The program includes three components, which fit together as key steps in the water development process: Placed-Based Planning, Feasibility Study Grants, and Water Project Grants and Loans. Feasibility Study Grants provide match funding for project planning studies performed to evaluate the feasibility of developing water conservation, reuse, or storage projects.

A feasibility study is an assessment of a proposed project. Feasibility Study Grants fund qualifying costs of studies that evaluate the feasibility of a proposed conservation, reuse, or storage project that appears to have merit but is lacking important details necessary to determine whether or not to proceed with implementation. The feasibility study focuses on helping to answer the essential question of, “should we proceed with the proposed project idea?” All activities of the study are directed toward helping answer this question. ​

Eligible studies include, but are not limited to the following:​

- Analyses of hydrological refill capacity;
- Water needs analyses;
- Refined hydrological analyses;
- Engineering and financial feasibility studies;
- Geologic analyses;
- Water exchange studies;
- Analyses of by-pass, optimum peak, flushing and other ecological flows of the affected stream and the impact of a proposed water conservation, reuse or storage project on those flows;
- Comparative analyses of alternative means of supplying water, including but not limited to the costs and benefits of conservation and efficiency alternatives and the extent to which long-term water supply needs may be met using those alternatives;
- Analyses of environmental harm or impacts from a proposed water conservation, reuse or storage project;
- Analyses of public benefits accruing from a proposed water conservation, reuse or storage project;
- Fiscal analyses of a proposed water conservation, reuse or storage project, including estimated project costs, financing for the project and projected financial returns from the project;
- Hydrological analyses of a proposed water conservation, reuse or storage project, including the anticipated effects of climate change on hydrological refill capacity; and
- Analyses of potential water quality impacts of the project.

Examples of eligible project types:

Water Conservation – A project which eliminates waste or otherwise improves water use efficiency. Efficiencies may be achieved by modifying the technology or method of diverting, transporting, applying or recovering water.

Example studies include but are not limited to:

- A study to quantify water losses associated with an open irrigation ditch including identification of solutions to reduce water loss
- A study to assess the feasibility of installing more efficient irrigation methods such as conversion from flood irrigation to center pivot irrigation
- A study evaluating methods to reduce water loss in a municipal system

Water Reuse – A project that reuses wastewater for specific beneficial purposes. Sources of wastewater may include graywater (e.g., shower and bath wastewater, bathroom sink water, kitchen sink wastewater and laundry wastewater), recycled water, (e.g., treated effluent from a municipal wastewater facility) and industrial wastewater (e.g., treated effluent from an industrial process, manufacturing or business, or from the development or recovery of a natural resource).

Example studies include but are not limited to:

- A study to assess the feasibility of using industrial cooling water to irrigate crops
- A study to assess the feasibility of using municipal wastewater to irrigate a golf course
- A study to reuse graywater, recycled water, or industrial wastewater for irrigation of crops and pasturelands, irrigation of urban landscapes, industrial cooling, dust control, street sweeping, or artificial groundwater recharge

Above-Ground Storage – A project for water storage in a reservoir, such as a new above ground storage site or increasing the size of an existing reservoir. In most cases, the resulting project will require a water storage permit from the Oregon Water Resources Department.

Example studies include but are not limited to:

- A study to evaluate construction of an off-channel reservoir for agricultural purposes
- A study to assess the feasibility of enlarging an existing municipal reservoir to meet future municipal water demand

Below-Ground Storage – Storage in an underground aquifer. Current techniques may include injection of treated surface water into aquifers for later recovery of the water for municipal or agricultural use or infiltration of water into an aquifer for later discharge to surface water to enhance stream flow.

Example studies include but are not limited to:

- An assessment of an aquifer storage and recovery project for summertime municipal use or artificial recharge for irrigation or discharge to surface water

Other types of storage – A project that would result in water storage, but does not fit within the aboveground or below-ground storage study categories.

Example studies include but are not limited to:

- A study to evaluate a project enhancing natural storage through improved wetland function or flood protection
- A study to assess the feasibility of installing or replacing a municipal storage tank that would not require a water right permit

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183144

Estimated Size of Grant:

Per OAR 690-600-0200, applications for funding may not exceed $500,000 per project. The $500,000 per project limit is applicable to the total amount of grant funds received at a location or general area to address a common water need. Therefore, if you already received a $300,000 grant from the Department for a previous study of a project, you can request no more than $200,000 in your application.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any local government as defined in ORS 174.116, Indian tribe as defined in ORS 391.802, or person as defined in ORS 536.007 may apply for funding.

Person” includes individuals, corporations, associations, firms, partnerships, joint stock companies, public and municipal corporations, political subdivisions, the state and any agencies thereof, and the federal government and any agencies thereof.

Applications for studies that are not directly related to water conservation, reuse, or storage are not eligible for funding.

Ineligible activities and costs are not reimbursable by the Department or eligible to be used as matching funds, unless expressly permitted by the Department prior to expenditure. These activities and costs may include but are not limited to:

1. Advertising and public relations expenses (unless project specific);
2. Airfare (will only be approved if cost is less than vehicle mileage reimbursement plus travel time);
3. Alcoholic beverages;
4. Any costs associated with routine project maintenance;
5. Any costs incurred to prepare applications for funding to the Department or other entities;
6. Clothing;
7. Costs included in the grantees normal financial business plan and not specific to the grant
8. Costs related to capital improvements (specific to Feasibility Study Grants);
9. Department fees associated with processing water rights (may be used as match);
10. Entertainment expenses;
11. Equipment (unless approved);
12. Fines and penalties against the grantee, co/applicant or partnering organizations;
13. Internet expenses;
14. Legal fees;
15. Lobbying;
16. Long-term monitoring costs (outside of grant agreement period);
17. Membership subscriptions;
18. Out-of-state travel;
19. Personal licenses or certifications;
20. Rent;
21. Repayment of debt held by grantee and/or co-applicant or partnering organizations;
22. Student tuition and fees;
23. Telephone expenses;
24. Utilities;
25. Vehicle or equipment maintenance

Pre-proposal Conference:

Taking part in a Pre-Application Conference prior to applying is highly recommended.

Pre-application conferences provide applicants with the opportunity to have questions answered by the Department and to ensure a competitive, quality application. They are recommended for applicants interested in pursuing a feasibility study grant. Please contact the Department to schedule a meeting.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications for the 2018 cycle of Feasibility Study Grants are due by 5:00 pm on October 17, 2018. Application must be received by this date and time.

Funding opportunities have minimum cost match percentages (e.g. Feasibility Study Grants require cost match totaling 50% of total study cost and Water Project Grants and Loans require cost match totaling 25% of total project cost). Cost match expended during the grant term must equal or exceed the minimum percentage required by the funding opportunity.

Administrative rules:

Program materials:

Contact Information:

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

Send applications electronically to:

Mail applications to:
Oregon Water Resources Department
Attention: Grant Program Coordinator
725 Summer Street NE, Suite A
Salem, OR 97301

Kim Ogren
Water Resources Development Program Manager

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Oregon