Source Water Protection for Safe Drinking and Recreation: State Partnerships and Funding Opportunities with USDA

Communities in every state depend on clean water for drinking and for outdoor recreation but state and local budgets normally used for water quality protection have been hard hit by COVID-19. In times of tight budgets, states can stretch public dollars by pursuing projects that provide multiple benefits for drinking water, agriculture and recreation, and can leverage state and federal funds with the resources and technical expertise of nonprofits. The 2018 Farm Bill targeted funds in existing programs toward source water protection and drove these types of partnerships. In this webinar USDA Natural Resource Conservation Services’ (NRCS) deputy chief for programs gave an overview of available conservation funds and the critical role partnerships play in accessing the funds. Speakers from Illinois and Kansas discussed their NRCS-funded source water protection projects, how they benefit drinking water, agriculture and recreation, the partnerships that made the projects possible, and how governors’ offices can help build partnerships and support applications.

Overview of USDA NRCS Conservation Programs and Source Water Protection Funding Opportunities

  • Jimmy Bramblett, Deputy Chief for Programs, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

State Partnership Case Study: Springfield, Illinois

  • Ted Meckes, Water Division Manager, Springfield, IL City Water, Light and Power
  • Ivan Dozier, Illinois State Conservationist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

State Partnership Case Study: Kansas

  • Matt Unruh, Chief of Policy and Communications, Kansas Water Office