Category Archives: Water and Economics

Items related to government budgets, grants, user fees, costs, and other aspects of paying for water supplies, water quality, or aquatic habitats.

Lower Chickahominy River Watershed is Subject of Va. Coastal Zone Management Program Request for Proposals Due August 1, 2017

The Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program is seeking proposals from Virginia’s public academic institutions to conduct an analysis of costs and benefits of land conservation and natural resource protection in the lower Chickahominy River watershed.

For a detailed request for proposals document, contact Beth Polak, Coastal Planner, Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, phone (804) 698-4260, e-mail:

Proposals are due by August 1, 2017.

Funding for the requested proposals is through Section 309 of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act.  Background on the Federal Section 309 Program is available online (as a PDF) at

Virginia Environmental Endowment Grants; Proposals Due June 15, 2017

June 15, 2017, is the next deadline for grant proposals to the Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE).  Information about the VEE grant process is available online at  VEE’s Virginia grant program accepts proposals twice a year (deadlines of June 15 and December 1) from nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organizations and institutions and governmental agencies for grants for specific projects that promise measurable results to improve the environment.  In the Virginia program, grant priorities are water quality, the Chesapeake Bay, land conservation and use, environmental education and awareness, and other emerging issues.

VEE also has a grant program for the Kanawha and Ohio River valleys of Kentucky and West Virginia, intended to support research, education, and community action on water quality and its connections to public health and the environment.  That program, which accepts proposals only once per year, also has a June 15 deadline.

Details on project requirements and the submission process are online at

Located in Richmond, VEE was started in 1977 with $8 million of the $13.2 million assessed on Allied Chemical Corporation for pollution of the James River with the pesticide Kepone from the company’s Hopewell, Va., plant.  The organization’s main Web site is

Some of the information for this post was provided by the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC).  More information about the VWMC is available online at; or contact Jane Walker at the or (540) 231-4159.

Virginia Environmental Endowment Awards of $277,000 for 14 Projects Announced May 9, 2017

On May 9, 2017, the Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE) announced grants of $277,000 to 14 organizations for projects related to water quality, land conservation, or environmental education.

Located in Richmond, the VEE was started in 1977 with $8 million of the $13.2 million assessed on Allied Chemical Corporation for pollution of the James River with the pesticide Kepone from the company’s Hopewell, Va., plant.  According to the organization’s Web site (,  “[t]he mission of the Virginia Environmental Endowment is to improve the quality of the environment by using its capital, expertise and resources to encourage all sectors to work together to prevent pollution, conserve natural resources, and promote environmental literacy.  Although accorded a national scope by its charter, the Endowment currently limits awards to eligible nonprofit organizations for programs conducted in the state of Virginia and in the Kanawha and Ohio River Valleys of Kentucky and West Virginia.”

The VEE’s press release on the awards is available online at  Following are the recently announced awards and recipients, according to the press release.

Charlottesville and Central Virginia
*Rivanna Conservation Alliance, $25,000 to “expand citizen water quality monitoring expertise and sites on the Rivanna and its tributaries.”
*Southern Environmental Law Center, $35,000 to “support core programs in land use and transportation solutions that promote sustainable development and conservation statewide and defend regulations and programs that aim to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.”

Coastal Region/ Chesapeake Bay
*William & Mary Law School, Virginia Coastal Policy Center, $35,000 for “legal and policy research to assist local communities with resilience planning due to sea level rise, groundwater depletion, and recurrent flooding, and support for the Center’s annual conference.”
*Virginia Institute of Marine Science/Virginia Sea Grant, $10,000 per year for two years to “establish the Commonwealth Coastal and Marine Policy Fellowship program, which will provide one-year opportunities for recent post-graduate students to serve within host state natural resources agencies.”

 Richmond/James River Basin
James River Association, $30,000 to “produce an enhanced State of the James report, to provide a more comprehensive overview of the health of the James River in the fall of 2017.”
*VIRGINIAforever, $12,500 to “conduct an updated study regarding how natural resources funding in Virginia’s state budget compares to other states.”
*Virginia United Land Trusts, $20,000 to “strengthen Virginia’s land conservation community by enhancing the statewide umbrella organization’s support of the state’s local land trusts, including efforts to sustain long-term conservation funding and stable tax credits.”
*Virginia Association of Soil and Water Districts, $8000 for “continued support and expansion of the Youth Conservation Leadership Institute to mentor high school students who have shown an increased interest in conservation and serving their communities.”

Northern Virginia/Piedmont
Friends of the Rappahannock, $15,000 to “support the Headwaters Stream Initiative to expand the organization’s work throughout the Rappahannock watershed, [supporting] trout restoration projects and work with property owners in six headwater counties to restore riparian buffers along streams and rivers.
*Piedmont Environmental Council, $16,000, to “advance a targeted land and water quality initiative seeking to improve the Goose Creek watershed in Loudoun and Fauquier counties….”

 Shenandoah Valley
Shenandoah National Park Trust on behalf of Blue Ridge PRISM, $15,000 Challenge Grant to “support…an innovative education program aimed at increasing landowner awareness about the damage caused by non-native plants and encouraging replacement with native species in a 10-county region.”

Southern and Southwest Virginia
Black Family Land Trust, $15,000 Challenge Grant to “support the Virginia Sustainable Forestry and African-American Land Retention Program to retain African-American owned forestland in the seven counties…(Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, and Sussex).
*Upper Tennessee River Roundtable, $6000 to “advance projects to improve water quality, and to provide educational resources in the Clinch River watershed in Tazewell County in southwest Virginia.”
*Land Trust Alliance, $25,000 to “continue and expand upon work of a ‘circuit rider’ professional land trust coach to strengthen land trusts in southern Virginia, and, in addition, provide training and support for land trusts in the Shenandoah, Upper Potomac, Rappahannock, Rapidan watersheds and Eastern Shore about how to effectively support Chesapeake Bay land and water quality improvement goals.”


Virginia Water Quality Improvement Fund Stabilization is Focus of Stakeholder Advisory Group Convening May 17, 2017

May 17, 2017, is the date of the first meeting of the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board’s Water Quality Improvement Fund Stabilization Stakeholder Advisory Group.  The meeting will start at 9:30 a.m., at the State Capitol, Senate Room 3, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.

The Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting is online at  According to that notice, “Item 364 of the [Virginia General Assembly’s] 2017 Appropriations Act requires the Department of Conservation and Recreation [DCR] to establish a stakeholder group to make recommendations on [the following]: (i) increasing the portion of any deposit to the WQIF reserve; (ii) limiting the portion of WQIF reserve that may be utilized; (iii) evaluating combined revenues available from the WQIF and the Natural Resources Commitment Fund in a given fiscal year; (iv) distributing funds to be deposited across a biennial period; and (v) considering the impacts on the staffing and technical assistance needs of the Soil and Water Conservation Districts.”

Virginia Code information on the Water Quality Improvement Act (which created the WQIF) is available online at, and information on the Natural Resources Commitment Fund is online at

For more information about the advisory group, contact Christine Watlington, DCR Senior Policy and Planning Analyst, 600 East Main Street, 24th Floor, Richmond, 23219; phone (804)786-3319; e-mail:


On Virginia Water Radio for 5-1-17: SERCAP’s Past and Present of Paying Attention to Rural Water and Wastewater Needs

Virginia Water Radio’s latest episode, for the week of May 1, 2017, is “SERCAP Continues a Rural Water and Wastewater Focus That Began in 1969.”  The 4 min./51 sec. episode, available online at, introduces the Roanoke-based organization whose work since 1969 in rural water, wastewater, and community development has been a model for similar organizations nationwide.

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is  Have a listen or two!

Virginia Clean Water Financing Programs under the Va. Dept. of Environmental Quality, as of March 2017

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), on behalf of the State Water Control Board and with financial management by the Virginia Resources Authority, operates several water-quality financing programs under the collective term of the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund (VCWRLF).

Previously known as the Virginia Revolving Loan Fund, the VCWRLF began in 1987 with a focus only on low-interest loans to localities for wastwater system infrastructure improvements.  As of March 2017, the VCWRLF includes not only the Wastewater Loan Program but also the the Brownfield Loan Program, the Land Conservation Loan Program, the Stormwater Loan Program, the Living Shorelines Program, and the Water Quality Improvement Fund, and the Agricultural Best Management Practices Program (suspended indefinitely).

Information about these programs is available online at; or by contacting Walter A. Gills, Program Manager, Department of Environmental Quality, Clean Water Financing & Assistance Program, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA  23218; phone (804) 698-4133; e-mail:

More information about the Virginia Resources Authority is available online at

“Water is Life” is the Theme of the Annual SERCAP Meeting and the Focus of the Organization’s Mission

April 19, 2017, was the date for the annual “Water is Life! Luncheon and Conference” held by the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc., or SERCAP, located in Roanoke, Va.

The 2017 event marked the 48th anniversary of SERCAP, whose mission is to help provide safe and adequate water and wastewater, community development, environmental health, and economic self-sufficiency to rural citizens in seven southeastern states: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.  SERCAP is one of six rural community assistance projects in the United States.

More information about SERCAP and the annual luncheon/conference—at the Sheraton Roanoke Hotel and Conference Center—is available online at, or contact SERCAP at 347 Campbell Avenue, Roanoke, VA 24016; phone (540) 345-1184.

Water for Tomorrow photo
“Water for Tomorrow,” an influential 1988 report on water and wastewater needs by locality in Virginia, was published by the Virginia Water Project, the predecessor to SERCAP.