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The AWPF Official Website Protecting Arizona's River and Riparian Resources
Arizona Water Protection Fund AWPF's Official Web Site
 
Protecting Arizona's River and Riparian Resources
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Common Questions (FAQs)


1. What is the Water Protection Fund?

The Arizona Water Protection Fund is a competitive State grant program that provides an annual source of funding for the development and implementation of measures that will restore, maintain and enhance river and riparian resources throughout Arizona, including projects that benefit fish and wildlife that are dependent on these important resources.

2. What is riparian habitat?

Riparian habitat is defined as an ecosystem found between aquatic and upland environments that is dependent on the existence of a perennial, intermittent, or ephemeral water source. Soil and vegetation in riparian areas have distinct characteristics that make them different from surrounding areas.

Riparian habitats are vital resource areas that:

  • Improve water quantity by storing water in streambanks, which is slowly released to help maintain base flows.
  • Improve water quality by trapping sediments from surface water runoff, providing nutrient cycling and increasing streambank stabilization.
  • Provide flood control by slowing and absorbing flood waters, resulting in reduced flood damage and increased groundwater storage.
  • Provide highly valued recreational opportunities such as fishing, camping, hiking, wildlife viewing and picnicking.
  • Sustain high biodiversity of plant and animal species.
  • Provide important wildlife habitat such as food, shelter, relief and travel corridors.
  • Help stabilize water temperatures for aquatic species.
  • Provide economic benefits by increasing property values, improving water supplies, reducing flood damage, filtering pollutants and supporting recreational activities.

3. How much funding is available?

The available funding varies each year depending on the amount of in-lieu fees collected by Central Arizona Project pursuant to A.R.S 48-3715.05.

4. What types of projects does the Commission Fund?

The Arizona Water Protection Fund typically awards grants under three categories:

a) Capital Projects:

Projects under this category include on-the-ground measures that directly maintain, enhance and restore Arizona’s river and riparian resources, including projects that benefit fish and wildlife that are dependent on these important resources. Feasibility of design studies are considered capital projects, but are only eligible if the applicant 1) requests funding to investigate the feasibility of implementing a specific capital project that is being proposed, 2) develops a detailed implementation plan and budget for the proposed project as part of the feasibility study, and 3) has control and tenure over the proposed project area and the authority to implement the proposed project should it be deemed feasible. Acquisition of Central Arizona Project water or effluent to restore and maintain river and riparian resources may also be considered a capital project.

b) Research and Data Collection:

Projects under this category include research and data collection measures that are directly related to maintaining, enhancing and restoring Arizona’s river and riparian resources, including fish and wildlife that are dependent on these important resources. Total funding that can be awarded is limited to 5% of monies received by AWPF each fiscal year.

c) Water Conservation:

Projects under this category include measures that develop, promote or implement programs designed to conserve water for a purpose directly related to maintaining, enhancing and restoring Arizona’s river and riparian resources, including fish and wildlife that are dependent on these important resources. Projects under this category must be located outside of all Active Management Areas. Total funding that can be awarded is limited to 5% of monies awarded by AWPF each fiscal year.

5. What is the source of funding for the program?

The primary source of funding is from an in-lieu fee tax that is collected by the Central Arizona Project for each acre-foot of water sold outside of its tri-county service area. The other potential source of funding is from private gifts, grants or donations.

6. Who is eligible to receive grant funds?

Any person, organization, local, state, federal or tribal, agency/entity, or political subdivision of Arizona may submit an application.

7. How often does the Commission approve projects?

The Commission awards grants once per year. Grant applications are typically due in June and awards are made in October.

8. Is there a match requirement?

There is no match requirement; however projects that include matching funds receive higher consideration.

9. Is there a limit to the amount of funding that can be requested?

No

10. How are applications evaluated or prioritized?

Staff will use the criteria listed below to organize their technical reviews and evaluate applications submitted for consideration.  Applications that meet many to all of the criteria will rate higher than those meeting few to none of the criteria.  Please note that the evaluation criteria for capital and water conservation projects are different than those used for research projects.

Evaluation Criteria for Capital and Water Conservation Projects

  1. Project Will Enhance, Maintain and/or Restore River, Stream and Riparian Resources
  1. Project Will Benefit Fish and Wildlife Resources Dependent on River, Stream and Riparian Resources
  1. Feasibility
  • Objectives clearly identified and demonstrate benefits to river, stream and riparian resources / dependent fish and wildlife resources
  • Methodologies and designs clearly presented, appropriate and adequate
  • Clarity and adequacy of the scope of work and deliverables
  • Cost/Benefit compared to similar applications submitted
  • Expertise of applicant/personnel/subcontractors appropriate
  • Description of the relationship between any existing plans, reports and/or information relevant to the proposed project
  1. Monitoring
  • Objectives clearly identified
  • Methods clearly presented, appropriate and adequate to evaluate benefits to rivers, streams and riparian resources and/or dependent fish and wildlife resources
  1. Other Considerations
  • Broad-based public involvement and support
  • Matching funds (although a consideration, are not required)
  • Public outreach
  • Project will support local businesses
  • If the applicant is proposing to use out of state consultants, there is adequate justification for their use and associated travel costs

 

Evaluation Criteria for Research Applications

  1. Research is applicable to river and riparian restoration and or fish and wildlife that are dependent on river and riparian resources
  1. Application demonstrates use of the Scientific Method
  • Background research includes data collection, analysis and synthesis
    • Data collection will build on existing data, or generate new data
    • Quality literature review provided
  • Hypothesis or hypotheses are clearly articulated
  • Research/experimental design is clearly presented, appropriate and adequate to:
    • Test hypothesis or hypotheses
    • Analyze data and draw conclusions
    • Report results
  1. Feasibility
  • Clarity and adequacy of the scope of work and deliverables
  • Cost of research reflects potential benefits of outcomes
  • Expertise of applicant/personnel/subcontractors appropriate
  • Description of the relationship between any existing plans, reports and/or information relevant to the proposed project (required)
  1. Research results may be transferable
  1. Proposal includes some form of publication as a deliverable (e.g. intent to publish results in a professional journal, article in a watershed newsletter, other written media) and a commitment to some form of public presentation(s) (e.g. AWPF Commission meeting, watershed group meeting, professional conference, or other peer group)
  1. Other Considerations
  • Broad-based public involvement and/or support
  • Matching funds (although a consideration, are not required)
  • Project will support local businesses
  • If the applicant is proposing to use out of state consultants, there is adequate justification for their use and associated travel costs

11. How are grant payments disbursed?

Payments are made on a cost reimbursement basis. Appropriate documentation (e.g., receipts, invoices, reports, data, photographs) will be required in order to receive reimbursement.

 

If you are interested in obtaining more information on this program, or would like to be added to the programs e-mail list, please contact the Arizona Water Protection Fund Office at (602) 771-8528. If you wish to send any correspondence to the Commission, mail it to the following address: 

Arizona Department of Water Resources
Arizona Water Protection Fund Commission
3550 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85012