How to Incorporate Fundable Elements Into Your Project

How to Incorporate Fundable Elements Into Your Project

What makes a project stand out in a sea of grant applications? The incorporation of fundable
elements. The more of these features your project has, the better its chances of securing
funding. If you are able to incorporate these elements early on in the design and construction
process, your project will have more long-term success.

Here are a few fundable elements to consider incorporating:

Highlight what you’re already doing. Capital infrastructure projects can create jobs, both short-
term and long-term. Furthermore, capital projects are often part of larger development and
revitalization efforts. Think about how your project contributes to economic stimulus and/or
serving the underserved communities in your area and then highlight those contributions in your

Funders are interested in supporting projects that have the support and participation of the
community. Formalize existing connections by asking for a letter of support, letter of
commitment or memorandum of understanding. Also make an effort to make new, strategic
connections with those who may be positively impacted by your project. The more connections
and support your project has, the more fundable it will be.

Incorporating best industry practices in your capital infrastructure project also helps its chances
of funding. Emerging or green technologies incorporated early on in the design and construction
phases of your project shows funding agencies that you are innovative. This also opens the
door to a partnership with a research institution, power company, or environmental group, thus
boosting your project’s fundability.

As you can see, there’s many ways to include fundable elements into your project and grant
application. The incorporation of these doesn’t have to involve dramatic changes either. Take a
look at the details of your project and see what sorts of fundable elements you can include in
the design. Learn more about Dig Deep so you can be among the first to know when grant
opportunities open up.

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA): The Largest-Ever Investment in the Nation’s Water Infrastructure

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA): The Largest-Ever Investment in the Nation’s Water Infrastructure

There’s a lot to parse about the dollars that are going to flow to communities nationwide from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Some funds will be made available via competitive grant programs.

If you’re looking for water infrastructure funding, focus on these top four options:

  • Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Program (BRIC)
    The existing FEMA BRIC program will distribute $1 billion to support communities undertaking hazard mitigation projects to reduce the risks they face from disasters and other natural hazards. Communities will apply as sub-applicants under their states. Applications for FY22 are expected to open no later than September 30, 2022.
  • Flood Mitigation Assistance
    $3.5 billion from this existing FEMA program can be used for projects that reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program. Communities will apply as sub-applicants under their states. Applications for FY22 are expected to open no later than September 30, 2022.
  • Water & Groundwater Storage and Conveyance
    This existing $1 billion program at the Department of Interior provides funding for water storage projects with capacity between 2,000 and 30,000 acre-feet – as well as projects that convey water to or from surface water or groundwater storage. The Department will hold its final stakeholder sessions this month and open applications later this spring.
  • Emergency Watershed Protection Program
    This existing Department of Agriculture program will provide $300 million in technical and financial assistance to project sponsors for the design and construction of measures to help repair damages from a recent disaster. Applications open in February.

Also, keep these other three grants on your radar. If your water project includes a renewable energy component, for example, you may be able to fund that part of your project using one of these grants:

  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants
    This Department of Energy block grant program will provide $550 million to states, local governments, and tribes for projects that reduce energy use, increase energy efficiency, and cut pollution. The first funding opportunity is expected for release in the Fall of 2022.
  • Energy Improvement in Rural or Remote Areas
    This new Department of Energy program will provide $1 billion to entities in rural or remote areas to increase environmental protection from the impacts of energy use and improve resilience, reliability, safety, and availability of energy. For this program, rural/remote is defined as cities, towns, or unincorporated areas with fewer than 10,000 people. Applications for funding are expected to be open in Fall 2022.
  • Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program
    This new $1 billion program at the Department of Agriculture will provide grants to communities at risk from wildfire to develop or revise their community wildfire protection plans and carry out projects described within those plans. It will include a mix of formula and competitive funds. Applications are expected to open early in 2023.

As you can see, there’s a lot happening. The agencies are scrambling to open and announce grant opportunities as quickly as they can. Keep in touch with Dig Deep so you can be among the first to know when grant opportunities open up.

Don’t Miss Out on Opportunities of Over $1B in Water Funding

Don’t Miss Out on Opportunities of Over $1B in Water Funding

The Department of the Interior recently announced new funding opportunities to help Western communities create or expand clean, new water sources, including $1 billion over five years for water desalinization, reclamation, and reuse projects.

With the right funding, creative, innovative solutions can be devised to safeguard healthy, dependable, affordable drinking water sources over the long term.

“Drought, climate change, and less reliable water resources year-after-year give rise to the need to continue to develop new and innovative solutions to address the challenges we face,” said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo in the announcement.

Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton stated, “Water reuse and desalination are important tools to building resiliency throughout the West, and these funding opportunities support water providers in developing new and clean sources of water to improve their water supply reliability for their communities.” Part of the WaterSMART program, these opportunities will bring resources to states, tribes, and local entities as they formulate and carry out plans to increase water supply.

New Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) are being released on an ongoing basis. If you’re looking to take advantage of this or other opportunities on the horizon to find a lasting solution to your drinking water challenges, contact us today!

A Clear Grant Strategy Helps Secure More Funding

A Clear Grant Strategy Helps Secure More Funding

When Tim Gross became Director of Public Works and City Engineer for Newport, Oregon, it didn’t take long to realize that the city’s capital improvement plan far outpaced the size of the budget.

Critical improvements were needed. Road and storm drainage systems needed repairs or updates. A lot of infrastructure needed upgrades to meet current seismic standards. This included a dangerous dam, estimated to cost $80 million to fix.

Government grants seemed a likely source to supplement the City’s capital improvement funds. But navigating the complex world of federal grant-seeking while also meeting the constant demands of his full-time job was challenging. Newport needed a solid strategy that would use staff time efficiently and help them secure the right funding. So, they partnered with Dig Deep Research—the water grant experts.

Dig Deep’s solutions enable local governments to leverage external funds for their water infrastructure systems. For Newport, step one was to develop a long-term, comprehensive funding strategy for its capital improvement projects.

The key is not to think about where you are today, but rather, where you need to be three, five, or even 10 years down the road.

Dig Deep helped the City of Newport understand which projects were most “fundable” and which funding programs were worth pursuing. The Dig Deep approach steers clients toward the most likely funding opportunities, reducing effort and increasing the odds of securing the funds.

To date, Newport has secured more than $27 million in low-interest loans and $17.6 million in grants for its capital improvements. Successes include:
  • a $1.5 million grant to fund 100% of the costs to seismically retrofit the Newport Fire Station
  • saving $2.2 million in interest by tapping into a special public financing package and rolling six projects into one loan at 1% interest
  • $1.15 million in government planning grants and $14 million in state funding toward that large dam project

With Dig Deep’s expert approach, Newport now has a sustainable funding plan in place for replacing and repairing the city’s aging infrastructure. “Pairing fundable projects with public and private capital funding allows the city to stretch its investments,” explained Gross.

“In some instances, we don’t have any out-of-pocket funds because we’re able to use one grant to provide the match for the next. That’s part of the strategic planning process, understanding how all those pieces fit together.” Although Gross recently left the City after a decade in his role, he is still a strong advocate for the Dig Deep approach and frequently offers his engineering expertise to Dig Deep clients.

About Dig Deep

Dig Deep Research helps communities find the best funding solutions for drinking water, storm water, and wastewater projects. From research to writing to strategic grants planning, our water grant experts provide solutions that enable local governments to secure external funding for their water infrastructure systems. If you have a water infrastructure project and are struggling to navigate the complex world of government water grants, contact us. Our water grants experts can help you save time and secure the funding you need.