Blog  /  April 2017  /  First Quarter Funding Opportunities Open New Doors for Subscribers

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Grants and financing primarily covers the United States including its territories, but can include funding from across the globe. Dominantly grants and financing are characterized by government authorities as the main source of funding with a good portion of funding originating from the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. These funds and other financing opportunities are available for public entities, private businesses, nonprofits, and various other organizations on our company’s online marketplace. Water quality issues are addressed the most because of concerns over drinking water, the hydrological cycle, and the role of water bodies within and adjacent to natural landscapes. Of the remaining opportunities posted, funding is linked to areas such as technology, innovations, angel investors, and small businesses.

While small businesses, technology, and other funding opportunities available on our company’s online marketplace are posted mostly within the United States and its territories there are international opportunities to finance projects as well. In particular, organizations such as the European Commission provide relevant funding on water issues related to infrastructure, quality, and supplies among other areas. Additionally there are federal agencies, such as the Natural Environmental Research Council based in the United Kingdom, that issue proposals to partner with other countries, such as India, thereby linking shared objectives to address water quality problems via technological, research-oriented, and other solutions.

Water quality issues are the most prevalent, but small business opportunities, brownfields, watershed restoration, and climate change preparedness have become more critical. First, small businesses continue to alter the landscape by impacting innovations and technology, marketing goods and services, and producing economic development that may lead to environmental benefits. One such benefit is the revitalization of brownfields designated properties with a progression of property assessment, clean up and remediation, and reuse. The last part in particular produces net environmental benefits such as limiting groundwater contamination. This in turn helps with massive efforts to restore watersheds, and how communities can manage their watersheds to mitigate climatic events such as storm surge and sea-level rise.

An example of watershed restoration efforts is a Department of Agriculture cooperative agreement opportunity recently issued with a little over $252 million in total funds for projects tailored towards drought, water degradation, and climate change. The Department of the Interior, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and state agencies have also produced funding for water concerns such as supply availability and infrastructure. The Department of the Interior issued a call for proposals in February 2017 with a total funding of $3 million for water marketing strategies to support the sustainability of supplies and prevent water use conflicts in the American West and U.S. territories. Typically the Department of Housing and Urban Development supplies funding to the states, such as Massachusetts, to provide affordable housing and associated water infrastructure under the Community Block Development Grant program.

The Community Block Development Grant program is a prominent source of funding at the federal level that filters down to the states and local areas such as counties. Theses sub-national government levels and other fund seekers such as nonprofits and small businesses look to other sources of funding such as foundations and banks for assistance. Foundations are heavily important for nonprofits because grants issued may be the only source of funding received for water conservation, habitat restoration, water quality, and other projects. Nonprofits also look to banks as lenders to help enable small businesses to grow by obtaining loans to purchase equipment, acquire working capital, and for other business needs.

Regardless of the funding sources, water quality is the most salient issue in respect to grants and financing as restoration, conservation, and best management practices are put forward to limit or eliminate pollution. Innovations and technology drive these funding areas for small businesses and academic institutions that represent the engines of change. Small business assistance continues to represent a good amount of funding as entrepreneurs work to improve water quality. Partnerships between federal agencies and universities provide prizes and funding for next-gen innovations that present interesting solutions for both water access and quality issues. These water issues are not restricted to the United States alone and there are other sources of funding such as foundations and banks that may provide novel solutions. However, as water problems evolve due to situational conditions and the entities involved, the importance of making funding available is paramount.