The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its Funding Integration Tool for Source Water (FITS), which is a one-stop-shop tool that explains how users can integrate various federal funding sources to support activities that protect sources of drinking water.
The tool provides synopses on various federal funding programs, planning and funding considerations for each component of a source water protection program, and examples from states on how funding sources have been leveraged in the past.
The tool integrates 11 funding sources/programs, eight from the EPA (e.g., Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, Clean Water State Revolving Fund, Clean Water Act Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program), and the remainder from other federal agencies (the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service and U.S. Forest Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency).
The funding programs described within this tool, while not developed for source water protection, may support activities that protect sources of drinking water, within their appropriated uses. For example, although Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Funds are not appropriated specifically for the source water program, LUST Trust Fund program activities protect sources of drinking water. Individual programs are responsible for final funding decisions.
The tool is divided into three sections.
- “Funding Sources for Activities that Protect Sources of Drinking Water” provides the following information for various federal funding programs — overview; uses; eligibility; considerations for small and disadvantaged communities (as applicable); annual funding information; funding structure; limitations of funding; and program website and links to relevant guidance documents.
- “Planning and Funding Coordination” covers the steps or components of a source water program. For each step, the tool lays out general information, the potential funding sources that may support it, and recommendations for long-term planning and program collaboration. This section identifies planning considerations for future steps of a source water protection program along with tips for users to maximize eligibility for federal funding.
- “Examples” show funding sources in action.