Missouri

Program Year: Three

Client: Missouri Department of Natural Resources

State-identified Need: Strategically use and streamline existing funding programs to improve source water protection planning and implementation.

Project Summary: This project focuses on recommendations for increasing local engagement by making existing state grant funds more robust and more readily available to local watershed partners. The national team first investigated ways to increase uniformity between planning requirements for different grant programs so that applicants can satisfy requirements for multiple funding sources (Source Water Protection Plans and Watershed Management Planning grants) with just one plan (read the draft outline for how the program requirements could be combined). Then they investigated possible changes to the funds themselves, and presented ideas for how to increase funding by tapping other programs, such as the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, Supplemental Environmental Projects, and the Soil and Water Conservation Cost Share Program. Read the Final Missouri Report.

Methodology: The team members looked to best practices from other states, consulted with Missouri Department of Natural Resources staff, and interviewed several people outside of the government who are involved in watershed protection activities. Conversations with local watershed partners revealed their perspectives on the availability of state funding sources. In early 2012, the national team presented draft recommendations to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources management team and invited staff to discuss opportunities for and barriers to implementation.

Recommendations:

  • Create a “Water Resource Protection Fund” linked to Our Missouri Waters that helps local entities, both nonprofit and governmental, to better access financial resources to protect water quality from future degradation.
  • Increase the potential that plans created under the Missouri Source Water Protection Planning Guidelines will qualify for nonpoint source funding from section 319 of the Clean Water Act. Learn More>>
  • Refine source water protection planning and implementation grants and/or loans under the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
  • Expand the use of Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund to protect watersheds through land conservation.
  • Encourage the use of Supplemental Environmental Projects stemming from enforcement actions to support watershed protection activities. Learn more >>
  • Target portions of the Soil and Water Conservation Cost Share Program toward preventing water quality degradation.

Work Underway: The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is moving towards implementing its projects on a watershed basis. This entails synchronizing TMDLs, permits, monitoring, modeling, planning, and funding for implementation across a watershed. The current pilot projects in three watersheds, called Our Missouri Waters, will provide an excellent testing ground for many of the recommendations listed above.

Download the Final Missouri Report.