Valley Water—the Santa Clara Valley Water District—is accepting applications for fiscal year 2020 grants.
The district will be awarding $2.1 million for projects that can help conserve water, prevent pollution or restore wildlife habitats in Santa Clara County.
These funds for 2020 projects are designed to help institutions, public agencies and nonprofits advance environmental projects under the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.
The Safe, Clean Water program is a 15-year strategy that allows Valley Water to address five community priorities while delivering water resources. It is funded through a 2012 ballot measure approved by the voters of Santa Clara County.
The district’s new grants management system, FLUXX, can be accessed online at valleywater.fluxx.io. This online system enables grand applicants to track the progress of each application and, if successful, to upload invoices and reports.
Beginning with the 2020 grant cycle, Valley Water also will be offering bonus points to organizations that demonstrate financial stability and a commitment to environmental justice. Additionally, to ensure a more diverse applicant pool, bonus points will also be given to organizations that have not received a standard Valley Water grant in the past.
Here are the types of grants:
Water Conservation Research Grant
This grant encourages organizations to undertake research projects for new and innovative water conservation programs and technologies. The primary goal is to identify water savings and device strategies. This grant has a minimum award of $5,000 and a maximum of $50,000.
In 2016, Veloctron received $30,000 to test a residential and commercial water-saving faucet in Palo Alto, which saved an average of 3,846 gallons of water per year, per person.
Pollution Prevention Partnerships and Grants
The Pollution Prevention Partnerships and Grants award is for projects that help reduce contaminants in surface or groundwater and toxins in local waterways. The minimum grant in this category is $25,000 with a maximum of $200,000.
Valley Water awarded Grassroots Ecology $93,617 for a Greening Urban Watersheds Project, which aims to design and install rain barrels, cisterns, and bioretention/rain garden projects throughout Palo Alto.
Wildlife Restoration Grants
These wildlife grants aim to foster projects that create or enhance wetland, riparian and tidal marsh habitats. Funds are available for initiatives that protect special status species and remove fish migration barriers. Projects selected can also focus on replacing non-native, invasive plant species with native plants. Selected projects will be awarded a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $500,000.
The San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum was awarded $142,271 to eliminate grass and put in native plants in its outdoor space.
The Mini-Grants Program aims to provide seed funding to encourage broader and long-term community engagement in wildlife habitat restoration or watershed stewardship activities in Santa Clara County. Mini-grant funding is designed to support small scale projects or help kick start larger-scale projects. Mini-grant awards are capped at $5,000.
Valley Water awarded $5,000 to Bay Area Older Adults to encourage volunteers to remove invasive plants from watersheds. The organization also lead walks to educate and engage participants about flood protection.