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Craig Godbout
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Water Supply Reserve Account Grant Frequently Asked Questions



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How/When to Apply for a WSRA GrantUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
How and when do I apply?
The Criteria and Guidelines provide details on how to apply. In general the application process involves two major steps. First, the applicant must have the proposed activity reviewed and approved by the Basin Roundtable in which the activity will occur. Second, a completed application must be submitted to the Colorado Water Conservation Board by the first of the month the month prior to the Board Meeting (ie. June 1st for the July meeting).Each Basin Roundtable has their own timelines and procedures for receiving and reviewing application. For information regarding Roundtable meetings, visit the Interbasin Compact Committee.
Water Supply Planning
Projects Funded by the WSRAUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
What types of projects can be funded from the Account?
The Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Interbasin Compact Committee have developed Criteria and Guidelines describing the use of the Account and the process for applying for funds. The legislation and Criteria and Guidelines use the term “water activity” to describe the types of projects and activities that are eligible for funding. Eligible water activities include: water studies and structural water projects (i.e., pipelines, reservoirs, ditches etc.) as well as non-consumptive projects such as environmental and recreation studies or projects. Please see the Criteria and Guidelines for more detailed information.
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Receiving WSRA Funds - HowUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
How do I receive money?
The program is operated to ensure full disclosure and documentation of the use of the funds. The means you must have a detailed cost estimate and scope of work. The cost estimate must include were applicable: unit costs, types and quantities of materials, labor rates and man hours, details on any direct or indirect costs, source and documentation of any matching or in-kind contribution (if provided not required). Once the application is approved by both the Basin Roundtable and Colorado Water Conservation Board the applicant will enter into a contract or purchase order with the State.
 
Monies will only be disbursed based on actual costs and detailed invoicing to the Colorado Water Conservation Board as described in the Criteria and Guidelines. Monies can not be forward funded and you can not be reimbursed for costs that you may have incurred prior to entering into a valid contract or purchase order
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Receiving WSRA Funds - WhoUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Who can receive money?
The program has very few restrictions on who can receive money. The applicant must be willing to address any legal and income tax implications as well as being willing to enter into a contract with the State of Colorado. Eligible entities that may apply for grants or loans from the Account include:

  • Public (Government) - municipalities, enterprises, counties, state and federal government
  • Public (Districts) - special, water and sanitation, conservancy, conservations, irrigation, water activity enterprises
  • Private Incorporated - mutual ditch companies, homeowners associations, non-profit corporations
  • Private (Unincorporated) - individuals, partnerships, sole proprietors
  • Non-governmental organizations - are broadly defined as any organization that is not part of the government. These organizations are typically non-profit but they also include for-profit corporations.
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Restrictions on WSRA FundsUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Are there other restrictions that I should be aware of?
Some entities (state and local governments) are subject to the “Tax Payer’s Bill of Rights” which is also known as Tabor. This law was enacted in 1992 and it limits both the debt AND revenue that a state or local government can incur or receive. Water conservation and conservancy districts, special districts, municipal and county governments are all likely to be subject to Tabor. Irrigation districts that primarily serve the private interests of its member may not be subject to Tabor. However, since Tabor is a complicated law and each entity is unique, it is the responsibility of the individual entity to ensure that they are in compliance with Tabor. There are many complexities and questions to comply with Tabor and it is advised that you work with your attorney and accountants to address Tabor.
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Water Supply Reserve Account DefinedUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
What is the Water Supply Reserve Account? I have heard about Senate Bill 179, are these related?
Senate Bill 06-179 was passed by the 2006 legislature and this bill created the Water Supply Reserve Account. The Account is administered by the Colorado Water Conservation Board and monies from the Account can be allocated by grant or loan to fund water activities.
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WSRA Program AdministrationUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Who else is involved in the program and what roles do they play?
The Basin Roundtables, Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) and Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC) all participate in different ways. A summary of their primary responsibilities is provided below. 
 
Role of the Basin Roundtables (BRT): The term Basin Roundtable shall mean those roundtables established pursuant to Section 37-75-104 C.R.S.

  • Implement outreach and public education regarding the existence and use of the Account.
  • Approve water activities that are to be recommended to CWCB for funding. The approving BRT shall be the roundtable for the basin in which the proposed water diversion or nonstructural activity would occur.
  • Provide input and comment to the CWCB and IBCC for the annual review of these criteria and guidelines.
Role of the CWCB:

  • Jointly (with the IBCC) develop criteria and guidelines for allocating funds from the Account.
  • Annually review information regarding the Account.
  • In October of each year jointly (with the IBCC) consider and make any necessary revisions to these criteria and guidelines.
  • Implement outreach and public education regarding the existence and use of the Account. The CWCB in conjunction with the IBCC and BRTs will work to ensure a high level of awareness of the existence of the Account and the process to apply for funds. This effort will include but is not limited to: notice and discussion at roundtable meetings; inclusion of relevant information on the CWCB website; press releases; promotion at workshops; public meetings, and conferences.
  • Ensure that the Account is managed consistent with state statutes, applicable state fiscal rules, and the IBCC and CWCB jointly developed criteria and guidelines.
  • Review applications and allocate monies from the Account based on recommendations from the BRTs in accordance with the IBCC and CWCB jointly developed criteria and guidelines.
  • Enter into contracts with the selected entities and ensure that the water activity identified in the application and work plan is implemented within the time and budget identified in the application.
  • Ensure that sound fiscal, fiduciary and accounting practices are implemented. CWCB staff will handle the day-to-day administration of the Account. This effort includes but is not limited to: notification to successful and unsuccessful applicants; review of requests for payment, disbursement and tracking of payments, tracking project progress, ensure proper documentation of completed project/water activity; and preparation of an annual report of activities and expenditure from the Account.
Role of the Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC):

  • Jointly (with the CWCB) develop criteria and guidelines for allocating funds from the Account.
  • Annually review information regarding the Account.
  • In October of each year jointly (with the CWCB) consider and make any necessary revisions to these criteria and guidelines.
  • Work with Basin Roundtables (BRT) to develop local roundtable criteria and guidelines for approving and recommending water activities that, following recommendations by the respective BRTs, will be eligible to seek funding from the Account.
  • Help ensure that data and information from the SWSI and other appropriate sources are used as the technical basis for requesting funding for a water activity.
Water Supply Planning
WSRA Statewide vs. Basin AccountsUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
What is the difference between the Statewide Account and the Basin Accounts?
Both accounts are for water activities in Colorado’s river basins.

The Statewide Account is available to any Basin Roundtable. Applications for monies from this Account will be reviewed by the Colorado Water Conservation Board in March and September of each year. Since any Basin Roundtable can apply for money from the Statewide Account it is generally believed that obtaining money from the Statewide Account will be more competitive. Consequently, the Colorado Water Conservation Board will undertake a more detailed evaluation of applications for funds from this Account as described in the Criteria and Guidelines.
 
The Basin Accounts were developed to ensure that 1 million dollars would be reserved for each basin until January 2010. This money does not automatically disperse to the individual basins. An applicant must still go through the same process as the Statewide Account with the exception that the Colorado Water Conservation Board will utilize fewer criteria when evaluating applications. Applications for monies from the Basin Account will be reviewed by the Colorado Water Conservation Board in January, March, May, July, September, and November. Any monies not utilized by basins by January 2010 will be transferred to the Statewide Account.
Water Supply Planning