CLOSED-Request for Applications for Fiscal Year 2017 Agricultural Water Conservation Grants

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) solicits a request for applications for Fiscal Year 2017 Agricultural Water Conservation Grants. The total amount of the grants to be awarded under this request for applications by the TWDB shall not exceed $632,000 from the Agricultural Water Conservation Fund. The rules governing the Agricultural Water Conservation Fund (31 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 367) and application instructions are available upon request from TWDB staff.

Summary of the Request for Applications

Solicitation Date (Opening): Date published in the Texas Register

CLOSED - Due Date: 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Anticipated Award Date: June 2017

Estimated Total Funding: up to $632,000
Eligible Grant Amount: up to $632,000
Eligible applicants: political subdivisions (as defined by 31 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 367)

Contact: Cameron Turner, Agricultural Water Conservation Division, Texas Water Development Board, P.O. Box 13231, Austin, Texas 78711-3231, Phone: (512) 936-6090, E-mail: cameron.turner@twdb.texas.gov

Agricultural Water Conservation Grant Categories

Applications must be consistent with the format provided in the Agricultural Water Conservation Grant Application Instructions document. Please contact TWDB staff if you intend to apply. Applications must be in response to the following grant category.

Equipment cost share

Funding is available for the purchase of agricultural water conservation equipment designed to monitor irrigation water use, implement irrigation scheduling, and/or improve upon irrigation efficiency. Examples of eligible equipment may include, but are not limited to, soil moisture monitoring devices, remote management of irrigation systems, telemetry, supervisory control and data acquisition, weather stations, and metering equipment. Eligible expenses are limited to 50 percent of the cost of equipment.

Projects must support the implementation of irrigation conservation water management strategies identified in the most recent applicable regional water plan. Funding recipients must submit annual reports with irrigation water use data and an estimate of water savings for a period of five years following installation of the equipment.

Grant Amount

Through this announcement, the TWDB has up to $632,000 available for Fiscal Year 2017 agricultural water conservation grants from the Agricultural Water Conservation Fund. The TWDB awards these funds through a statewide competitive grants process. The TWDB evaluates all proposals based upon the specific criteria set forth in this solicitation and application instructions.

Application Criteria and Selection Process

Prior to technical review, each application will be screened for completeness and compliance with the provisions of this notice. Incomplete applications and those that do not meet the provisions of this notice may be eliminated from competition.

Applications meeting the provisions of this notice will be scored by a technical review panel. 31 TAC Sections 367.8 and 367.9 require that in reviewing an application for an agricultural water conservation grant, the TWDB shall consider the following administrative and technical criteria: commitment of the applicant to agricultural water conservation; benefits that will be gained by making the grant; degree to which the applicant has used other available resources to finance the use for which the application is being made; and the willingness and ability of the applicant to raise revenue.

Prior to approving a grant, the TWDB must find that the grant funds will: supplement rather than replace money of the applicant; serve the public interest by assisting in the implementation of a water conservation management strategy identified in the most recent applicable regional water plan or state water plan; and, further water conservation in the state.

The technical review panel will evaluate the applications using the following criteria: sound and practical approach for implementing project as per the Request for Applications guidelines; application has clear identified tasks, products, and reporting timelines; project staff has the technical expertise needed to carry out the project; and proposed costs estimate (budget) is reasonable and adequately justified.

Priority consideration may be given to projects that measure irrigation water use; promote the adoption of best management practices and water saving innovations; and/or, have higher levels of local match. All applicants must establish a metric for measuring and reporting water savings or improvements in water use efficiency as a direct result of project funding.

Funding and Partial Funding Provisions

The TWDB reserves the right to reject all proposals and make no awards under this announcement. In addition, the TWDB reserves the right to partially fund proposals by funding discrete activities, portions, or phases of a proposed project. If the TWDB decides to partially fund a proposal, it will do so in a manner that does not prejudice any applicants or affect the basis upon which the proposal, or portion thereof, was evaluated or selected for award, and that maintains the integrity of the competition and the evaluation/selection process. The TWDB reserves the right to reject parts of, any, or all applications if staff determines that the application(s) does not adequately meet the required criteria or if the funding available is less than the requested funding. The TWDB retains the right to not award contract funds.

Negotiations with Selected Applicants

The applicable scope of work, deliverables, tasks timelines, and contract amount will be negotiated after the TWDB selects the most qualified applicants. Failure to arrive at mutually agreeable terms of a contract with the most qualified applicant shall constitute a rejection of the Board's offer and may result in subsequent negotiations with the next most qualified applicant. TWDB must execute contracts for projects awarded under this announcement by August 31, 2017. As such, applicants should review the TWDB standard agricultural equipment cost-share contract and include any concerns with the contract language in their application.

Deadline for Submission of Applications

Applicants must submit four double-sided, double-spaced paper copies and one digital copy of completed applications to the TWDB on or before 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Applications can be directed either in person to David Carter, Texas Water Development Board, Stephen F. Austin Building, Room 610D, 1700 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas, 78701; or by mail to David Carter, Texas Water Development Board, P.O. Box 13231 – Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711-3231.

Application instructions and the standard equipment cost-share contract are available upon request from Cameron Turner, (512) 936-6090.

 

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