Whitewater Drinking Water Protection grant
(b) $16,000,000 the first year and $16,000,000 the second year are for grants to local
government units to protect and restore surface water and drinking water; to keep water on the land; to protect, enhance, and restore water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams; and to protect groundwater and drinking water, including feedlot water quality and subsurface sewage treatment system projects and stream
bank, stream channel, shoreline restoration, and ravine stabilization projects. The projects must use practices demonstrated to be effective, be of long-lasting public benefit, include a match, and be consistent with total maximum daily load (TMDL) implementation plans, watershed restoration and protection strategies (WRAPS), or local water management plans or their equivalents. A portion of this money may be used to seek administrative efficiencies through shared resources by multiple local governmental units. Up to 20 percent of this appropriation is available for land-treatment projects and practices that benefit drinking water. (Projects and Practices Drinking Water 2020)
Forty (40) farmers will plant 1,200 acres of cover crops to scavenge 8350 pounds of leached nitrate each year; ten (10) non-compliant septic systems will be repaired or replaced to achieve a 370 pound reduction in nitrates annually.
LOCAL LEVERAGED FUNDS
This project will implement a two-pronged approach to address nitrate pollution to water table aquifers in high priority areas of the Whitewater Watershed area. This project will use cost share funds to incentivize cover crops into crop rotations. An estimated 40 producers in vulnerable townships will plant 1,200 acres of cover crops preventing 8,350 pounds of nitrate from leaching into groundwater, which is the region's primary source of drinking water. Project funds will also be used to provide cost share to ten low-income homeowners with non-compliant septic systems in these vulnerable areas. These septic system upgrades will prevent 370 pounds of nitrate from contaminating groundwater.