Grant program seeks integrated solutions to water problems

Date: Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Metropolitan Council is accepting applications for a pilot grant program that will fund integrated solutions to water-related problems in the Twin Cities metro area.

The Saint Anthony stormwater reuse facility captures and stores half a million gallons of stormwater that is used for irrigating City Hall and Central Park green spaces.Problems related to water quality, quantity, and wastewater infrastructure are often addressed as separate concerns and are not tied to other urban planning issues associated with land use, transit development, water infrastructure, and parks and green space, explained Sandy Rummel, chair of the Council’s Environment Committee.

The key problems the Council seeks to address with the new Green Infrastructure Pilot Grant Program  include:

  • Water quantity

    • Too much – Increased frequency and intensity of floods due to extreme weather and inadequate infrastructure

    • Too little – limited water supply in aquifers

  • Water quality – Higher levels of pollutants causing waterways and aquifers to be impaired for uses such as fishing, recreation and drinking water

  • Aging and inadequate infrastructure for wastewater, drinking water and stormwater that can cause water quality and economic issues for the region

“The Council is interested in working with communities to implement integrated solutions directed at solving our region’s water-related problems in ways that provide multiple benefits and maximize positive impacts,” Rummel said. 

For example, a community might subsidize the lining or replacement of private wastewater pipes that lead from homes to the city main in the street at the same time it reconstructs the street and implements a stormwater management solution for a neighborhood. Or a community might collect rainwater coming off park buildings and nearby parking lots to irrigate ballfields rather than letting it drain to a nearby river.

Other examples could include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Implementing low-impact development projects that reduce the volume of stormwater and/or improve water quality

  • Installing low-flow plumbing fixtures and irrigation management systems to help stretch water supplies

  • Using green space to manage flooding, recharge aquifers, and revitalize a neighborhood

Council makes $1 million available

The Council allotted $1 million from its general fund for the pilot project. The Council may issue one large grant or several smaller grants.

Grantees must be able to:

  • Provide a 100% match to the dollars requested

  • Enter into an agreement with the Council using standard Council contract terms

  • Identify and quantify at a watershed level the water impacts and outcomes expected from the project.

Deadline for applications is July 17


See details and download the application for the Green Infrastructure Pilot Grant Program.


Posted In: Wastewater & Water