Funding Sources

State and Federal agencies, foundations and private organizations may be potential sources to provide funding to qualifying groups and local governments within rural areas. 

The following list represents entities that have contributed funds in the past, and that may have programs to offer assistance to rural watershed groups and partnerships for specific studies and projects.

Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR)

ADWR oversees Statewide Planning and Rural Water Studies. The Rural Water Studies fund was established to assist Rural Arizona Watershed partnerships and watershed groups with the funding of projects and studies pertaining to the understanding, planning, management, and enhancement of water supplies in rural Arizona. Funding is authorized annually by the State Legislature. Requests for funding are reviewed by the Department when funds are available. Watershed partnerships and/or watershed groups include local stakeholders and representatives of resource and regulatory agencies that are active in rural areas.

Arizona Water Protection Fund (AWPF)

This Fund, which is administered by the director of ADWR and the State Land Commissioner, is earmarked for supporting projects that will enhance riparian areas. The authorizing legislation calls for "a coordinated effort for the restoration and conservation of the water resources of this state." The Fund is designed to assist with protecting and restoring Arizona's rivers and streams and associated riparian habitats, including fish and wildlife resources that are dependent on these important habitats. Like the Rural Water Studies Fund, the AWPF is funded by the State Legislature. The available funding and grant cycle varies each year.

More information regarding the AWPF

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)

ADEQ oversees the Water Quality Improvement Grant Program. The grant program allocates money from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to interested parties for implementation of nonpoint source management and watershed protection. The distribution of grant funds from EPA is provided pursuant to Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act and administered by the ADEQ Water Quality Division.

ADEQ uses these federal funds to implement on-the-ground water quality improvement projects to control nonpoint source pollution. Nonpoint source pollution is polluted runoff from many different sources and remains the nation's largest source of water quality problems. Pollution occurs when rainfall, snowmelt or irrigation runs over land or through the ground, picks up pollutants and deposits them into rivers, lakes and coastal waters or introduces them into groundwater. Agriculture, forestry, grazing, septic systems, recreational boating, urban runoff, construction, physical changes to stream channels and habitat degradation are potential sources.

More information regarding the 319(h) grant

Arizona Game and Fish Department

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission Heritage Fund expends monies for conservation of sensitive wildlife and sensitive wildlife habitat in accordance to sub-program percentages as specified in Title 17, Chapter 2, Arizona Revised Statutes, Article 6. The following sub-programs are included in the Heritage Fund Program:

  • IIPAM - Identification, Inventory, Acquisition, Protection and Management of Sensitive Habitats
  • Urban Wildlife and Urban Habitat
  • Public Access
  • Environmental Education
  • Schoolyard Grants

More information regarding the Heritage Fund

WATER Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona (wifa)

WIFA is authorized to finance the construction, rehabilitation and/or improvement of drinking water, wastewater, wastewater reclamation, and other water quality facilities/projects. Generally, WIFA offers borrowers below market interest rates on loans. 

More information regarding WIFA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The EPA addresses numerous water topics and provides educational materials and sources of funding including consortium grants for protecting watersheds.  Some of the topics are:

  • Water Bodies -  including lakes and rivers, watersheds, and invasive species.
  • Drinking Water - including private wells, and source water protection.
  • Wastewater Treatment and Management
  • Water Resilience - including information about climate change in the water sector.
  • Water Research
  • Monitoring and Preventing Water Pollution
  • Infrastructure Finance

More information regarding EPA Water Topics

EPA Grants

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It is the mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Learn more about the habitat-related activities of the Service programs including Partnerships, Grants, and Financial Assistance for Habitat Conservation.  

More Information