Beyond State regulatory resources and EPA water reuse guidance are other financial and technical resources. These include references to grant and loan programs as well as MDE contact information, and external sources of assistance including key trade associations.
Key advice on financing water reuse from an expert: Make the case that your water reuse funding need supports an environmental "sustainability project." Doing so will open many doors.
Your project probably has many elements to it, some of which are more attractive to some funders than others. So, think in terms of funding different pieces of your project from targeted funding sources. For example, a water quality grant from the State Department of Environment or Natural Resources might fund a water treatment piece, an energy efficiency grant from the Maryland Energy Administration or US Department of Energy might fund efficient pumps and solar power pieces and a community development grant might help fund a piece of the project that can be characterized as entrepreneurial business development that will help expand the local tax base.
Bay Restoration Fund: If your project involves the cost-effective reduction of nitrogen or phosphorus, e.g., via spray irrigation, you might be able to access Bay Restoration Funding. Or, perhaps your water reuse project is also stormwater management project.
Watershed Assistance Grant: This grant supports engineering designs for activities that reduce nutrients to the Chesapeake Bay. Once a shovel ready design is in hand, you may be able to compete for a grant from the Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund (See below). The feasibility and design of a spray irrigation system has qualified for funding by the Watershed Assistance grant in the past.
MDE Water Quality Financing Administration (WQFA): WQFA is the Maryland Department of Environment's clearinghouse for capital grants and loans, including management of the EPA revolving loan programs and Maryland's Bay Restoration Fund.
Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund (Leaving MDE)
Water Reuse Funding Opportunities: Although dated 2016, this listing assembled by the WateReuse Association identifies a number of solicitations that repeat. It should be noted that the WaterSmart Grant, from the US Bureau of Reclamation, is currently available only to western states.
Water Reuse Research Funding: The Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WR&RF) "funds water quality research on behalf of its subscribers, and facilitates collaboration among organizations seeking funding partners for high-priority issues."
Green Infrastructure Funding Opportunities: The nexus between stormwater management and storm/rain water harvesting is a close one. Some of the funding opportunities identified in this resource listing can support water reuse in an urban setting.
USDA Water and Waste Program: This federal Department of Agriculture Rural Development program provides grants for a wide range of water and waste disposal needs for rural areas. The grants are typically part of a loan intended to make projects affordable for a local community.
Maryland Energy Administration Financing: Need a solar energy component to your water reuse project? Need and energy efficient pump? Investigate the energy angle of funding part of your project, including incentive programs.
Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC): MCEC, established by the Maryland General Assembly, provides a wide variety of financial resources for businesses, which can help address energy components of a water reuse system.
Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE Grants): This is a US Department of Energy exchange that lists "Funding Opportunity Announcements" (FOAs) and notices of intent (NOIs) for future FOAs. The vast majority will not be a good fit, so you need to mine the information for that valuable nugget.
Other EERE Grants: Many financial opportunities are available besides EERE funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). Like FOAs, some are competitive, while others are non-competitive.
State Revolving Loan Funds: First thing to know is that many jurisdictions in need will qualify for "supplements," which are basically grants or loan forgiveness. The State has two revolving loan funds. One, the Water Quality Revolving Loan Fund (WQRLF), provides financial assistance for a wide variety of projects to protect or improve the quality of Maryland's waters. The second, the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund (DWRLF), supports projects has wide applicability, from planning to supporting infrastructure for which there could be a nexus to water reuse projects, e.g., water reuse to relieve demand on a drinking water supply. An EPA 2-page primer on using the the Water Quality fund to support water reuse and conservation projects is a good introduction.
USDA Water and Waste Program: This federal Department of Agriculture program provides loanss for a wide range of water and waste disposal needs for rural areas.
USDA Farm Service Agency: This federal agency offers a wide variety of financing services, including micro loans, specialty loans, youth loans and more.
Farm Credit - MidAtlantic: Financing for irrigation, or other farming water management needs associated with water reuse, might benefit from this ag-oriented lending institution. They provide Farm Equipment Loans that can be used at a wide range of equipment dealers. You might also qualify for special one of their special lending programs, which include young, new and minority farmers.
Farm Plus Financial - Maryland: Financing for irrigation, or other farming water management needs associated with water reuse, might benefit from this ag-oriented lending institution. They include a Resources page that can help with general financing research.
Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program: The US Department of Agriculture provides a variety of small loans secured through local Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs). The sole certified MDO in Maryland is Maryland Capital Enterprises.
Water Reuse Inquiries: Contact Dr. Tien by email: Ching-Tzone.Tien@maryland.gov or by phone (410) 537-3662
UMD Environmental Finance Center (Leaving MDE)
Maryland Extension Service (Leaving MDE): Organized by county, your Extension Service agent might not have the answer to your question, but can likely steer you to someone who does.
Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF - Leaving MDE): WERF has a variety of resources on water reuse, including their Water Reuse 101, and knowledgeable staff who can provide advice and refer you to others with experience.
WateReuse Association (Leaving MDE): WateReuse is a membership trade association that advocates for laws and policies, primarily at the federal level. It's website has a variety of information including water reuse technology videos, fact sheets. Many of the resources are available to non-members, including a link to the Water360 project that identifies case studies on potable water reuse.
The Water Reuse Innovations and Maryland Success Story case studies sections of this water reuse website provide starting points for finding people who can provide technical assistance.
Case Studies Page
Water Reuse Events
Resources for On-Site Non-Potable Water Systems (Leaving MDE): Although oriented toward establishing government programs, these resources provided by the US Water Alliance give useful technical insights.
On-Site Non-Potable Reuse - Practice Guide: This 2018 attractive and clear guide by the William J. Worthen Foundation takes a logic-flow approach to the "how to" question of on-site non-potable reuse.
EPA's 2008 Municipal Handbook is a good starting point. Be aware that if the system leads to an indoor faucet, even in a greenhouse, then hand washing is an assumed use. The water system is considered "potable" and needs a first-flush diversion system.
How to Build a rain barrel and other practical advice for managing stormwater in your backyard.
Green Infrastructure Technical Assistance: The nexus between stormwater management and storm/rain water harvesting is a close one. Some of the technical and networking resources identified in this listing can support water reuse in an urban setting.
Graywater & Rainwater National Academies Study (2016) - Titled, Using Graywater and Stormwater to Enhance Local Water Supplies An Assessment of Risks, Costs, and Benefits, this is a consensus study report.
WaterSense: This EPA collection of resources, while focused on water conservation, provides some practical information that can support graywater reuse.
Mainstreaming Potable Water Reuse in the United States: Strategies for Leveling the Playing Field, U.S. EPA (April 2018).
Potable Reuse Compendium: This 2017 EPA document is a comprehensive resource on the topic.
Framework for Direct Potable Reuse: Sponsored by the AWWF, WEF, WateReuse and NWRI, "The Framework document provides a context for DPR, including the costs, benefits, energy requirements, and comparative issues with other water sources and measures."
The next section of Maryland's water reuse website addresses the goals and progress.
Learn more about Maryland's Water Reuse Goals & Progress. (Next Page)
Please direct questions or comments to Jim George.
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230