By Michaela Lambert
Kentucky watershed professionals have an updated tool available to them this fall as they prepare to write their watershed plan applications.
The new Watershed Explorer, which will replace the former Kentucky Watershed Viewer, will allow groups and individuals to more easily gather information required for submitting 319(h) Nonpoint Source Funding applications. The new Kentucky Watershed Explorer will feature a collection of more focused tools and viewers, including the new 319 Grant Reporter.
“The old viewer tried to be all things for all needs,” said Caroline Chan, who created the 319 Grant Reporter. “Because it had so much information, it was hard to find what you needed,” but the new explorer will “allow users to zero in on what their needs are by selecting the application that suits that purpose. Additional applications will be added as they are developed.”
The 319 Grant Reporter is the first focused application in this collection to be rolled out. The application will better serve the watershed managers and other professionals that submit work to address water quality issues through the 319(h) Nonpoint Source Program.
The reporting tool allows users to search for their watershed of interest and identify information that is necessary for submitting 319(h) Clean Water Act Nonpoint Source Funding applications. Users will be able to search for their watershed using stream name, county, Hydrologic Unit (HUC) or by scrolling to its location.
Snapshot of the opening view of the 319 Reporting Tool. Users will use the search box or zoom to find their watershed of interest. Purple areas are Kentucky’s 7 major river basins and their Basin Team Priority Watersheds.
Once the correct watershed is selected, users will know what major river basin it’s in, whether it has been assessed to meet its designated uses, has a Total Maximum Daily Load Allocation (TMDL), if it is in a Source Water Protection Zone (SWPP), and if it has any assigned special designations such as an Outstanding State Resource Water (OSRW) or Division of Water Priority Watershed. Users will be able to download and print a copy of the report and attach it to their 319(h) application or use it for any other uses they see fit.
The 319 Program also will be testing a letter of intent for the 2022 grant season as a replacement for its traditional request for proposals. Those who plan to apply for 2022 funds are highly encouraged, but not required, to watch the 319 grant funding informational video and submit a letter of intent. The earlier letters are submitted, the easier it will be for the NPS staff to help future applicants submit a successful application. Applications are due February 2023. All applications must still go through the rank and review process.
“We are excited to launch the 319 Grant Reporter”, said Watershed Management Branch Manager Joanna Ashford. “This tool will help applicants identify water quality information, HUC12 numbers and other needed information for the 319 Application.”
For more information about the 319 Grant Program please check out the Kentucky Division of Water’s 319(h) Grant Program Funding page.