This project developed a framework that supports Steamboat Springs and other Colorado communities in navigating the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)/Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and financing opportunities to advance their water infrastructure and resiliency needs.
The recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), as well as other recent federal appropriations, present an immense opportunity to address current and emerging needs around watershed health, infrastructure improvements, and conservation programming. WaterNow and Steamboat Springs, a community of approximately 13,000 people in Northern Colorado’s Yampa Valley, partnered to develop a strategic approach to maximize the use of federal funds.
This project researched BIL/IIJA and ARPA funding and financing opportunities and aligned them with high-priority City goals, such as: forest and watershed restoration to protect drinking water sources; improving the efficiency of park irrigation systems; establishing a stormwater utility to help fund the stormwater management program; addressing water quality and temperature regulations through nature-based approaches; implementing multi-objective river restoration projects; and developing new efficient water infrastructure for low-income and affordable housing communities. This project resulted in a framework that supports Steamboat Springs and other Colorado communities in navigating the new federal funding opportunities to advance their water infrastructure and resiliency needs.
WaterNow worked with Steamboat Springs to identify, research, and track priority projects, then identified 39 water-related funding and financing opportunities created or expanded by recent federal legislation and chose 24 to review in greater detail. WaterNow cross-referenced these opportunities with City priority projects and staff capacity to determine best-fit matches and presented the findings in a robust, combined template. The project team developed a Roadmap for Pursuing Funding Opportunities, which includes step-by-step advice for navigating “best-fit” federal funding and financing opportunities for Steamboat Springs’ highest priority projects. WaterNow also produced public facing materials which summarize the researched federal support opportunities for Colorado communities and share key learnings and tools created in this project, including a stepwise process for identifying and prioritizing projects, developing a matrix of funding and financing opportunities, and pairing priority projects with available federal dollars.