Grant opportunities often seem out of reach. Whether it’s meeting all the requirements or compiling a comprehensive action plan for the grant application, the resource-heavy application process can discourage organizations and dampen their interest in applying for alternative funding methods. Yet these measures are not meant to be obstacles; they are put in place to ensure funding goes to a legitimate initiative. To start tackling some of these barriers to finding, applying for and receiving a grant, organizations can make an effort to engage with the local water and wastewater community.
There are a variety of groups and associations whose purpose is to bring utility workers in the water and wastewater industries together. While it can be useful to connect with members nationwide, Joe in New Hampshire is facing slightly different challenges than Bob in Arizona. State- and smaller-level organizations can be particularly helpful when it comes to sharing similar experiences and locating relevant resources. For instance, the National Rural Water Association has affiliations in all fifty states, thus connecting people both across the country and within their own region.
Events, trade shows, workshops and even online forums help members connect with one another and discuss their grant experiences. Members might have practical tips and advice for others, or be aware of additional grant opportunities that aren’t highly publicized. Some state and municipal organizations provide grants that are only available to the water and wastewater organizations within these regions, so participation in their activities can help build relationships that will pay off later. Getting to know others in the industry can not only be enjoyable, but also strengthen professional networks and provide additional knowledge. In this photo, our sales partner Bell Equipment Company hosts an open house for its Michigan community.
Finding support in peers can be beneficial for those starting the grant-searching process, and localized assistance is often valuable. Engaging in the industry can help you gain awareness and exposure to grant opportunities and people with knowledge about water and wastewater grants. While applying to grants will always have some challenges, having resources and support during the process makes a difference. For a foundational explanation of grants within the water and wastewater industry, check out Envirosight’s white paper, Municipal Grants for Water and Wastewater Systems: