Surface water grant program
NR 193 rule changes
The bureaus of Water Quality and Community Financial Assistance propose to consolidate 5 related administrative code chapters governing 3 cost-sharing grant programs into one new administrative code chapter.
The consolidated code will be called chapter NR 193. It will create a comprehensive surface water grant program that provides financial assistance to local groups to protect and restore surface water and aquatic ecosystems and control aquatic invasive species.
The consolidated code will clarify policies, improve customer service and satisfaction, improve administrative consistency and efficiency and create better and more cost-effective environmental outcomes that serve local needs and advance department management objectives for state surface waters.
The surface water grant program helps communities protect and improve waterbodies, supporting surface water management from start to finish.
Administrative code consolidation
You can participate in the rulemaking process. Wisconsin Statutes authorize the Wisconsin DNR to create and revise administrative rules to implement authorized programs, and public participation is a critical component of agency rulemaking. There are numerous opportunities to participate in the rulemaking process. For ch. NR 193, rule documents will be hosted on the department's proposed permanent rules webpage and updated as rulemaking proceeds. You can find the information you need to review the rule posted near the bottom of the table under the NRB Order Number WY-18-15.
The public comment period on the rule language has passed, but you can still participate in building the consolidated Surface Water Grant Program. Program guidance that will help applicants and grantees navigate the program is currently being drafted and will be available for public review and comment early in 2020. Be sure to submit your comments when the public comment period opens. Sign up for our email newsletter to receive timely notification.
Chapter NR 193 timeline
The new Surface Water Grant rule was promulgated in the summer of 2020. Go to the Wisconsin State Legislature’s website for the full online version of Chapter NR 193.
- 1. General provisions
Administrative policies and general procedures
- 2. Education & planning
...for lakes, rivers and AIS
- 3. County lake grants
County-wide plans for lake protection
- 4. Surface water mgmt
Nearshore and in-water practices, plan implementation
- 5. AIS control
Integrated pest management
- 6. Monitoring & prevention
Core contractual services for AIS prevention and lake monitoring
- 7. Land acquisition
Fee simple or easement land acquisition for conservation purposes
Our consolidation effort has four main goals:
- Unite subprograms under one consistent set of procedures and policies.
Example: Cost-share rates differ among lakes, rivers and AIS subprograms.
Outcome: United procedures will streamline administrative processes and make the grant program easier for customers to navigate.
- Update management standards with reference to new statutory programs.
Example: Aquatic invasive species management approaches are defined according to invasive species status under s. NR 40, Wis. Admin. Code.
Example: Aquatic invasive species control shall be conducted in accordance with the principles of integrated pest management.
Outcome: The surface water grant program will support management and planning actions in accordance with a modern understanding of best management practices while integrating current regulatory frameworks.
- Support management at the watershed scale.
Example: The new education and planning chapter supports work on lakes, rivers, wetlands and AIS, paving the way for grantees to address complex water quality problems that cross ecosystem boundaries.
Example: "Lake (and) river ecosystem" are used in statutes, but not defined. NR193 defines them with reference to the watershed concept.
Outcome: Sound management of surface waters often requires a watershed-based approach, these changes encourage grantees to 'look upstream' when planning projects.
- Enhance accountability, allow for performance standards.
Example: Cost containment measures are required when a service or equipment cost exceeds $1,000.
Example: Program-approved protocols are required for certain planning and management practices.
Outcome: The surface water grant funds will be efficiently and effectively applied, maximizing the support of high-quality, science-based planning and management.