Nevada Water Conservation and Infrastructure Initiative

The Nevada Legislature has allocated $100 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) infrastructure funds to the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. To allocate the funds, the Nevada Water Conservation and Infrastructure Initiative (NWCII) was established.

The NWCII provides grant funding for the following types of projects:

  • Water conservation

  • Drinking Water

  • Wastewater

  • Stormwater

  • Non-point source water draws

  • Decentralized wastewater treatment (including septic issues and/or septic-to-sewer)

  • Irrigation and reclamation     

  • Reduction of source water draws

  • Green infrastructure and sustainability improvements

  • Conservation Management Plans

  • Storage projects and creation of new systems

  • Cybersecurity improvements of water systems

  • Land acquisitions for source water protection

  • Water safety

Drinking Water, Sewer, and Stormwater Project Guidelines:

  • This grant round is now closed.  
  • The following is a list of selected projects: NWCII Awardees
  • Projects eligible to apply for Nevada State Revolving Fund (SRF) funding are eligible to apply for these ARPA funds, regardless of if they apply for SRF funding or not. 
  • Grants awarded through the NWCII will only be issued as reimbursement grants.
  • Preliminary Engineering report projects are not eligible. Projects in the research phase are not eligible. 
  • Projects must be ready to proceed soon after funding approval. Funding must be obligated by December 2024. Projects must be completed prior to December 2026. If funding deadlines are not met, grants will be withdrawn.
  • The application process will involve completing an online application on the Nevada Infrastructure Financial System (NIFS) website. Additionally, applicants will be responsible for providing supporting documents like cost estimates, engineering, and environmental reports. 
  • Additional rules and guidance can be found at the Department of Treasury Rules website.
  • Some federal grant rules have been waived for Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) being awarded through the NWCII. Please see U.S. Treasury Rules for specific guidance on compliance items and triggers that remove active waivers of certain rules.

    NOTE: Treasury Rules triggers include, but are not limited to:
    • Using another federal funding source
    • Capital projects exceeding $10 million in SLFRF funding


Water Rights Retirement Program:

The NWCII will provide up to $25 million in grant funds for projects that implement strategic and innovative water retirement programs in ground water basins that are over-appropriated. Prospective grant applications should demonstrate effective and scalable programs for the retirement of ground water rights in over-appropriated ground water basins.

This Grant Round is now closed.


Program General Criteria

These criteria were used in the selection and prioritization process for applicants:

Grant awards will be prioritized for the purpose of purchasing and retiring water rights in groundwater basins (1) where there is an insufficient supply of water available to serve all vested rights, claims of vested rights, permits, certificates, and protectable interests in domestic wells in the basin; and (2) to address and avoid conflicts with existing rights or detriments to the public interest, including, without limitation, detriments to the natural resources of this State.

  • Only registered nonprofits, tribal nations, and political subdivisions of the State of Nevada may apply for program funding.
  • Funding is only available to purchase and retire water rights from persons willing to sell. No eminent domain transfers will be reviewed for consideration.
  • Funding will only be provided for groundwater basins where groundwater withdrawals currently exceed the available supply of water as a result of the consistent use of certificated or permitted rights to appropriate water.
  • Funding is only available to address known conflicts with existing rights or detriments to the natural resources of the State.
  • All water rights purchased with an NWCII grant must be retired through withdraw or relinquishment.
  • Priority shall be given to projects that purchase water rights that are in regular use and result in a demonstrated reduction of consumptive use.
  • Projects that purchase water rights in hydrographic basins that have a State Engineer’s Order that limits new appropriations. This includes prioritization of basins with county ordinances that require relinquishment or water rights to drill a domestic well.
  • Projects should provide a formula or methodology for the valuation of water right purchases in a hydrographic basin.
  • Projects that purchase water rights must obtain a signed affidavit from a willing seller attesting the seller is the rightful owner of the water rights and the seller is able to sell the water rights free and clear.
  • Priority will be given to projects that provide a plan for the mitigation of noxious weeds or environmental impacts due to the retirement of water rights.
  • Projects may utilize up to 10% of their grant award for administrative costs.
  • Projects must submit a list of prospective ground water sales by February 1, 2024.
  • Projects must acquire water rights or enter into a contractual relationship for the transfer of water rights by September 30, 2024. Funds not committed by the September 30, 2024 deadline will be reapportioned by the NWCII.

Ground Water Retirement Inquiries: 

The Ground Water Retirement grantees will purchase and permanently retire groundwater rights from willing sellers in ground water basins with insufficient water supply to serve all water rights in a basin. The Central Nevada Water Authority, Humboldt River Basin Water Authority, Walker Basin Conservancy, and Southern Nevada Water Authority have been selected as program grant recipients. These entities will manage the acquisition of water rights through their respective programs. Below are links to these opportunities: 

  • Central Nevada Water Authority Ground Water Retirement Program:
    • Application materials can be found at (Applications are due January 22, 2024) 
  • Humboldt River Basin Water Authority Ground Water Retirement Program: 
    • Application materials can be found at (Application are due January 22,2024) 
  • Walker Basin Conservancy Water Right Retirement: 

Grantee Forms (Submitting Grant Paperwork or Draw Requests)

All grant management is done through the Nevada Infrastructure Finance System. To create a  NIFS Account, or access projects using an existing NIFS Account, follow this link to access the NIFS SystemOnce you have a user profile contact for the administrator to give your entity access to the NWCII project

If you have any questions, please email program staff at, or call:

Brandon Bishop
NWCII Program Manager

Diversity and Inclusion Liaison (DIL)
(775) 684-2707


Click here if you would like to stay informed about important program updates, and follow @NevDCNR on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram using #ConserveNevada.