Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is an authorized Title XVI project?
A. An authorized Title XVI project is a project that is specifically authorized for funding by Congress under Title XVI of Public Law 102-575, as amended (43 U.S.C. 390h through 390h-39). Since 1992 53 projects have been specifically authorized by Congress under Title XVI.
Q: What projects are eligible for funding under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act?
A: Projects eligible for funding under the WIIN Act include those that have a completed Feasibility Study that has been reviewed by Reclamation and found to meet all of the requirements of Reclamation Manual Release WTR 11-01. The findings of Reclamation’s review must also have been transmitted to Congress for the project to be eligible.
Q: If a project received funding under a previous year's Title XVI FOA, is that the only opportunity to receive funding for the project?
A: No, projects can continue to compete for and receive funding through future FOAs until they receive 25% of the total project cost or $20 million in federal funding, whichever is less.
Q: What if a project is only selected to receive a portion of the funding requested?
A: The project sponsor may include that funding in their request in subsequent fiscal years. The work that will be completed with that funding may continue or be put on hold if federal funding is needed to complete the work.
Q: Does an EIS have to be completed for the project before applying for funding?
A: No. In fact, funding may be requested under the FOA for the cost to complete NEPA compliance. However, no ground disturbing activities can take place until environmental and cultural compliance is complete.
Q: Can projects apply for just planning and/or design and not construction funds?
A: Yes. Applicants can request funding for just planning, design, or construction alone, or any combination of the three.
Q: What if the project has changed since approval of the feasibility study (e.g., a different location has been chosen for a pump station, a pipeline alignment has changed, or new customers have been added)?
A: The work may still be eligible for funding as long as it is within the general scope of the project described in the feasibility study. If it is a substantial change in the scope of the project, then the feasibility study may need to be amended and re-reviewed by Reclamation. This determination will be made on a project-specific basis. Please contact your Title XVI coordinator if you have questions about this.
Q: What should be included in the budget portion of a funding proposal? Should all project costs be included?
A: The budget table and narrative should only include the work that is the basis of the funding request. This includes both the work that makes up the 25% federal cost share being requested and the 75% non-federal cost share. Please note that although the budget proposal and narrative only include information for the work related to the current year’s funding request, responses to the evaluation criteria should address the entire project.
Q: Can costs for proposal preparation and grant administration be included in the funding request or non-federal cost share?
A: Proposal costs, including costs associated with the negotiation and execution of the financial assistance agreement, are not considered direct project costs, therefore they cannot be included in the budget proposal. Post-award grant administration costs are eligible costs and can be included in the project budget.
Q: In the summary of non-federal funding sources where are State Revolving Fund loans included?
A: These are counted as part of the non-federal funding as long as there is no principal forgiveness. If there is principal forgiveness, the amount forgiven cannot be counted as part of the non-federal share.
Q: How does Reclamation calculate the cost per acre-foot for Title XVI Projects?
A: Reclamation uses a spreadsheet developed by Reclamation economists to calculate the cost per acre-foot (AF) of each proposed Title XVI project in a consistent manner. Using information provided by applicants, the spreadsheet calculates a proposed project's total annualized cost on a per-AF basis. This cost per AF is based on the equivalent uniform annual cost (EUAC) of the proposed project divided by the annual AF provided by the proposed project.
The annualized project cost takes into account the expected service life of the project and the discount rate employed for converting future expenditures to present dollars. The discount rate used is the prescribed rate for plan formation and evaluation for Federal water resources (Federal planning rate), published annually by the US Dept. of Treasury.
The evaluation includes the following steps:
- Identify relevant cost evaluation data, including: planning, design, construction, and periodic replacement costs and the years in which they are incurred; annual OM&R costs; and annual energy costs.
- Identify relevant variables for time-commensurate evaluation, including: 1st year of construction period, project service life, discount rate, and base year for calculating present value of costs.
- Identify the AF of annual water supply provided by the project.
- Calculate the total cost of the project in present dollars by summing the present values of the stream of costs over the project service life.
- Divide the total present dollar cost of the project by the derived annuity factor to yield the EUAC.
- Divide EUAC by the AF of annual water supply provided by the project to determine the annual present cost of the project on a per-AF basis—or the annual cost per AF.