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WQIP Land Acquisition Projects for Source Water Protection Toolkit

Recipients of WQIP grant funding to acquire land for source water protection must complete the necessary documentation to receive approval for land purchases and/or conservation easements identified in their work plan. To aid with the development of these documents, DEC has developed standards and guidelines for awardees to use.

Land Acquisition Project Documents

The documents listed below are a few examples of what may need to be submitted for land purchase and/or conservation easement approval prior to closing.

  • Municipal Notification
  • Public Access
  • Non-Restricted Appraisals
  • Environmental Assessments
  • Baseline Documentation
  • Surveys
  • Conservation Easement Language
  • Title Report and Insurance
  • Purchase Price and Deed

Document Resources

Grant recipients will find two sets of guidelines, required and suggested, to use when developing land acquisition project documents. Required includes standards that must be complied with in order to receive approval for those specific documents. Suggested includes information that could be useful, but the recipient does not have to follow. DEC is in the process of developing additional guidelines that will be added to the appropriate list once they are finalized.


  • USPAP Appraisal Standards - Appraisals must be in accordance with USPAP Appraisal Standards and be presented as an Appraisal Report, formerly referred to as a Self-Contained Appraisal Report or Narrative Report. Appraisals for conservation easements should be commissioned after the easement language has been reviewed and approved by DEC.
  • Code of Practice for Land Surveys adopted by the New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors (leaves DEC website) - Surveys for WQIP Land Acquisition Projects must be in accordance with the Code of Practice for Land Surveys adopted by the New York State Association of Land Surveyors and:
  • Conservation Easement Template (MS Word) - A complete conservation easement template for WQIP Land Acquisition projects. When using the template, users should keep in mind:
    • The term "Optional" throughout the document means that specific sections may not be necessary to include in the conservation easement if that land use or activity does not, or will not, occur on the protected property.
    • If an "Optional" section is removed, section references (e.g. under Section 8 hereof...) throughout the document may need to be updated to reference the new and correct section number.
  • Deed Requirements (PDF) - Notice of Grant and additional language to be included in the deed.
  • Deed Requirements for Closed Acquisitions (PDF) - Notice of Grant document required for already-closed acquisitions not containing the required deed clause. The Notice must be recorded against the subject property and a certified copy provided to the Department.
  • Deed Requirements for Match Acquisitions (PDF) - Notice of Grant and additional language to be included in the deed of properties being used as match.
  • Conservation Easement Notice of Grant (PDF) - Notice of Grant to be included in not-yet-closed conservation easements.
  • Environmental Assessment Checklist (PDF) - Checklist of items that should be included in environmental assessment reports.
  • Proposed Parcel(s) Documentation (PDF) - In order for DEC to complete a formal review of proposed parcels, awardees must submit documentation meeting the applicable Proposed Parcel(s) Documentation requirements. This is only a requirement for awardees who did not identify the proposed parcel to be acquired when applying to the program.


Additional Resources

Below are additional resources to aid awardees with contract development and other contract items.

  • Sample Land Acquisition Work Plan (PDF) - A sample document awardees can follow to develop a work plan specific to their project and/or program.
  • Quarterly Report (MS Word) - Use this template to prepare quarterly reports for Land Acquisition Projects for Source Water Protection. The Program Progress Details section of the Quarterly Report must include:
    • All objectives and tasks listed in the associated work plan and in matching order.
    • The same performance measures listed in the associated work plan.
    • A quarterly activity description for each task. If a task has yet to be worked on, the quarterly activity description can state "No activity this quarter."
    • All objectives and tasks, even after they are 100% complete.
  • Attachment E - Acknowledgment of Funding Source (PDF) - Requirements for communication with the public and signage.
    • If you have any questions regarding signage requirements or Attachment E of the contract, contact us at before moving forward.
  • WQIP Land Acquisition Project Document Check Sheet (PDF) - Optional check sheets awardees can use that outline the documents that need to be submitted to DEC for fee title and conservation easement acquisitions.

More about WQIP Land Acquisition Projects for Source Water Protection Toolkit: