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WQIP Land Acquisition Projects for Source Water Protection Toolkit

The Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) grant application is open through July 29, 2022. Apply using the Consolidated Funding Application (leaves DEC website).

On Wednesday May 18, 2022, DEC presented a public webinar about the WQIP Land Acquisition Projects for Source Water Protection funding opportunity. View a recording of the presentation from the public webinar.

New York State offers funding assistance for protecting public water supply sources. WQIP Land Acquisition Projects for Source Water Protection provides funding to municipalities, land trusts and soil and water conservation districts to purchase land and/or conservation easements to protect their public drinking water. Awardees can then be stewards for that land, managing it's use to help insure protection of the nearby public water supply.

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.


  • 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. In addition to USPAP Appraisal Standards, Appraisals:
    • Must be prepared by a General Certified Appraiser.
    • Must list NYSDEC as an intended user.
    • 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.
    • The Template should be opened using Internet Explorer.
  • 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 Project Work Plan (PDF) - A sample document to assist awardees in developing a work plan specific to their project. Awardees are expected to provide additional detail so the work plan fits their unique project.
  • Sample Land Acquisition Program Work Plan (PDF) - A sample document to assist awardees in developing a workplan specific to their program. Awardees are expected to provide additional detail so the work plan fits their unique 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 Check Sheets - Optional check sheets awardees can use that outline the documents that need to be submitted to DEC for fee title and conservation easement acquisitions.
  • WQIP Land Acquisition FAQ (PDF) - Frequently asked questions on WQIP Land Acquisition Projects.