Skip to main content

WISPr Water Infrastructure Sponsorship Program

WISPr funding application

What is Sponsorship?

The Water Infrastructure Sponsorship Program (WISPr) is intended to address a limited and under-assisted category of water resource needs in Vermont known as natural resource projects (NRP). The goal of WISPr is to counter the loss of ecological function and biological diversity that jeopardize the health of Vermont’s water resources by providing financial resources.

Municipalities holding CWSRF loans for pollution control and abatement facilities can sponsor natural resource projects up to 10% of the cost of the CWSRF wastewater principle. Sponsoring municipalities will receive a reduction in administrative rate which will lead to a lifetime savings on the loan equal to the cost of the sponsored natural resource project. As an incentive for sponsorship, the administrative rate is reduced another 0.1% to provide additional savings over the lifetime of the loan that would not be present without sponsorship of a WISPr natural resource projects.  

Why Sponsorship?

  • CWSRF has historically focused on funding wastewater treatment facilities (WWTF) which accounts for a small percentage of pollution in Lake Champlain.
  • Encourages water restoration or protection projects
  • Provides funding source to projects that otherwise wouldn’t be pursued (ex: expensive projects with low phosphorous reduction benefits)
  • Encourages the concept of Public-Private Partnerships
  • Best “bang for the buck” projects in terms of water quality

How does it work?

Matchmaking of sponsoring municipalities and WISPr natural resource will occur through the WISPr coordinator in the Watershed Planning Program. The sponsored natural resource project must work within the timeline of the municipal project so both projects complete in a timely manner. Upon completion of both the sponsoring wastewater project and the natural resource project, the balance of that loan will be paid off by the sponsoring municipality's CWSRF loan.  

If you are a municipality interested in becoming a sponsor or are interested in implementing a WISPr natural resource project, please contact the WISPr coordinator (Katherine King). 

Who can be a sponsor? 

Municipalities with CWSRF Step III loans. 

Who can implement WISPr natural resource projects? 

  • Municipalities 
  • Non-profits Regional Planning Commissions 
  • Conservation Districts 
  • Watershed Groups  

Who cannot implement WISPr natural resource projects? 

  • Private citizens, individuals 
  • Private for-profit businesses and industries 
  • Private for-profit colleges and universities 
  • Federal agencies 

What types of projects are eligible?

Sponsored projects (nonprofit or municipal): “a project to protect, conserve, or restore natural resources, including the acquisition of easements and land for the purpose of providing water quality benefits” (24 V.S.A. Chapter 120 § 4752). Examples:

  • Land conservation
  • Wetland restoration projects
  • Floodplain/stream restoration
  • River corridor easements
  • Woody buffer plantings
  • Lake shoreland retrofit, erosion repair using LakeWise principles
  • Dam removal

Sponsoring projects (municipal): water pollution abatement and control facilities projects are eligible to sponsor a natural infrastructure project. Examples:

  • Wastewater treatment facility refurbishments or upgrades
  • Filtration or disinfection
  • Decentralized systems
  • CSO downspout disconnection
  • Traditional pipe, storage, and treatment systems for gray infrastructure
  • Bioswales, rainwater harvesting, pervious pavement for green stormwater infrastructure


WISPr funding application
WISPr Policy updated 1/24/2024
WISPr Policy updated 6/4/2019
WISPr Policy adopted 12/7/2018
WISPr Fact Sheet
Act 185 as enacted
FAQs last updated 1/3/2024
Potential WISPr Sponsors

For more information, please contact Katherine King.