Automated Flood Warning Systems (AFWS)

The objective of the Automated Flood Warning Systems Program is to provide funding to communities with flood or flash flood problems that affect safety of life and property to assist them in creating, renovating, or enhancing Automated Flood Warning Systems (AFWS).

Examples of Funded Projects

Three Rivers Wet Weather of Pittsburgh awarded $100,000 to upgrade an existing gauge network with radio telemetry and integrate its data stream with that from other flood warning systems.

City of Fort Wayne, IN, awarded $95,000 to upgrade the city's existing AFWS with new hardware.

County of Augusta, VA., awarded $48,135 to add additional rainfall and stream gauges.

Department of Public Works, Gila County, AZ, awarded $25,000 to upgrade and enhance an existing flood warning system with new rain and stream gauges.

Agency - Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce fosters and promotes the nation's economic development and technological advancement through vigilance in international trade policy, domestic business policy and growth, and promoting economic progress at all levels.

Office - AFWS Operations Manager, Hydrologic Services Division, National Weather Service Eastern Region - W/ER2, Airport Corporate Center, 630 Johnson Avenue, Bohemia, NY 11716.

Telephone: (631) 244-0112.

Program Accomplishments

AFWS have been credited with saving numerous lives and millions of dollars of property by giving participants and users the ability to obtain real time rain and stream gage data. AFWS funds have been used to purchase rain gages and communications equipment to support operational warning systems in areas with a high flash flood risk.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The funds are used by entities who can demonstrate they have significant flood and flash flood risk, and ability to operate and maintain an AFWS.

Data received by the NWS will be redistributed to the public without restrictions.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants are States, counties, municipalities, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Since the basic goal of the AFWS program is to effectively reduce loss of life and damage resulting from flooding, benefits accrue to the general public.


The applicant must describe the organizational entity that will administer the AFWS on a long-term basis. Documentation may also include a copy of by-laws for non-profit organizations, or other supporting documentation that affirms the viability of the organization.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

No preapplication coordination is required.

However, since proposals must demonstrate a level of coordination with the local NOAA/NWS forecast office and/or River Forecast Center, it is strongly recommended that applicants discuss potential interactions with relevant NOAA/NWS personnel prior to submission.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

The recommended procedure is to file electronically via the Federal government portal, The applicant must submit a Standard Form 424 and other associated forms. Along with the forms described above, the applicant must provide a statement of work, project description, and a detailed budget narrative and justification. If electronic filing is unavailable, application packages may be downloaded from, and sent to NOAA/NWS; 1325 East-West Highway, AFWS Program Manager W/OS31, Room 13396, Silver Spring, MD.

Award Procedures

An initial administrative review/screening will be conducted to determine compliance with requirements/completeness. All proposals will then be evaluated and individually ranked in accordance with the assigned weights of published evaluation criteria by an independent peer panel review. Three to seven NOAA/NWS experts may be used in this process. The merit reviewers ratings are used to produce a rank order of the proposals. The Selecting Official then makes final award recommendations after considering the peer panel reviews, selection factors listed in the Federal Register Notice, and funding availability. The Selecting Official's recommendations will be in rank order unless the proposal is selected out of rank order based upon one or more of the selection factors.


Not available.


15 U.S.C. 313; 33 U.S.C. 883d.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not available.




Grant period is up to 24 months for this program. Award of a grant does not preclude the applicant from applying for subsequent grants.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no matching requirements. Projects are accepted at up to 100 percent Federal share.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The award period shall not exceed 24 months, with an anticipated start date of May 1, 2007. Applications to supplement existing AFWS are eligible to compete with applications for new awards. If an application is awarded, the NOAA/NWS has no obligation to provide additional funding in connection with that award in subsequent years. Funds shall be spent during the award's budget period unless the applicant requests and justifies an extension prior to the period of award, and the request is approved by NOAA Grants Office. Funds shall be disbursed through the Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP) System.

Post Assistance Requirements


Progress and financial reports are required semi-annually.

Final reports are due within 90 days of the expiration of the award.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), recipients that are States, Local Governments, Nonprofit Organizations (to include Hospitals), and Institutions of Higher Learning shall be subject to the audit requirements contained in the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7501-7507). Commercial organizations shall be subject to the audit requirements as stipulated in the award document. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, (Revised, June 27, 2003); Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations; nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal Awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for the year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Financial records and supporting documents and all other records, i.e. property, performance work products, patents, etc. pertinent to the agreement shall be maintained for a period of 3 years from the date of the approved financial report.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Cooperative Agreements) FY 07 $425,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$5,000 to $100,000 per year.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Allowable cost will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular A-87 for State and local governments and Indian Tribes; OMB Circular A-122 for nonprofit and for-profit organizations; OMB Circular A-21 for institutions of higher education; and 48 CFR Part 31 for commercial organizations. Financial assistance management will be in accordance with 15 CFR Part 14 for institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other non-profit and commercial organizations, and with 15 CRF Part 24 for state and local governments.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

AFWS Operations Manager, Hydrologic Services Division, National Weather Service Eastern Region - W/ER2, Airport Corporate Center, 630 Johnson Avenue, Bohemia, NY 11716. Telephone: (631) 244-0112.

Headquarters Office

Headquarters Office: AFWS Program Office, Hydrologic Services Division, Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services, National Weather Service - W/OS3, 1325 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Telephone: (301) 713-0006 x154.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Selection criteria are announced within solicitations published in the Federal Register. Examples of criteria are flood risk, technical merit, qualification of applicants, and cost effectiveness.

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