Reclamation funding to help orgs establish, expand watershed activities

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WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 21, 2014 -- The Bureau of Reclamation recently announced that $496,337 in WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program funding will be made available to six organizations to establish or expand a watershed group. These groups are located in the states of California, Colorado, Montana, and New Mexico.

"Reclamation is working to reduce conflict in the effective management of the West's water and power resources," Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley said. "Collaborating with locally-led watershed groups is the pathway to improved water quality and ecosystem resilience in these watersheds."

One entity was selected to receive funding to establish a watershed group:

  • The Sierra Streams Institute received $99,925 to establish a watershed group for the Bear River in north-central California. The organization is located in Nevada City, Calif.

Five entities were selected to receive funding to expand a watershed group:

  • The Flathead Basin Commission in western Montana will receive $95,000 to expand its existing watershed group through the formation of a Flathead Basin Advisory Council.
  • The Clark Fork Coalition near Missoula, Mont., will receive $100,000 for expansion of its staffing and capacity to address water resource challenges in the Upper Clark Fork watershed.
  • Rio Grande Restoration, Inc. will receive $50,000 to expand the existing advisory council to include the Rio Chama watershed in northern New Mexico.
  • The Blackfoot Challenge will receive $52,488 to expand its activities, including the establishment of watershed conservation plans and the improvement of natural resource management within the Blackfoot watershed in western Montana.
  • Middle Colorado Watershed Council in Western Colorado will receive $98,924 to expand the existing watershed group by adding a coordinator-scientist to oversee outreach, develop restoration plans and address water quality/quantity issues.

Distributed over a two-year period, entities will receive no more than $50,000 of the award in the first year. After a 270-day review to ensure the entity is making significant progress in its agreement -- and if appropriations are available -- it will receive the remaining funding.

See also:

"WaterSMART funding available for entities seeking to establish, expand watershed groups"

"Reclamation to provide $1.29M to nine projects for Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Feasibility Studies"


About WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program

The WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program provides funding for watershed groups to encourage diverse stakeholders to form local groups to address their water management needs. For more information, visit www.usbr.gov/watersmart/cwmp.

About WaterSMART

WaterSMART is the U.S. Department of the Interior's sustainable water initiative that uses the best available science to improve water conservation and help water resource managers identify strategies to narrow the gap between supply and demand. Since its establishment in 2010, WaterSMART has provided about $200 million in competitively awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities and universities through WaterSMART Grants and the Title XVI Program. For more information, visit www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART.

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