Bureau of Reclamation makes WaterSMART grants available to improve water, energy conservation

The Bureau of Reclamation is inviting states, tribes, water and irrigation districts, and other water- and power-related organizations to apply for funding to cost-share on projects that conserve and use water more efficiently, increase renewable energy use and improve energy efficiency.

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 30, 2014 -- The Bureau of Reclamation is inviting states, tribes, water and irrigation districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery to apply for a funding opportunity to cost-share on projects that conserve and use water more efficiently, increase renewable energy use and improve energy efficiency. The projects should support water sustainability in the west.

Applications may be submitted to one of two funding groups:

  • Funding Group I: Up to $300,000 will be available for smaller projects that may take up to two years to complete.
  • Funding Group II: Up to $1,000,000 will be available for larger, phased projects that will take up to three years to complete. No more than $500,000 in federal funds will be provided within a given fiscal year to complete each phase. This will provide an opportunity for larger, multiple-year projects to receive some funding in the first year without having to compete for funding in the second and third years.

Proposals must seek to conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, benefit endangered and threatened species, facilitate water markets, carry out activities to address climate-related impacts on water, or prevent any water-related crisis or conflict. (Click here to view examples of previous successful applications, including projects with a wide-range of eligible activities.)

The Bureau awarded $17.8 million for 36 Water and Energy Efficiency Grants in 2014. These projects were estimated to save about 67,000 acre-feet of water per year -- enough water to serve a population of more than 250,000 people. President Obama's FY 2015 budget request included a $19-million request for WaterSMART grants.

Since 2009, about $134 million in Federal funding for WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants has been leveraged with approximately $290 million in non-Federal cost-share to implement more than $420 million in water management improvements across the West.

The WaterSMART Program focuses on improving water conservation, sustainability and helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. It identifies strategies to ensure that this and future generations will have sufficient supplies of clean water for drinking, economic activities, recreation, and ecosystem health. The program also identifies adaptive measures to address climate change and its impact on future water demands.

Proposals must be submitted (as indicated here) by 4 p.m., Mountain Standard Time, on Jan. 14, 2015. It is anticipated that awards will be made this spring.

See also:

"Reclamation funding to help orgs establish, expand watershed activities"

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

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