RFP for Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program is Now Available Online

Media Contact: Trudy Harlow, (202) 513-0574
Eileen Salenik, (202) 513-0607

For Release: February 09, 2004

The Request for Proposals for the Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2004 is now available online at www.doi.gov/water2025.

The $4 million Challenge Grant Program is seeking proposals from irrigation and water districts that want to leverage their money and resources in partnership with Reclamation, to make more efficient use of existing water supplies through water conservation, efficiency and water market projects. The program will focus on achieving the outcomes identified in Interior Secretary Gale Norton's Water 2025: Preventing Crises and Conflict in the West, particularly in water conservation and efficiency, water markets, and collaboration, with an emphasis on projects that can be completed within 24 months and that reduce future water conflicts.

"The goal of Water 2025 -- and these challenge grants -- is to support realistic, cooperative approaches and tools that have the most likelihood of successfully addressing water challenges in basins where crisis and conflict are preventable," Secretary Norton said. "Water 2025 is focused on local solutions in partnership with local water users. It is not a big federal program."

The deadline for submitting proposals is April 8, 2004. Selection and award will be in May or June with implementation beginning in early August of this year.

Examples of proposals Reclamation is seeking include development of water accounts that would provide a way to market water for other existing needs, including agriculture; retrofitting and modernizing existing facilities to achieve better water management through use of new technology; and canal lining or construction of new measurement devices that will allow for more accurate measurement and accounting, leading to increased efficiency.

Eligible entities include irrigation and/or water districts legally created and organized under state law, within the states identified in the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902 , as amended and supplemented. Specifically, these states are Arizona , California , Colorado , Idaho , Kansas , Montana , Nebraska , Nevada , New Mexico , North Dakota , Oklahoma , Oregon , South Dakota , Texas , Utah , Washington and Wyoming .

The grants program is being funded under the Western Water Initiative, which was proposed by President George W. Bush in his Fiscal Year 2004 budget request. The Western Water Initiative was the initial step towards Water 2025, which was announced by Secretary Norton in June 2003. President Bush has requested $20 million for Water 2025 activities in FY 2005.

Water 2025 will help manage scarce water resources and develop partnerships to nourish a healthy environment and sustain a vibrant economy. They will encourage voluntary water banks and other market-based measures, promote the use of new technology for water conservation and efficiency, and remove institutional barriers to increase cooperation and collaboration among federal, state, tribal, and private organizations.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

Water 2025 Website