Reclamation announces $5.6 million in Challenge Grants for Water Conservation in the West

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-445-3615

For Release: August 05, 2009

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor announced today that the Bureau of Reclamation has awarded $4.6 million in Water Marketing and Efficiency Grants and $1 million in System Optimization Review Grants. Funding for these grants was provided in the Fiscal Year 2009 appropriations.

"The more efficiently we use water, the more we are going to be able to meet the many demands being placed upon the water supply," said Commissioner Connor. "These Challenge Grants will help Reclamation and respective water entities improve water management to better address the challenges posed by drought, climate change, energy demands, expanding populations, and increased environmental needs."

Water Marketing and Efficiency Grants provide cost-shared funding on a competitive basis for on-the-ground construction projects that will create water markets and make more efficient use of existing water supplies.

An example of a Water Marketing and Efficiency Grant is the award to the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer. New Mexico will establish a water leasing market for the Mimbres River, including the design and implementation of a virtual market and installation of water meters. The total project cost is $1,059,755 with a contribution from Reclamation of $300,000. The state estimates the project will save 9,952 acre-feet of water annually.

System Optimization Reviews provide cost-shared funding on a competitive basis for an assessment of the potential for water management improvements in a basin or district. A report is also developed that identifies specific improvements to increase efficiency, including a plan of action for implementing the recommendations.

An example of a System Optimization Review Grant is the award to Tulare Irrigation District in California. They will perform a regional water management study for the optimization of surface and groundwater resources. The total project cost is $655,150 with a contribution from Reclamation of $300,000.

Proposals were received from water entities and recognized Tribes. Projects were ranked and points were awarded for those projects that propose water marketing or banking elements that will conserve water and improve efficiency, that will improve water management and that have reasonable costs for the benefits gained.

Fiscal Year 2009 Challenge Grant Awards

Water Marketing and Efficiency Grants

California

Arvin-Edison Water Storage District: The District will construct the North Canal check structure for water banking and efficiency benefits. The total project cost is $878,800, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000. The District estimates the project will save 800 acre-feet of water annually.

Buena Vista Water Storage District: The District will construct a new turnout on the California Aqueduct to facilitate additional water exchange programs. The total project cost is $4,155,776, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000. The District estimates the project will save 9,000 acre-feet of water annually.

Delano-Earlimart Irrigation District: The District will develop a groundwater recharge basin into a water bank and will install data loggers and recovery and monitoring wells. The total project cost is $1,014,100, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000. The District estimates the project will save 3,180 acre-feet of water annually.

Fresno Irrigation District: The District will develop a 20-acre groundwater recharge facility including construction of a basin diversion structure, recovery wells to pump banked water, and multiple monitor wells, as well as the installation of water level and flow measurement devices. The project will result in the creation of a new water bank capable of making available up to 1,500 acre feet a year (banking and recharge with flood water). Total project cost is $1,600,195, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000.

Lower Tule River Irrigation District: The Districts enhanced water management and marketing project will include construction of a new flume and automated gate, and installation of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. The total project cost is $606,000, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000. The District estimates the project will save 11,360 acre-feet of water annually.

Madera Irrigation District: The District will construct recharge facilities as part of the development of a 250,000 acre-foot underground water bank. The total project cost is $1,110,816, including a Reclamation contribution of $299,715. The District estimates the project will save 20,367 acre-feet of water annually.

Oakdale Irrigation District: The District will install gates, a measurement flume, a headgate with measurement capabilities, a SCADA system, and a power station. The total project cost is $608,600, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000. The District estimates the project will save 1,650 acre-feet of water annually. Semitropic Water Storage District: The District will perform water management and measurement improvements, including installation of meters and variable frequency drives at new control structures to improve the management of water from a groundwater bank. The total project cost is $1,514,000, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000.

Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District: The District plans to make canal improvements, add capacity to bank water, and install pumps and motor control equipment. The total project cost is $650,400, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000. The District estimates the project will save 2,400 acre-feet of water annually.

Solano Irrigation District: The District will line 1.1 miles of the Vaughn Canal with concrete to reduce seepage losses. The total project cost is $1,457,309, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000. The District estimates the project will save 1,500 acre-feet of water annually.

Tulare Irrigation District: The District plans to construct a new basin and to install new control structures and meters to increase water banking and water marketing capacity for the District and the City of Tulare. The total project cost is $1,060,000, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000. The District estimates the project will save 2,400 acre-feet of water annually.

Nebraska

Bostwick Irrigation District in Nebraska: The District will convert 4.36 miles of open canal to buried pipe to save water lost to seepage and evaporation. The project also includes installation of propeller meters to more accurately measure water. The saved water will be stored for dry years, while water exceeding storage capacity would be passed onto downstream users and possibly marketed. The total project cost is $314,857, including a Reclamation contribution of $120,000. The District estimates the project will save 872 acre-feet of water annually.

New Mexico

New Mexico Office of the State Engineer: The State will establish a water leasing market for the Mimbres River, including design and implementation of a virtual market and installation of water meters. The total project cost is $1,059,755, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000. The State Engineer estimates the project will save 9,952 acre-feet of water annually.

South Dakota

Belle Fourche Irrigation District: The Districts Belle Fourche Reservoir Inlet Canal Lining Phase III project includes lining of approximately one mile of canal to reduce seepage. The total project cost is $612,434, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000. The District estimates the project will save 4,500 acre-feet of water annually.

Texas

Harlingen Irrigation District: The District will design and construct 15 sluice gate structures to improve flow measurement and reduce spills. The total project cost is $484,436, including a Reclamation contribution of $162,493. The District estimates the project will save 3,143 acre-feet of water annually.

Utah

Salt Lake City Corporation: The Big Cottonwood Tanner Ditch Water Conservation and Fire Flow Improvements Project Phase 2 will include construction of 11,200 feet of pipeline. Total project cost is $1,460,767, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000. The project is estimated to save 2,050 acre-feet of water annually.

South Weber Irrigation Company: The project includes installation of automation and SCADA as well as converting 17 miles of canal to pipes. The total project cost is $400,000, including a Reclamation contribution of $190,000. The District estimates the project will save 379 acre-feet of water annually.

System Optimization Reviews

California

East Bay Municipal Utility District: The District will develop an Advanced Metering Implementation Plan for system optimization. The total project cost is $600,048, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000.

Tulare Irrigation District: The District will perform a Regional Water Management Study for the optimization of surface and groundwater resources. The total project cost is $655,150, including a Reclamation contribution of $300,000.

City of Folsom: The City will perform a System Optimization Review and Conjunctive Use Project for the optimization of surface and groundwater resources. The total project cost is $1,973,518, including a Reclamation contribution of $299,705.

Nebraska

Bostwick Irrigation District: The District will conduct a study to identify opportunities to conserve and manage local water supplies within the District. The total project cost is $53,700, including a Reclamation contribution of $26,850.

Utah

Kearns Improvement District: The District will perform an evaluation for water management improvements and potential for water reuse. The total project cost is $164,605, including a Reclamation contribution of $80,000.

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Challenge Grants