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Commissioner's Office
Washington, D.C.
Media Contact:
Peter Soeth
303-445-3615

Released On: March 01, 2010

Partners Sought by Reclamation for Basin Studies
The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking letters of interest from non-federal entities throughout the 17 western states to conduct river basin or sub-basin studies where water supply and demand imbalances may exist.

This program is part of the Department of the Interior's recently announced WaterSMART Program and is a key component of Reclamation's plan for implementing the SECURE Water Act. The studies will include assessments of the impacts of climate change on water resources and will further and specifically consider risks to water supplies (e.g., changes to snowpack, timing and quantity of runoff, etc.), and water resources impacts as enumerated in the SWA, to the extent applicable.

This is the first-step of a two-step selection process. Non-federal entities must submit a letter of interest to their respective Reclamation Regional Office by March 26, 2010. These letters will be reviewed and those selected, according to published criteria, will work with Reclamation staff to develop a joint study proposal that will be evaluated and ranked by a Reclamation-wide review committee.

The Basin Studies will be cost-shared on a 50/50 basis with willing state, tribal and local partners, and will generally be two years in duration. Because this is not a financial assistance program, Reclamation's share of the study costs may only be used to support work done by Reclamation or its contractors. Reclamation may not pass funding through to cost-share partners in the form of grants or cooperative agreements.

For more information on the WaterSMART Program please visit www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART.

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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.