Reclamation Announces the Selection of Grants to Perform System Optimization Reviews under WaterSMART Program

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-445-3615

For Release: August 12, 2010

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor announced the selection of $665,250 in System Optimization Review grant proposals through the WaterSMART Program. This money will be leveraged to fund over $1.8 million in System Optimization Reviews.

"Understanding the operations of a water delivery system and identifying possible actions to deliver water more efficiently is the first step towards improving energy and water conservation efforts," said Commissioner Connor. "Delivering water with as little loss as possible helps providers meet the growing water and energy demands that they face."

A System Optimization Review is a broad look at system-wide efficiency focused on improving efficiency and operations of a water delivery system, water district, or water basin. The Review results in a plan of action that focuses on improving efficiency and operations on a regional and basin perspective. Those recommended improvements may then be eligible for Reclamation's Water and Energy Efficiency Grant funding.

This year, five System Optimization Review Grants were selected for funding. Those scheduled to receive grants are:

  • The Water Replenishment District of Southern California, System Optimization Review for the West Coast and Central Basins of Los Angeles County will receive $300,000 in Reclamation funding with a total project cost of $1,086,766. The Water Replenishment District of Southern California will examine opportunities to improve the reliability of supplies that are connected to the State Water Project, the Central Valley Project, or the Colorado River Aqueduct. They manage groundwater for approximately 4 million residents of southern Los Angeles County.
  • The San Juan Water District, Sacramento Regional Integrated System Optimization Review will receive $134,183 in Reclamation funding for a total project cost of $284,462. The San Juan Water District, near Sacramento, will establish goals for a variety of water management improvements, identify and prioritize projects to meet those goals, and develop strategies to implement projects that enhance the greater Sacramento region's ability to ensure water supplies for all uses in a sustainable environment.
  • The Ochoco Irrigation District, Ochoco Irrigation District System Optimization Review will receive $110,025 in Reclamation funding for a total project cost of $229,219. The Ochoco Irrigation District in Oregon will review its operations to analyze ways to optimize water and energy efficiency. Activities include updating the District's water budget and prioritizing piping projects based on water savings, energy efficiency, and cost.
  • The Harlingen Irrigation District, Managing Water Resources Challenges through Planning will receive $73,022 in Reclamation funding for a total project cost of $150,887. The Harlingen Irrigation District in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas will measure past water conservation improvements to prioritize future projects. The District will assess canal conveyance efficiency, application of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, automation, control structures, river and ancillary pumping, off-channel storage, and re-regulation of storage.
  • Providence City, Water Management and Efficiency Improvements Study in Central Cache Valley will receive $48,020 in Reclamation funding for a total project cost of $98,000. Providence City in the central Cache Valley in Utah will assess the potential for improved management of irrigation water for the Blacksmith Fork River and residential water supply from springs and wells for urban landscape irrigation. The City will quantify the amount of water to be conserved as a result of converting open canal to pipeline and the amount of water that could be better managed using a pressurized irrigation system.

WaterSMART is a program of the U.S. Department of the Interior that focuses on improving water conservation and 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.

Editor's Note: A complete description of the projects is attached.

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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