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Commissioner's Office
Washington, D.C.
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Dan DuBray
(202) 513-0574

Released On: February 11, 2011

Reclamation Seeking Partners for WaterSMART Basin Studies
The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking eligible non-federal entities interested in participating in a Basin Study under the WaterSMART Program. Those entities interested in proposing a Basin Study to Reclamation must submit a letter of interest to their respective Reclamation regional office by March 16, 2011.

Basin Studies are comprehensive studies that define options for meeting future water demands in river basins in the western United States where imbalances in supply and demand exist or are projected. Reclamation will work cooperatively with state and local partners to conduct the study.

A Basin Study is comprised of four main elements:

  1. Projections of water supply and demand, including the risks of climate change
  2. Analysis of how existing water and power infrastructure and operations will perform in response to changing water realities
  3. Development of options and mitigation strategies to improve operations and infrastructure to supply adequate water in the future
  4. Trade-off analysis of the options identified, findings and recommendations as appropriate

Information regarding the risks and impacts of climate change may be developed as part of the Basin Studies, or may include baseline analyses developed through the West-Wide Climate Risk Assessments, another activity under the WaterSMART Program. The non-federal entities interested in participating in a Basin Study must contribute at least 50 percent of the total study cost as cash or in-kind services. Basin Studies are not a financial assistance program; therefore Reclamation's share of the study costs may only be used to support work done by Reclamation or its contractors.

Proposed letters of interest for Basin Studies will be reviewed by Reclamation regional office staff. Those selected for further consideration will work with Reclamation technical experts to develop a joint study proposal for evaluation and prioritization by a Reclamation-wide review committee. The committee will develop a group of final recommendations to be considered for funding within existing budget parameters.

To learn more about proposing a Basin Study or to learn more about the WaterSMART Program, visit www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/. To determine the Reclamation region in which your specific basin is located, visit www.usbr.gov/main/regions.html.

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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.