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Released On: August 29, 2011

Reclamation Selects Projects in California and Utah to Receive WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants
Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor announced today that two additional projects have been selected to receive a total of $1.3 million in Fiscal Year 2011 WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant funding. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California was selected to receive $1 million while Payson City Corporation in Utah will receive $300,000.

These two grants bring the total WaterSMART funding for Water and Energy Efficiency Grants to more than $25 million this year. Of that amount, California received $5.8 million for 16 projects and Utah received $3.9 million for seven projects. Since its establishment in 2010, the WaterSMART Program has provided more than $80 million in competitively-awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts and universities.

"The Bureau of Reclamation continues to work with water districts, communities, other government agencies and Native American Tribes to improve water and energy efficiencies in the West," said Commissioner Connor. "And by working together, such as with these latest WaterSMART grants, we can find more efficient ways to use water available in the West to protect jobs, enhance the use of clean energy and promote the sustainable use of limited resources."

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar established the WaterSMART program in February 2010 – the SMART in WaterSMART stands for "Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow" – in cooperation with Commissioner Connor, Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle. WaterSMART grants are given for water and energy efficiency projects, system optimization reviews, advanced water treatment pilot, demonstration projects and climate studies.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will use its $1 million grant to provide incentives, under the California Friendly Turf Replacement Incentive Program, to transform approximately 2 million square feet of irrigated turf to water efficient landscapes. Such landscapes would feature climate-appropriate plants, efficient irrigation, permeable surfaces to allow rainwater infiltration, and mulch to preserve soil moisture. Water conserved through this project will help avoid future water supply shortages related to population growth, climate change, drought and other stressors. The project is expected to result in 276 acre-feet of water savings per year.

Payson City Corporation in Utah will install 1,100 residential irrigation meters with radio telemetry to the existing Payson City Secondary Pressurized Irrigation System. This project enables Payson City to monitor irrigation usage throughout the city. Conserved water will reduce the reliance on groundwater and will be put back into Peteetneet Creek to be used by other users. It is anticipated that this project will save approximately 170 acre-feet of water per year.

These two WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant projects will leverage federal funding with non-federal cost share to complete more than $2.6 million in water management improvements. The WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants will improve water management, increase energy efficiency in the delivery of water, facilitate water marketing projects, help protect endangered and threatened species, and carry out other activities to address climate-related impacts on water or prevent water-related crisis and conflict.

The WaterSMART Program focuses on improving water conservation, 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.

To learn more about 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.