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Mid-Pacific Region
Sacramento, Calif.
Media Contact:
Pete Lucero, MP Region Public Affairs Officer
916-978-5100

Released On: February 22, 2012

Reclamation and Natural Resources Conservation Service Provide Funding Opportunity for Water Conservation
Updated Award Information and Extended Application Deadline

The Bureau of Reclamation announces an additional $2.5 million is available to award under this program. Up to $7.5 million is now available under this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), and the federal funding cap has been increased to $1 million per project, not to exceed 50 percent of project costs. Additionally, the deadline for applicant submission has been extended from March 1 to March 15, 2012.

Reclamation, in cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), announces the availability of Agricultural Water Conservation Efficiency Grants, a funding opportunity through the Bay-Delta Restoration Program. Reclamation is seeking proposals from California Indian tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority to partner with Reclamation on district-level water conservation projects that facilitate on-farm conservation or water use efficiency. In 2011, Reclamation and NRCS formed a water conservation partnership as a pilot project. As a result of the success of this partnership, Reclamation and NRCS are continuing the collaborative process through this funding program.

The FOA is available at www.grants.gov using funding opportunity number R12AF20003. The FOA invites eligible applicants, as described above, to leverage their money and resources by cost sharing with Reclamation on projects that save water, improve water management, create new supplies for agricultural irrigation, improve energy efficiency and benefit endangered species. Projects should also increase the capability or success rate of on-farm water conservation or water use efficiency projects that can be undertaken by farmers and ranchers through irrigation system improvements and irrigation efficiency enhancements.

Once projects have been selected, NRCS will provide accelerated technical and financial assistance to farmers and ranchers in the successful applicant’s project area, through United States Department of Agriculture programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) or the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP). Through EQIP and AWEP, NRCS California is making available up to an additional $5 million for on-farm water conservation efforts for this effort.

In 2011, Reclamation and NRCS collectively awarded more than $9 million to five water districts and their farmers for water conservation and water use efficiency projects. This partnership between Reclamation, NRCS, water districts and farmers will help improve water conservation and water supply sustainability.

The deadline for application submission is extended to March 15, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. PST. Proposals must be submitted as outlined on www.grants.gov. It is anticipated that awards will be made in spring 2012. For more information, please contact Sheri Looper at 916-978-5556 (TTY 916-978-5608) or slooper@usbr.gov.

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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.