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Released On: August 21, 2014

Six Organizations to Establish or Expand Watershed Activities Using Key Funding Assistance from Reclamation
WaterSMART funding totaling $496,337 to assist activities across four states in the West
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley announced that $496,337 in WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program funding will be made available for six groups to establish or expand a watershed group. Those groups are located in California, Colorado, Montana and New Mexico.

"Reclamation is working to reduce conflict in the effective management of the West's water and power resources," Acting Commissioner Pimley said. "Collaborating with locally-led watershed groups is the pathway to improved water quality and ecosystem resilience in these watersheds."

The Sierra Streams Institute received $99,925 to establish a watershed group for the Bear River in north-central California. They are located in Nevada City, California.

Five entities were selected to receive funding to expand a watershed group. Those entities are:

  • The Flathead Basin Commission in western Montana will receive $95,000 to expand its existing watershed group through the formation of a Flathead Basin Advisory Council.
  • The Clark Fork Coalition near Missoula, Montana, will receive $100,000 for expansion of its staffing and capacity to address water resource challenges in the Upper Clark Fork watershed.
  • Rio Grande Restoration, Inc. will receive $50,000 to expand the existing advisory council to include the Rio Chama watershed in northern New Mexico.
  • The Blackfoot Challenge will receive $52,488 to expand its activities, including the establishment of watershed conservation plans and the improvement of natural resource management within the Blackfoot watershed in western Montana.
  • Middle Colorado Watershed Council in Western Colorado will receive $98,924 to expand the existing watershed group by adding a coordinator-scientist to oversee outreach, develop restoration plans and address water quality/quantity issues.

Distributed over a two-year period, entities will receive no more than $50,000 of the award in the first year. After a 270 day review to ensure the entity is making significant progress in its agreement – and if appropriations are available – it will receive the remaining funding.

The WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program provides funding for watershed groups to encourage diverse stakeholders to form local groups to address their water management needs. Learn more about the program and read complete descriptions on how the selected groups will use the funding online at: www.usbr.gov/watersmart/cwmp.

WaterSMART is the U.S. Department of the Interior's sustainable water initiative that uses the best available science to improve water conservation and help water resource managers identify strategies to narrow the gap between supply and demand. Since its establishment in 2010, WaterSMART has provided about $200 million in competitively awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities and universities through WaterSMART Grants and the Title XVI Program. Learn more at http://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.