WaterSMART News Releases http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom Reclamation Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57358 Reclamation Seeks Comments on Draft Criteria for New WaterSMART Water Marketing Funding Opportunity
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking comments on eligible activities and evaluation criteria for a new WaterSMART water marketing funding opportunity. Through this funding opportunity Reclamation will provide grants to conduct planning activities in developing a water marketing strategy to establish or expand water markets or water marketing transactions. <P> Reclamation is seeking comments on the types of activities that will be eligible in this funding opportunity. In the draft funding opportunity, the types of eligible activities defined are outreach and partnership building, scoping and planning activities, and the development of a water marketing framework. Applicants will have some flexibility to define appropriate tasks within these three elements to allow them to design a water marketing strategy that meets their needs. <P> Comments are also being sought on the draft evaluation criteria that will be used to prioritize proposals in this funding opportunity. The draft criteria currently provide some priority for strategies supporting larger water markets, with more transactions, and strategies supporting a small number or even a single transaction if that strategy is likely to lead to immediate implementation of a water marketing project. The draft criteria also give weight to proposed strategies that will provide significant benefits, such as meeting an important water supply need or decreasing the likelihood of conflicts over water. Other priorities in this draft criteria are proposals with stakeholder support, detailed descriptions of milestones, schedules and budgets. <P> For this new funding opportunity, water marketing refers to water rights transactions, include the lease, sale or exchange of water rights, undertaken in accordance with state and federal laws, between willing buyers and sellers. A water market refers to a formal arrangement, based on a set of rules and/or water management agreements, to allow for water rights transactions within a specific geographic area. A “water marketing strategy” consists of planning activities including engineering, hydrologic, legal, economic, and other types of analysis, and the development of rules, legal agreements, software and logistical arrangements for water marketing. <P> The water marketing funding opportunity is expected to be posted in February 2017. It will require a minimum 50 percent non-federal cost share contribution and Reclamation will be separating proposals in to two funding groups, one for proposals seeking up to $200,000 in federal funds and another for proposals seeking up to $400,000. <P> Send your comments on water marketing evaluation criteria and project types to Avra Morgan at aomorgan@usbr.gov. Comments on the draft criteria will be accepted through Jan. 6, 2017, at 4 p.m. MST. <P> WaterSMART is the 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. For more information on the WaterSMART program or download the draft criteria please visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart">https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57317 Stormwater Management Importance Underscored in Los Angeles Basin Study Released by Bureau of Reclamation
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López has released the Los Angeles Basin Study that looks at the changing demographics, climate change and competing interests for available water supplies and identifies options to meet the water needs of the Los Angeles area into the future. The study found that there is a potential water supply deficit for the region of approximately 160,000 acre-feet-per year by 2035 and 440,000 acre-feet-per-year or 25-percent less water than the region is projected to need in 2095.  <P> "Reclamation and our partners in the Los Angeles area are working to assure a sustainable water supply now and into the future," Commissioner López said. "The basin study provides our partners the information that they need to further study the various alternatives for future water supplies while reducing their reliance on the state water project and the Colorado River Aqueduct." <P> The study compiled and assessed the potential impacts of climate change in the Los Angeles area. These impacts include possible variations in precipitation and changes in the timing and intensity of storms through 2095, temperature increases of 3.5 degrees to 4 degrees Fahrenheit along the coast and 4.5 degrees to 5.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the mountains and desert, an increase in sea-level of 5-24 inches by 2050 and 17-66 inches by 2100, and an increased wildfire risk. <P> The Los Angeles area relies on imported water from the state water project and the Colorado River for about 57 percent of its current water supply. These imported supplies may be negatively impacted in the future by climate change, drought, and increasing demands. To address this increased uncertainty, the study focused on local water supply sources such as groundwater, which is an important component of the area’s overall water supply portfolio. <P> The Los Angeles County Flood Control District, a partner in this study with Reclamation, placed a strong emphasis on stormwater capture for groundwater recharge. In addition, recycled water and other local supplies were studied to assist with groundwater recharge. These adaptive concepts were divided among local, regional, storage solutions and management solutions. <P> The Los Angeles Basin covers approximately 2,040 square miles and features a population of 9.9 million people that is projected to increase to more than 11 million through the next several decades. Nearly 92 percent of Los Angeles County's population resides within the basin, more than one-fourth of the State of California's 38.8 million residents. <P> This basin study was conducted as part of Reclamation's WaterSMART Program and was cost-shared between Reclamation, Los Angeles County Flood Control District and 20 local project partners. It is available on Reclamation's Basin Study Program website at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/bsp/">http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/bsp/</a>. <P> WaterSMART is the 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. For more information on the WaterSMART program, visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART">www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57256 Bureau of Reclamation Releases Funding Opportunities for Drought Contingency Planning and Drought Resiliency Projects
WASHINGTON - Two funding opportunities are now available from the Bureau of Reclamation for entities to develop drought contingency plans and build long-term solutions to drought. These two funding opportunities are part of Reclamation's Drought Response Program. <P> The drought contingency planning funding opportunity is for applicants to request up to $200,000 to develop a new drought plan or to update an existing drought plan. Applicants may also request technical assistance from Reclamation for the development of elements of the Drought Contingency Plan. States, Indian tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority located in the 17 Western United States and Hawaii are eligible for this funding opportunity. It is available at <a href="http://www.grants.gov" target="_blank">www.grants.gov</a> by searching for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-17-F009. <P> The drought resiliency projects funding opportunity is for projects that will increase the reliability of water supply; improve water management; implement systems to facilitate the voluntary sale, transfer, or exchange of water; and provide benefits for fish, wildlife, and the environment to mitigate impacts caused by drought. <P> Applications may be submitted under one of two funding groups for resiliency projects: <P> <ul> <li>Funding Group I: up to $300,000 for projects that can be completed within two years</li> <li>Funding Group II: up to $750,000 for larger projects that can be completed within three years.</li> </ul> <P> For drought resiliency projects, states, tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority in the 17 Western United States or United States Territories as identified in the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902, are invited to leverage their resources by cost sharing with Reclamation. Applicants must also provide a 50 percent non-Federal cost-share. It is available at <a href="http://www.grants.gov" target="_blank">www.grants.gov</a> by searching for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-17-F010. <P> The fiscal year 2017 budget request includes $4 million for the Drought Response Program. Applications are due on February 14, 2017, by 4 p.m. MST as indicated in the funding opportunities. <P> For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have worked to develop a sustainable water and power future for the West. This program is part of the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program, which focuses on improving water conservation and sustainability, while helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. <P> To find out more information about Reclamation's WaterSMART program, visit http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart, or visit the Drought Response Program at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/drought">http://www.usbr.gov/drought</a>. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57178 Reclamation Releases Draft Environmental Document for the Central California Irrigation District Water and Energy Efficiency Grant Project
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Bureau of Reclamation has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Central California Irrigation District (District) Molasses Ditch Lining Project (Project). The Draft EA details Reclamation’s proposed grant of $300,000 to the District through WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant Funding. The District would use the funding to line the existing Molasses Ditch with concrete, as well as replace culverts and existing water control structures for efficient water transport. <P> Approximately two miles of the unlined Molasses Ditch will be engineered to increase system efficiency, improve flow by reducing seepage, and remove aquatic vegetation. The Project is expected to conserve approximately 476 acre-feet per year through seepage elimination and reduce the delivery time between the canal headworks and farm headgate deliveries. Once installed, the Project will reduce the District's irrigation demand from the Central Valley Project, improve operational efficiency, and help encourage growers to convert to high-efficiency irrigation systems. <P> The Draft EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=27066">http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=27066</a>. If you encounter problems accessing the document online, please call 916-978-5100 (TTY 800-877-8339) or email <a href="mailto:mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov">mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov</a>. <P> Comments are due by close of business Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, to <a href="mailto:hkahler@usbr.gov">hkahler@usbr.gov</a>. Comments may also be mailed to Harry Kahler, Bureau of Reclamation, MP-152, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825 or faxed to 916-978-5055. For additional information or to request a copy of the Draft EA, please contact Kahler at 916-978-5216 (TTY 800-877-8339). <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57168 Bureau of Reclamation Seeks Applicants for Four Water Treatment Research Funding Opportunities
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking applicants for four water treatment research funding opportunities under the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program and Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program. <P> The DWPR program funding opportunities will provide funding for the full spectrum of technology development and testing to support the commercialization of new desalination and water purification technologies. The Title XVI Program funding opportunity is focused on moving research to practice by supporting planning related research to help deploy technologies or processes that are currently available in the industry to help address water supply challenges. <P> The DWPR Program has three funding opportunities available. They are: <P> <blockquote>Research and laboratory scale projects are typically bench scale studies involving small flow rates less than two gallons per minutes. Successful applicants will receive up to $150,000 available per applicant. The application process is divided into two phases. Phase one applications are due on January 18, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. MST. Phase two applications will be due at the end of March 2017. Applicants are required to provide at least 50-percent non-federal funding. Universities are not required to provide a cost-share but it is encouraged. The funding opportunity announcement is available on <a href="http://www.grants.gov" target="_blank">www.grants.gov</a> by searching BOR-DO-17-F005. <P> Pilot scale testing projects are typically preceded by research studies that demonstrate that the technology works and usually involve flow rates above one gallon a minute. Successful applicants will receive up to $200,000 per applicant, per year for a total funding of up to $400,000. Phase one applications are due on January 12, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. MST. Phase two applications will be due at the end of March 2017. All applicants are required to provide at least 50-percent non-federal funding. The funding opportunity announcement is available on <a href="www.grants.gov" target="_blank">http://www.grants.gov</a> by searching BOR-DO-17-F006. <P> Full scale testing projects are typically preceded by pilot scale testing that demonstrates that the technology works. They are at a true full-scale size that could operate at an actual desalination plant. Successful applicants will receive up to $500,000 per applicant per year for a total of up to $1.5 million over three years. Phase one applications are due on January 12, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. MST. Phase two applications will be due at the end of March 2017. All applicants are required to provide at least 75-percent non-federal funding. The funding opportunity announcement is available on <a href="http://www.grants.gov" target="_blank">www.grants.gov</a> by searching BOR-DO-17-F007.</blockquote> <P> The Title XVI Program will provide funding for research to establish or expand water reuse markets, improve or expand existing water reuse facilities, and streamline the implementation of clean water technology at new facilities. Up to $75,000 will be provided for projects that can be completed in up to 18 months, $150,000 for projects that can be completed in up to 24 months, and $300,000 in funding for research that can be completed within 36 months. Applications are due on February 6, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. MST. The funding opportunity announcement is available at www.grants.gov by searching for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-17-F004. <P> To learn more about Title XVI Research Studies and WaterSMART, please visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART">http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART</a>. To learn more about the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program please visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/research/dwpr">http://www.usbr.gov/research/dwpr</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57074 Bureau of Reclamation Releases Two Title XVI Funding Opportunity Announcements
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking applications for two funding opportunity announcements, one for Title XVI Authorized Projects and the other for Title XVI Feasibility Studies. The Title XVI Authorized Projects FOA is for entities that have a congressionally authorized Title XVI water reclamation and reuse project. The Title XVI Feasibility Studies FOA is for entities that would like to develop a new water reclamation and reuse feasibility study. <P> The Title XVI Authorized Projects FOA is available at <a href="http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=289700">www.grants.gov</a> by searching for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-17-F002. Applicants must have a congressionally authorized Title XVI water reclamation and reuse project. It is estimated that funding will be provided for between 5 to10 projects. Proposals must be submitted as indicated in the application packet by 4 p.m. MST on Dec. 15, 2016. <P> The Title XVI Feasibility Study FOA is available at <a href="http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=289701" target="_blank">www.grants.gov</a> by searching for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-17-F003. Eligible applicants include state, regional or local authorities, Indian tribes or tribal organizations, or other entities such as a water district, wastewater district, or rural water district. Applicants must provide a minimum 50-percent cost-share for the proposed feasibility study. Proposals must be submitted as indicated in the application packet by 4 p.m. MST on Jan. 5, 2017. <P> Reclamation provides funding through the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program for projects that reclaim and reuse municipal, industrial, domestic or agricultural wastewater and naturally impaired ground or surface waters. Reclaimed water can be used for a variety of purposes, such as environmental restoration, fish and wildlife, groundwater recharge, municipal, domestic, industrial, agricultural, power generation or recreation. Water reuse is a drought resistant water supply and is an essential tool for stretching limited water supplies in the Western United States. <P> Title XVI projects provide communities with a new source of clean water while promoting water and energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. The program is part of the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART initiative. It is 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. <P> Since 1992, Title XVI funding has been used to provide communities with new sources of clean water, while promoting water and energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. In that time, approximately $667 million in federal funding has been leveraged with nonfederal funding to implement more than $3.3 billion in water reuse improvements. <P> Title XVI has become an important part of Interior's implementation of the President’s June 2013, <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf" target="_blank">Climate Action Plan</a> and the Nov. 1, 2013, Executive Order, Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change. <P> To learn more about Title XVI and WaterSMART, please visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART">http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART</a>. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56487 Bureau of Reclamation Launches American River Basin Study in Northern California
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López announced that Reclamation is launching a new basin study in the American River Basin in Northern California. This comprehensive water study will help inform water management in the Central Valley Project. <P> "Understanding the growing imbalances between water supply and demand in the West is important for Reclamation and its partners," Commissioner López said. "Working together and using the latest science and data we can develop options that will help us achieve a sustainable water supply." <P> The American River Basin Study will include the development of detailed hydrologic analysis and models for the basin, which will include consideration of the impacts of climate change. It will also leverage existing stakeholder groups to identify and evaluate adaptation strategies specific to the American River Basin. To complete this study, Reclamation is partnering with the Placer County Water Agency, El Dorado County Water Agency, City of Sacramento, City of Roseville, City of Folsom and Regional Water Authority. <P> The basin encompasses 2,140 square miles in California from its headwaters in the Sierra Nevada near Lake Tahoe to the city of Sacramento where it meets the Sacramento River. It is highly populated and the population is expected to grow 47 percent to nearly 3 million people by 2060. The basin supports salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act and provides water to support the Bay-Delta ecosystem. <P> Reclamation will also be collaborating with partners to update the St. Mary and Milk River Basins Study in Montana and Santa Fe Basin Study in New Mexico. <P> The St. Mary and Milk River Basins straddle the U.S./Canadian border. The basin study update will improve the modeling used in the initial basin study, which was completed in 2012. At that time, the basin study projected a 27 percent increase in irrigation depletion by 2050. Currently the basin is experiencing an annual shortage of 71,000 acre-feet, which represents 36 percent of the overall irrigation supply. The new modeling will support efforts to meet current and future water demands. <P> The Santa Fe Basin Study covers a 285 square mile sub-basin of the Rio Grande located in New Mexico. The original basin study completed in 2015 projected that shortages may reach up to 9,323 acre-feet by 2055, about 40 percent of projected demand within the basin. The update to the basin study will include an analysis to better understand the progression of shortages leading up to 2055. This update will assist the city in evaluating strategies to meet future water needs and evaluate strategies including water reuse, enhanced conservation, and grey water and rooftop catchment programs. <P> The Basin Study Program is part of WaterSMART. WaterSMART is the 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. For more information on the WaterSMART program, visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART" target="_blank">www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART</a>. <P> To learn more about the Basin Study Program or the projects announced today, please visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/bsp" target="_blank">www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/bsp</a>. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55340 Bureau of Reclamation Selects Twenty-one Projects to Receive $2.93 Million to Study Water Treatment Technologies
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López today announced $2.93 million in funding for water treatment technologies research. This funding is being provided through the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program for the development of new water treatment technologies and Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program for research into the deployment of new technologies that supports the expansion of water technologies in new locations. <P> "In a number of Western river basins, Reclamation and its partners are seeing demands for water exceed traditional supplies," Commissioner López said. "Funding research into new water treatment technologies will expand the number of water supply resource options." <P> The Desalination and Water Purification Research Program will provide $1.78 million for nine lab-scale and three pilot-scale projects. This program supports the development of new advanced water treatment technologies. Up to $150,000 will be provided for research and laboratory studies that must be completed within a year and up to $200,000 per year for pilot-scale projects that must be completed within two years. <P> For example, the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, will receive $143,869 to study approaches to increase technical feasibility of using membrane distillation for desalinating high-concentration brines, brackish waters, produced waters and seawater. <P> The Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Research Program will provide $1.15 million to help fund nine projects in the Western United States. This program helps communities address water supply challenges by providing much-needed funding for research to establish or expand water reuse markets, improve or expand existing water reuse facilities, and streamline the implementation of clean water technology at new facilities. <P> For example, the City of San Angelo, Texas, will use $300,000 of federal funding and $1,094,849 of non-federal funding to perform pilot-scale testing to assess existing water treatment technologies for a direct potable reuse project. The proposed research will evaluate approaches to maximize water recovery, verify the performance of advanced water treatment processes, and assess the viability of reverse osmosis concentrate disposal using deep injection wells at an inland location. <P> A complete list of the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program projects can be found at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/research/programs/desalination">www.usbr.gov/research/programs/desalination</a>. A complete list of Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Research Program projects can be found at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/title">www.usbr.gov/watersmart/title</a>. <P> The funding provided today supports the <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/documents/Water_Resource_Challenges_and_Technology_Innovation_12_14.pdf">White House’s Water Innovation Strategy to address Water Resource Challenges and Opportunities for Water Technology Innovation</a>. The Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Research Program also supports the Department of the Interior's <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart">WaterSMART Program</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55331 Eleven Organizations to Establish or Further Develop Cooperative Watershed Management Groups in the West
WASHINGTON – Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López announced $876,565 in funding through the WaterSMART Program for eleven projects that will establish or further develop watershed management groups. Those groups are located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Oregon. <P> “Reclamation supports the efforts of cooperative watershed management groups as a means to reduce conflict in the management of the West’s water and power resources,” Commissioner López said. “Collaboration is the key to improved health and resilience in these watersheds.” <P> Through WaterSMART’s Cooperative Watershed Management Program (CWMP), Reclamation provides financial assistance to locally-led watershed groups to encourage diverse stakeholders to form local solutions to water management needs. By providing this funding, Reclamation aims to promote the sustainable use of water resources and improve the condition of rivers and streams through water conservation, improved water quality and ecological resilience, and with support of collaborative conservation efforts that aim to reduce conflicts over water management. <P> Four entities will receive $303,921 to establish a cooperative watershed management group: <ul> <li>Shadowcliff, a non-profit organization, will receive $100,000 to establish the Upper Colorado River Watershed Group (Colorado)</li> <li>Upper Rio Grande Watershed District will receive $50,000 to establish a cooperative watershed management group (New Mexico)</li> <li>Chickasaw Nation will receive $53,921 to establish the Lake of the Arbuckles Watershed Group (Oklahoma)</li> <li>Walla Walla Watershed Council will receive $100,000 to establish the Walla Walla Basin Watershed Management Group (Oregon)</li> </ul> <P> Seven entities will receive $572,644 to further develop a cooperative watershed management group: <ul> <li>Clean Colorado River Sustainability Coalition will receive $80,700 for the Watershed Expansion & Management Project (Arizona)</li> <li>Tse Si Ani Chapter will receive $100,000 for Working Across Tribal Borders: Restoring the Black Mesa Watersheds Together (Arizona)</li> <li>Sierra Streams Institute will receive $99,933 for Further Development of Bear River Watershed Group (California)</li> <li>Trinity County Resource Conservation District will receive $100,000 for Trinity River Watershed Council Expansion (California)</li> <li>Beaverhead Conservation District will receive $100,000 for Further Development of the Beaverhead Watershed Committee (Montana)</li> <li>Petroleum County Conservation District will receive $61,011 for Expanding Efforts to Coordinate Watershed Planning in the Musselshell River Watershed (Montana)</li> <li>Sun River Watershed Group will receive $31,000 for Revise Work Plan to Build Long-Term Resiliency of the Sun River Watershed (Montana)</li> </ul> <P> Learn more about the WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program and see descriptions on how the selected groups will use the funding, please visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/cwmp">http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/cwmp</a>. <P> 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. To learn more about WaterSMART, please visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart">http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55287 Interior, USDA Announce More Than $47 Million in Investments for Water Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Drought Response & Agriculture Operations Across the West
BRIGHTON, Colo. – The U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture today announced more than $47 million in investments to help water districts and producers on private working lands better conserve water resources. The funds include $15 million in USDA funds and $32.6 million from the Bureau of Reclamation for local projects to improve water and energy efficiency and provide a strengthened federal response to ongoing and potential drought across 13 states in the West. <P> Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the funding in Brighton, Colo. Reclamation funding will support 76 local projects through the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART program. Funding from USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) will support on-farm water delivery system improvements through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in association with the Interior-funded projects. López and Vilsack were joined by a local water authority and landowner who spoke about the importance of the federal funding in the cost share program. <P> “By working with communities and producers to more wisely manage the water they have, we help ensure that this and future generations will have sufficient supplies of clean water for drinking, agriculture, economic activities, recreation, and ecosystem health,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “As drought continues across the west, our farmers and ranchers are stepping up to the plate to partner with communities and strengthen efficiency to better conserve our water supply.” <P> “Water and energy efficiency are intricately linked,” Commissioner López said. “When we conserve water, we also conserve the energy it takes to move it. One way we can achieve these efficiencies is to bring federal resources to the table for local projects that focus on saving water. This program represents one more way we’re focusing resources on projects to provide resiliency in the face of drought.” <P> Interior’s funding is made available through competitive grant programs, which are part of the WaterSMART sustainable water initiative. The grants and selection process are managed by Reclamation, which is the nation’s largest wholesale water supplier, providing one in five western farmers with irrigation water for 10 million acres of farmland and potable water to more than 31 million Americans across 17 western states. <P> Of the 76 new projects announced today, Reclamation has selected 53 projects in 11 states to receive a total of $25.6 million in WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants which, when leveraged with local and other funding sources, will complete more than $128 million in efficiency improvements. In addition to the new grants announced today, Reclamation will provide $2.1 million to support previously selected WaterSMART projects. Together, these projects are expected to enable water savings of more than 123,000 acre-feet. More details on the program and projects announced today can be found on the WaterSMART <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/weeg/">Water and Energy Efficiency Grants website</a>. <P> WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants can be used for projects that conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, benefit endangered and threatened species, carry out activities to address climate-related impacts on water, or prevent any water-related crisis or conflict. <P> Alongside the 53 Water and Energy Efficiency Grants, Reclamation also selected 23 additional cost share grants through its WaterSMART Drought Response Program totaling $4.9 million, which, when leveraged with cost-share funding, will provide a total of $23.5 million in efforts associated with the program. More detail on the program and the projects announced today can be found on the <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/drought/">Drought Response Program website</a>. <P> Through its EQIP program, NRCS is investing $5.2 million in on-farm assistance to complement several projects previously funded by Reclamation, and will provide an additional $10 million in 2017 to support some of the WaterSMART-funded projects announced today. NRCS complements WaterSMART investments by targeting assistance in areas where WaterSMART sponsors indicted that water delivery system improvements might facilitate future on-farm improvements. NRCS will work with producers in select WaterSMART project areas to offer financial and technical assistance for practices that increase on-farm efficiencies, such as improving irrigation systems. <P> USDA works with private landowners to implement voluntary conservation practices that conserve and clean the water we drink. USDA support—leveraged with historic outside investments—boosts producer incomes and rewards them for their good work. At the same time, USDA investments have brought high quality water and waste services to rural communities, which are vital to their continued health and economic viability. For information on USDA’s drought mitigation efforts, visit <a href="http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=usda_drought_programs.html">USDA Drought Programs and Assistance</a>. To learn more about how NRCS is helping private landowners adapt to changing climate conditions including drought, visit the <a href="http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/newsroom/features/?cid=stelprdb1245689">NRCS’ drought resources</a>.  <P> This partnership is a priority action identified in the President’s Memorandum <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/03/21/presidential-memorandum-building-national-capabilities-long-term-drought">Building National Capabilities for Long-Term Drought Resilience</a> and accompanying the <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/drought_resilience_action_plan_2016_final.pdf">Federal Drought Action Plan</a>. USDA, as the permanent co-chair, is working with DOI and other members of the National Drought Resilience Partnership to better coordinate drought-related programs and policies, help communities reduce the impact of current drought events and prepare for future droughts. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54750 Five Projects will Receive Funding Through the Western Watershed Enhancement Program From Reclamation
WASHINGTON – Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López says five projects will receive a total of $482,967 in funding to promote watershed health and wildfire resiliency, protect municipal and agricultural water supplies, and improve infrastructure through the Western Watershed Enhancement Program across five western states. The funding awarded will support projects in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho and Washington. <P> "Reclamation is collaborating with others to ensure a sustainable water supply for our future generations," Commissioner Estevan López said. "Through the Western Watershed Enhancement Program, more landscapes in western watersheds and forests will remain healthy and resilient to risks associated with drought and climate changes, such as wildfires." <P> These projects will help improve watershed health, reduce wildfire risk and post-wildfire erosion and sedimentation through rehabilitation of fire-damaged areas; restore wildlife habitat; and investigate watershed enhancement methods. <P> Below are overviews of the funded projects: <P> <strong>Cragin Watershed Protection Project (Arizona)</strong>: Reclamation is providing $76,739 toward this project to remove hazardous fuels from overstocked forest stands, which will reduce fire threats. It includes mechanical and hand treatments on 39,000 acres and prescribed fires on 64,000 acres to reduce risks within and adjacent to the three sub-watersheds that drain into Cragin Reservoir. The project will also advance field work to address environmental impacts. This project is a collaborative effort among the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, Salt River Project and National Forest Foundation. <P> <strong>Hemlock Project (California)</strong>: Reclamation is providing $96,084 toward this project to support a 12,000-acre watershed enhancement study on the Stanislaus National Forest at the headwaters of the Mokelumne River. The Project partners Reclamation with the Forest Service and the University of California and is part of the larger Sierra Watershed Ecosystem Enhancement Project (SWEEP). Its goal is to produce a quantitative assessment of the impacts of watershed enhancement approaches that is scalable across the Sierra Nevada and potentially other forests. <P> <strong>Glacier Creek to Mill Creek Fuel Reduction Project (Colorado)</strong>: Reclamation is providing $84,500 toward the reduction of fuel loads to help prevent wildfires from spreading and improve watershed health by focusing on enhancing existing fire barriers such as roads, trails and rivers on 210 acres in Rocky Mountain National Park in the headwaters of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. This is part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Headwaters Partnership, a collaborative effort among the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, the State of Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Western Area Power Administration and Northern Water Conservancy District. <P> <strong>Boise River Pilot Project (Idaho)</strong>: Reclamation is providing $70,000 toward two distinct projects in the Boise River watershed to minimize post-fire erosion and sediment loads, stabilize soils and establish more fire-resilient forests and habitats. Funding will go toward planting 17,000 seedlings, which amount to about 200 trees per acre over 85 acres; removing non-native invasive species on 200 to 400 acres of land, which are flourishing in post-fire conditions; and restoring native, fire-resistant vegetation. These are two components of a broader watershed improvement partnership between the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Forest Service in the Boise River Basin. <P> <strong>Yakima Watershed Enhancement Project (Washington)</strong>: Reclamation is providing $150,644 toward this project to reduce wildfire risk on 730 acres of land within the catchment basin that flows into Rimrock Reservoir in Washington state. These treatments help reduce the potential for large-scale wildfires and associated post-fire impacts such as entry of sediment, debris and contamination into water supplies and facilities. Additional support for this project is also being provided by the U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, Washington Department of Natural Resources and the Yakima Nation. <P> The Western Watershed Enhancement Partnership was formally established in July 2013, by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. It is a part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, outlining a comprehensive approach to prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change, including increased risk of wildfires and drought. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53148 Reclamation Releases Environmental Document on the Installation of SatLink2 on Flow Measurement Devices in the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District
CARSON CITY, Nev. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released for public review an Environmental Assessment for the installation of SatLink2 on Flow Measurement Devices in the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District (District). The District proposes to install 50 SatLink2 devices in the Carson Division that allow remote monitoring of irrigation water deliveries. The installation of SatLink2 devices at the water meters would reduce over-deliveries and ultimately the amount of water released from Lahontan Reservoir. <P> Reclamation proposes to provide WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant funds to the District. Through the WaterSMART program, Reclamation provides cost-shared funding on a competitive basis for projects that seek to conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy, protect endangered species, or facilitate water markets. For more on WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants, please visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/weeg/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/weeg/index.html</a>. <P> The EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and may be viewed at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=24896">http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=24896</a>. If you encounter problems accessing the document online, please call 916-978-5100 (TTY 800-877-8339) or email <a href="mailto:mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov">mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov</a>. <P> Written comments are due by close of business on Friday, April 1, 2016, to Doug Kleinsmith, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825 or <a href="mailto:dkleinsmith@usbr.gov">dkleinsmith@usbr.gov</a><u>. </u> <P> <u> <br/> </u> <P> For additional information or to receive a copy of the EA, please contact Kleinsmith at 916-978-5034 (TTY 800-877-8339). The document may also be viewed at Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Regional Office at the above address. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53087 Republican River Basin Study Informs Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska about Future Water Management
The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Republican River Basin Study, which identifies adaptation strategies that address water management challenges in the basin. This study, which includes a study area of 2.7 million acres of irrigated agriculture served primarily by groundwater supplies, represents an extensive collaborative effort among Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. <P> "The Republican River Basin is a complex and important basin for these states," Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. "Because of its importance, new ground and surface water modeling tools were developed to evaluate future hydrology and operations within the basin. These tools will assist water managers as they make decisions to build resiliency against future climate change, while also maintaining compliance with the Republican River Compact." <P> The Republican River basin covers approximately 16 million acres and lies primarily within the Ogallala Aquifer. It originates in the high plains of eastern Colorado and flows east into Nebraska and Kansas. <P> The basin study found that climate change may impact future supplies and demands across the basin. Nebraska focused on augmenting the supply of Swanson Lake and creating new surface water storage on Thompson Creek, a tributary of the Republican River, while Kansas evaluated alternatives that increase the storage volume at Lovewell Reservoir. The modeling tools that were developed for the study evaluated alternatives to improve the supply reliability at the Frenchman-Cambridge Irrigation District in Nebraska, as well as the Bostwick-Irrigation District of Nebraska and Kansas. <P> Surface water supplies include a system of seven Reclamation reservoirs and one U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir. These projects provide flood control benefits, as well as supplies to six irrigation districts that serve approximately 140,000 acres. The Republican River is subject to an interstate compact between Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas that was ratified in 1943. <P> The Republican River Basin Study is a part of Reclamation’s WaterSMART Program. The report is available online at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/bsp">www.usbr.gov/watersmart/bsp</a>. <P> WaterSMART is the 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. For more information on the WaterSMART program, visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART" target="_blank">www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART</a>. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53069 Bureau of Reclamation’s Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers Basin Study Predicts How Climate Change Will Impact the Sacramento and San Joaquin Delta
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers Basin Study, which found climate change will cause earlier runoff and refill reservoirs earlier in the year, potentially affecting reservoir operations and water storage. <P> This study, collaboratively developed by Reclamation, the State of California Department of Water Resources, El Dorado County Water Agency, Stockton East Water District, California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley and Madera County Resource Management Agency, examines climate change impacts and adaptation actions for the Sacramento River Basin, San Joaquin River Basin and the Tulare Lake Basin. <P> Water from the Tulare Lake Basin reaches the San Joaquin River Basin only in wetter years. Because of the connection with the Central Valley Project, the upper Trinity River Basin was also included in this study. The basins flow into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which is the largest estuary on the west coast of the United States. <P> "These basins are at the center of discussions about the availability of water in California, not only for agriculture, but for municipal and environmental needs as well," Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. "Because of the collaborative efforts put forth in this basin study, we now have more information on how climate change will impact this region and a better understanding of what will be needed to ensure a sustainable water supply for today and for the future." <P> The study found that warming conditions will cause a median sea level rise of 36 inches, which will increase the difficulty of conveying water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Also, temperatures will most likely increase by 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit in the early 21st century to almost 4.8 degrees Fahrenheit by late in the 21st century; precipitation may increase in the areas north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, with very little change projected in the Tulare Lake Basin, where some of the greatest agricultural demands exist; evapotranspiration is expected to increase with warming temperatures; and snowpack will decline with warming temperatures, particularly in the lower elevations of the mountains surrounding California's Central Valley. <P> Reclamation, along with its partners and stakeholders, developed management actions to address these findings. The study revealed that conservation, groundwater and surface water augmentation projects and operational improvements may improve the reliability and sustainability of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project systems to meet current and future water needs. <P> The report also identified potential next steps to resolve current and future imbalances. These next steps were grouped into the following categories, Institutional Flexibility, Municipal and Industrial and Agricultural Water Use Efficiency, River Temperature Management, Forest Health, Groundwater and System Conveyance. <P> The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers Basin Study is a part of WaterSMART, the 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. The report is available at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/bsp" target="_blank">www.usbr.gov/watersmart/bsp</a>. For more information on the WaterSMART program, visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART" target="_blank">www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=53047 Reclamation Initiates 2016 WaterSMART Basin Study Selection Process
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation is initiating the 2016 basin study selection process and requests letters of interest from eligible non-federal entities interested in participating in a new basin study. A short letter of interest is due to the respective regional office by April 4, 2016. <P> Through basin studies, Reclamation works with state and local partners to conduct comprehensive water supply and demand studies of river basins in the Western United States. Reclamation anticipates funding two studies in 2016. <P> Basin studies include four main elements: <ul> <li>Projections of water supply and demand, including the risks of climate change.</li> <li>Analysis of how existing water and power infrastructure will perform in response to changing water realities.</li> <li>Development of adaptation and mitigation strategies to improve operations and infrastructure in order to supply adequate water in the future.</li> <li>Trade-off analysis of the strategies identified and findings.</li> </ul> <P> Entities must contribute at least half of the total cost as cash or in-kind services. This is not a financial assistance program and Reclamation's share of the study costs will only be used to support work done by Reclamation or its contractors. <P> Reclamation’s regional office staff will review all letters of interest. Those selected for consideration will then work with Reclamation to develop a joint study proposal for evaluation and prioritization by a Reclamation review committee. <P> WaterSMART is the 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. <P> To learn more about WaterSMART or this basin study selection process, please visit www.usbr.gov/watersmart/bsp/. <P>