WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Reclamation will provide $2.1 million for 11 collaborative watershed management projects through the WaterSMART program. These projects have been developed by groups of stakeholders working together to address critical water supply needs and water quality concerns. They help water users meet competing demands and avoid conflicts over water.
"The key to completing these projects is on-the-ground collaboration that takes place within the local communities," said Chief Engineer David Raff.
The WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program projects selected will leverage the funding from Reclamation to complete more than $7.5 million toward watershed management. The selected projects are in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington.
The Colorado Rio Grande Restoration Foundation, in partnership with the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project, will receive $285,000 to upgrade two diversion structures and restore adjacent riparian habitat on the Conejos River in southern Colorado's San Luis Valley. Streambank stabilization structures will also be installed upstream of the diversion structures, and the streambank will be reshaped to reconnect the river with the floodplain and revegetated. It will improve water management and water quality and create new riparian and aquatic habitats.
In partnership with the Icicle Work Group, Washington's Chelan County Natural Resource Department will receive $229,901 to restore a section of Icicle Creek in the Wenatchee sub-basin of the Upper Columbia River Basin. An 850 linear foot section of streambank will be stabilized using bioengineered wood structures, grading, placement of fabric encapsulated soil lifts, and revegetating 1.1 acres of riparian area. The project will improve water quality and salmonid habitat conditions and protect the water supply.
To learn more about the Cooperative Watershed Management Program and see all the projects selected, please visit www.usbr.gov/watersmart/cwmp.
Through WaterSMART, Reclamation works cooperatively with states, tribes, and local entities to plan for and implement actions to increase water supply reliability through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts. Visit www.usbr.gov/watersmart to learn more.