Funds from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help address water supply sustainability
DENVER – The Bureau of Reclamation today announced a funding opportunity for the fiscal year 2023 WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants to allocate Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding and fiscal year 2023 appropriations.
“The West is experiencing a historic drought, fueled by climate change,” said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo. “This funding opportunity and the WaterSMART Program as a whole are part of the Department’s strategy to tackle the short- and long-term challenge of climate change by improving water use and supply efficiency, sustainability, and reliability.”
Through the Drought Resilience Interagency Working Group, co-led by Secretary Haaland and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the Biden-Harris administration is coordinating a whole-of-government effort to support water resilience and drought mitigation across the West.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law contains $400 million over five years for WaterSMART grants. In 2022, Reclamation is making $160 million available for WaterSMART grants and will release additional funding opportunities in the coming months. To learn more about how Reclamation is implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, please visit www.usbr.gov/bil.
This funding opportunity is for projects that will result in quantifiable water savings, implement renewable energy components, and support broader sustainability benefits. These projects conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the production of renewable energy, mitigate conflict risk in areas at a high risk of future water conflict, and accomplish other benefits that contribute to sustainability in the Western United States.
For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have developed sustainable water and power solutions for the West. This funding opportunity is part of the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program focusing on collaborative efforts to plan for and implement actions to increase water supply reliability including investments to modernize infrastructure.
Since 2016, Interior has funded 749 WaterSMART projects, including $365 million in federal funding and leveraged $1.1 billion dollars in non-federal funds. The Water and Energy Efficiency Grant projects funded since 2016 alone are expected to save more than 430,000 acre-feet of water per year once completed.
Funding opportunity details
Eligible applicants include:
- Category A:
- States, Tribes, irrigation districts, and water districts
- State, regional, or local authorities, the members of which include one or more organizations with water or power delivery authority
- Other organizations with water or power delivery authority.
- Category B:
- Nonprofit conservation organizations that are acting in partnership or agreement with entities listed in category A.
Applicants in Category A must be in one of the 17 Western states, Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico. Category B applicants must be in the United States, or the specific territories identified for Category A.
Applicants are invited to submit proposals under the following funding groups:
Funding Group I: Up to $500,000 in federal funds will be available for projects that generally should be completed in two years.
Funding Group II: Up to $2,000,000 in federal funds will be available for larger projects that may take up to three years to complete.
Funding Group III: Up to $5,000,000 in federal funds will be available for larger projects that may take up to three years to complete.
Applications are due July 28, 2022. For more information on this funding opportunity, visit www.grants.gov and search funding opportunity number R23AS00008
Find out more information on Reclamation's WaterSMART program webpage.