DENVER - As the western United States faces unprecedented severe drought conditions, the Bureau of Reclamation is announcing the award of six drought planning activities for 2022 WaterSMART: Drought Contingency Planning grants. This program provides federal cost-share funds for entities to develop and update comprehensive drought plans, employing a proactive approach to build long-term resiliency to drought.
“The American West is experiencing a historic drought, fueled by climate change,” said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo. “These projects are part of the Department’s strategy to tackle the long-term challenge of climate change - while we take emergency actions to address immediate challenges, we are investing in our communities to develop measures to improve long-term drought resiliency”
“Supporting drought planning efforts is an essential part of maintaining and modernizing our nation’s water infrastructure and promoting drought resiliency, water security, and climate change adaptation," said Deputy Commissioner of Operations David Palumbo. “With the current state of persistent drought in the West, these grants will help support communities in planning for their future water use.”
The selected projects support drought planning development and updates to help meet the unprecedented drought conditions in the West. These projects will support these communities in building drought resiliency by planning for and preparing for drought through monitoring and prioritization of mitigation and response actions to protect vulnerable resources during times of drought.
- City of Kingman, located in Mohave County, Arizona, will use $100,000 in federal funds to develop a new drought contingency plan. The plan will improve water supply reliability for the City of Kingman that currently utilizes groundwater from the Hualapai Basin and is experiencing exceptional and unprecedented drought conditions. Total Project Cost is $200,000
- Three Valleys Water Municipal District, in Eastern Los Angeles County, will use $200,000 in federal funds to develop a new drought contingency plan. Three Valleys Water Municipal District has had severe restrictions to portions of its service area. The new Drought Contingency Plan will address the region’s concerns with drought and leverage existing and in-progress member agency planning efforts. Total Project Cost is $400,000
- Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association, in Montrose, Colorado will use $200,000 in federal funds to develop a new drought contingency plan to evaluate new approaches for water shortage contingency plan actions, review climate conditions, and develop a response framework for irrigation and municipal deliveries during future drought conditions. Total Project Cost is $400,000
- Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District, in Gunnison, Colorado will use $140,480 in federal funds to develop a new drought contingency plan to address extended drought, build long-term resilience in the basin, and provide a framework for sustainable water management. Total Project Cost: $306,620
- City of Roswell, located in Chaves County, New Mexico, will use $200,000 in federal funds to develop a new drought contingency plan to increase their water reliability and improve water management through conservation, expanded technologies, and improved modeling capabilities. This planning effort will work in tandem with Roswell’s 2021 Water Conservation Plan. Total Project Cost: $400,000
- Santiam Water Control District in Stayton, Oregon will use $25,000 in federal funds to update their existing drought contingency plan to address emerging concerns, improve the drought monitoring process, incorporate new mitigation actions, and streamline the operational and administrative framework and plan update process. Total Project Cost: $50,000
For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have developed sustainable water and power solutions for the West. These grants are part of the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program which focuses on collaborative efforts to plan for and implement actions to increase water supply reliability. Reclamation continues focus on short- and long-term actions to respond to the historic drought conditions across the West, using existing authorities and partnerships to provide immediate relief while investing in infrastructure and research opportunities to build climate resiliency and find innovative strategies to address future hydrologic changes due to climate change.
For more information about the program, please visit Drought Response Program website.