WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Reclamation is investing $1.2 million in eight external applied science projects that will develop tools and information to support water management. The projects selected include the development of modeling and forecasting tools, hydrologic data platforms and new data sets to inform decision-making.
"Having the accurate data and quality information is essential for water managers to make critical and timely decisions. We must ensure that we are supply smart," said Deputy Commissioner David Palumbo. "Applied science grants support improving water management tools so water managers can make informed decisions and improve their management of water, especially in times of prolonged drought and climate change."
Projects selected include $55,000 for the Agua Caliente Band of the Cahuilla Indians to develop a geospatial data platform to assess and manage Tribal resources. The Coachella Valley Water District will also receive $200,000 to update the Coachella Valley Salt and Nutrient Management Plan in partnership with seven other agencies by developing water management tools to model and forecast nitrate and total dissolved solids.
To view a complete description of all the selected projects, please visit https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/appliedscience.
The selected projects are:
The Nature Conservancy with the Yavapai-Apache Nation will receive $64,273 to collaborate with watershed stakeholders in the Verde River Basin Integrated Hydrologic Modeling Project. They will seek to refine and improve an existing hydrologic modeling tool for the Upper and Middle Verde River Basins in Yavapai County, Arizona. The total project will cost $128,546.
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in Riverside County, California, will receive $55,000 in conjunction with the Agua Caliente Water Authority to develop an online Geospatial Data Platform. This platform will store and display geospatial and time-dependent datasets, including climate, groundwater, surface water and water quality data for the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. The total project will cost $110,000.
The City of Long Beach will receive $200,000 to develop and utilize tools and technology to maximize groundwater withdrawal sustainably and reliably. The project includes developing tools and procedures necessary to monitor wellfield operations, assess critical factors affecting current and future groundwater production, and provide the foundations for proactive decision-making. The total project cost is $579,848.
The Coachella Valley Water District in Palm Desert, California, will partner with seven other agencies in Southern California's Mission Creek Subbasin to update the Coachella Valley Salt and Nutrient Management Plan. In addition, they will develop water management tools to model and forecast nitrate and total dissolved solids to sustainably manage salt and nutrient loading in the basin to protect its beneficial uses. The entire project cost is $402,000.
The Rancho California Water District in Temecula, California, will receive $200,000 to create better hydrologic data for the Murrieta-Temecula Groundwater Basin by developing a new water management tool for improving basin management efficiency. In addition, they will add new remote sensing equipment to their 26 wells within the Pauba Valley to gather more accurate and frequently available groundwater levels and well-pumping efficiency data. The total project will cost $421,119.
The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority in Riverside, California and in collaboration with the Desert Research Institute, will receive $100,000 to develop a standard protocol for evaluating cloud seeding benefits to complement a planned pilot-scale program for weather modification. In addition, the project will provide standard guidelines and procedures to effectively quantify the benefits of increased precipitation from weather modification programs. The total project will cost $200,000.
The Southern Nevada Water Authority in Las Vegas, Nevada, will receive $193,085 to expand forecasting functionality in an existing water quality model for Lakes Mead and Mohave. The model will support future planning tools to understand potential changes to water quality before they occur, allowing water managers to take appropriate action to mitigate changes in water quality and maintain treatment and delivery efforts. The total project cost is $540,365.
The Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District in Central Texas, and in collaboration with the Meadows Center for Water and Environment at Texas State University, will receive $200,000 to develop an operations and management model to be used by the district to help establish a comprehensive set of rules, policies and strategies to address water resource management challenges in Central Texas. The total project cost is $550,080.
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.
Please visit the Applied Science Grant website for more information about the program.