News Release Archive

Eleven Organizations to Establish or Further Develop Cooperative Watershed Management Groups in the West

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 3034453615,

For Release: June 27, 2016

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.

“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.”

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.

Four entities will receive $303,921 to establish a cooperative watershed management group:

  • Shadowcliff, a non-profit organization, will receive $100,000 to establish the Upper Colorado River Watershed Group (Colorado)
  • Upper Rio Grande Watershed District will receive $50,000 to establish a cooperative watershed management group (New Mexico)
  • Chickasaw Nation will receive $53,921 to establish the Lake of the Arbuckles Watershed Group (Oklahoma)
  • Walla Walla Watershed Council will receive $100,000 to establish the Walla Walla Basin Watershed Management Group (Oregon)

Seven entities will receive $572,644 to further develop a cooperative watershed management group:

  • Clean Colorado River Sustainability Coalition will receive $80,700 for the Watershed Expansion & Management Project (Arizona)
  • Tse Si Ani Chapter will receive $100,000 for Working Across Tribal Borders: Restoring the Black Mesa Watersheds Together (Arizona)
  • Sierra Streams Institute will receive $99,933 for Further Development of Bear River Watershed Group (California)
  • Trinity County Resource Conservation District will receive $100,000 for Trinity River Watershed Council Expansion (California)
  • Beaverhead Conservation District will receive $100,000 for Further Development of the Beaverhead Watershed Committee (Montana)
  • Petroleum County Conservation District will receive $61,011 for Expanding Efforts to Coordinate Watershed Planning in the Musselshell River Watershed (Montana)
  • Sun River Watershed Group will receive $31,000 for Revise Work Plan to Build Long-Term Resiliency of the Sun River Watershed (Montana)

Learn more about the WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program and see descriptions on how the selected groups will use the funding, please visit

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

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