News Release Archive

Reclamation Initiates 2016 WaterSMART Basin Study Selection Process

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-445-3615

For Release: March 15, 2016

WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation is initiating the 2016 basin study selection process and requests letters of interest from eligible non-federal entities interested in participating in a new basin study. A short letter of interest is due to the respective regional office by April 4, 2016.

Through basin studies, Reclamation works with state and local partners to conduct comprehensive water supply and demand studies of river basins in the Western United States. Reclamation anticipates funding two studies in 2016.

Basin studies include four main elements:

  • Projections of water supply and demand, including the risks of climate change.
  • Analysis of how existing water and power infrastructure will perform in response to changing water realities.
  • Development of adaptation and mitigation strategies to improve operations and infrastructure in order to supply adequate water in the future.
  • Trade-off analysis of the strategies identified and findings.

Entities must contribute at least half of the total cost as cash or in-kind services. This is not a financial assistance program and Reclamation's share of the study costs will only be used to support work done by Reclamation or its contractors.

Reclamation’s regional office staff will review all letters of interest. Those selected for consideration will then work with Reclamation to develop a joint study proposal for evaluation and prioritization by a Reclamation review committee.

WaterSMART is the 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 or this basin study selection process, please visit

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The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Our facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR; Facebook @bureau.of.reclamation; LinkedIn @Bureau of Reclamation; Instagram @bureau_of_reclamation; and YouTube @reclamation.