Internal Applied Science Tools

The Internal Applied Science Tools provides funding internally to Reclamation staff, on a competitive basis, for the development of improved modeling and forecasting tools, improved hydrologic information, GIS products, and data management, and other decision support tools.

Using applied science information and tools allows Reclamation, partners and stakeholders to rely on the best available science to address uncertainty in decision making to improve water management. Reclamation also relies on applied science to carry out activities that are central to our mission and are in cooperation with our stakeholders and partners.

All proposed projects must have a nexus to Reclamation’s mission, priorities, and activities, including fulfilling water supply contracts, operating reservoirs for multiple purposes, and complying with environmental requirements.

Eligible Internal Applied Science Tools Projects

Eligible projects may include but are not limited to:

Improved Hydrologic Modeling
Enhancing existing models to improve the accuracy and representation of the physical system and provide more reliable information about water availability within the system. Hydrologic modeling may include improvements to the spatial and temporal resolution of a model, improvements to model calibration, or enhancements to make a model more interactive so that it can be used to answer specific questions.

In addition, modeling operational alternatives and adaptations to improve the management and use of the available water supply. This information can be used by water managers to maximize and meet constraints or requirements that may include operational changes to endangered species, water rights administrative, water delivery requirements, or operational changes due to sedimentation.

Improved Forecasting Tools
Improve or adapt forecasting tools and technologies to enhance management of water supplies and reservoir operations. Reliable forecasts are an important water management tool that can be used to optimize operations and improve water management, manage risks, and inform water allocation strategies.

Improved GIS and Data Management
Improving access to and use of water resources data or to develop new types of data to inform water management decisions. The availability of quality assured, quality controlled hydrologic data is critical to inform water management decisions. The development of hydrologic databases, making data available to a broader audience, or improvements to make data systems compatible with existing systems can assist with enhancing the decision-making process. Improvements to data acquisitions may also include the incorporation or development of remote sensing imagery, hydrologic data acquired using unmanned aerial systems, or paleo reconstructions of naturalized flows.


For additional information on WaterSMART Applied Science Grants, please contact Ms.Stephanie Micek at 406-247-7320 or send an email to

You may complete this form to receive WaterSMART internal program notification from the Water Resources and Planning Office.

Other Internal Programs

Reservoir Operations Pilot Initiative

Reclamation uses modeling and forecasting tools to identify ways to increase flexibility in reservoir operations to support optimal water management. For more information see

Last Updated: 4/1/24