Eligible Project Types

Note: Eligible project types are subject to change from year to year. Please check the current NOFO to determine whether your project is eligible.

Eligible projects may include but are not limited to:

  1. Projects to enhance modeling capabilities to improve water supply reliability and increase flexibility in water operations. Modeling tools can improve water supply reliability and flexibility by providing an accurate representation of the physical system and more reliable information about water availability. This information can be used by water managers to help meet constraints or requirements (e.g., endangered species, administrative, or water delivery requirements). Projects may include improvements to the spatial and temporal resolution of a model, improvements to model calibration, enhancements to make a model more interactive and agile so that it can be used to answer specific questions as they arise or other enhancements to modeling tools. Projects could include improvements to hydrologic models, reservoir operations models, or other types of water management models.
  2. Projects to 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, or even water marketing. Projects can include the development or adaptation of forecasting tools to meet the needs of water managers. Projects may also include the adaptation of existing forecasts to better meet operational needs. Applicants are encouraged to explore whether there are existing data sets and forecast products that may be leveraged. Note: Applicants must demonstrate how the forecast or data will be used to enhance management of water supplies and reservoir operations, for example, by using the tool in connection with an operations model.
  3. Projects to improve 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. Eligible projects may include improvements to data acquisition, data analysis and data delivery. Data acquisition projects may include the incorporation or development of new or previously unavailable data, such as remote sensing imagery, hydrologic data acquired using unmanned aerial systems, or paleo reconstructions of naturalized flows, for example. Projects may include the development of hydrologic databases or decision support tools that resource managers can use to query or analyze data for the purposes of improving water management. Projects may also include improved data delivery, such as making data available to a broader audience, or improvements to make data systems compatible with existing systems (e.g., State or Federal databases).
  4. Nature-based Solutions Decision Tools. Eligible project can develop, improve, or adapt tools to improve nature-based solutions decision making. These solutions can use natural features and processes to combat climate change, improve water quality, restore, and protect wetlands, stabilize shorelines, and reduce flood risk. Nature-based solutions can be applied at a watershed or landscape scale or at a site-specific scale. Projects may include decision support tools to assist in the application of a nature-based solution that supports a range of environmental improvements, including but not limited to biodiversity, water quality, and flood mitigation.

Required Project Components

Applicants whose projects are selected for funding under this NOFO must participate in at least one Reclamation-sponsored webinar to discuss application of deliverables to management questions. In most cases, the webinar will be scheduled when the final report is ready to be submitted for Reclamation review. The presentation should inform Reclamation about project accomplishments, the final results of the identified tasks, and any lessons learned. This presentation may be open to the public as a webinar and may be recorded and made available on the WaterSMART website.

Ineligible Projects

Projects that are not eligible for funding under this NOFO include, but are not limited to:

  • projects to develop new and novel methods or technologies;
  • planning studies, such as feasibility studies, appraisal investigations, water marketing strategies and drought contingency plans;
  • projects to develop or demonstrate tools and technologies supporting water reuse, water recycling and desalination projects (e.g., projects that are eligible under the Desalination and Water Purification Research funding opportunity);
  • construction projects to improve water management; and
  • projects funded under other Federal grants.
Last Updated: 11/6/23