Cooperative Watershed Management Program

The Cooperative Watershed Management Program (CWMP) contributes to the WaterSMART strategy by providing funding to watershed groups to encourage diverse stakeholders to form local solutions to address their water management needs. Funding is provided on a competitive basis for:

Watershed Group Development and Watershed Restoration Planning: In 2012, Reclamation began providing funding for watershed group development, watershed restoration planning, and watershed management project design (Phase I). A watershed group is a self-sustaining, non-regulatory, consensus-based group that is composed of a diverse array of stakeholders, which may include, but is not limited to, private property owners, non-profit organizations, Federal, state, or local agencies, and tribes. As part of Phase I activities, applicants may use funding to develop bylaws, a mission statement, complete stakeholder outreach, develop a watershed restoration plan, and watershed management project design. For Phase I projects, Reclamation will award a successful applicant up to $50,000 per year for a period of up to two years with no non-Federal cost-share required.

Implementation of Watershed Management Projects: In 2017, Reclamation started to provide cost-shared financial assistance to watershed groups to implement watershed management projects (Phase II). These on-the-ground projects, collaboratively developed by members of a watershed group, address critical water supply needs and water quality concerns, helping water users meet competing demands and avoid conflicts over water. Reclamation will award up to $100,000 per project over a two-year period. For Phase II projects, applicants must contribute at least 50% of the total project costs.


  • Reclamation seeks comments on updated eligibility and evaluation criteria for three WaterSMART funding opportunities

    Reclamation is proposing several changes to the WaterSMART program for 2022. Reclamation is seeking public comment on draft eligibility and evaluation criteria for three funding opportunities within the WaterSMART Program to assist with these changes.

    Reclamation proposes updates to the eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria for the Drought Resiliency Projects and Water and Energy Efficiency Grants funding opportunities. Reclamation is also launching a new funding opportunity for Environmental Water Resources Projects. This new funding opportunity will focus on projects that have environmental benefits, are developed as part of a collaborative process, and may be eligible for up to 75% federal funding.

    The changes were developed to incorporate recent amendments to the SECURE Water Act (Title IX, Subtitle F of P.L. 111-11), implement priorities identified in Presidential Executive Order 14008: Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad and Executive Order 13985: Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, and support the goals of the Interagency Drought Relief Working Group established in March 2021.

    Please send your comments to Sheri Looper at by June 4, 2021.

  • Reclamation provides $2.1 million for collaborative watershed projects in seven western states

    The Bureau of Reclamation will provide $2.1 million for 11 collaborative watershed management projects through the WaterSMART program. These projects have been developed by groups of stakeholders working together to address critical water supply needs and water quality concerns. They help water users meet competing demands and avoid conflicts over water. Read More →

  • Cooperative Watershed Management Program Phase I Webinar

    The Bureau of Reclamation hosted a webinar on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, at 2pm MST to discuss eligible applicants and project types, program requirements, and the evaluation criteria for the Cooperative Watershed Management Program Phase I funding opportunity. If you have questions regarding applicant and project eligibility, program requirements, or the evaluation criteria, click here and select CWMP Phase I FOA Inquiry to schedule time to talk with the program coordinators. Watch the archived webinar

Current Status

The Cooperative Watershed Management Program Phase I Funding Opportunity was published on November 18, 2020. It closed on January 19, 2021. Applications are being reviewed.

Program Highlights

The brochure of the Cooperative Watershed Management program.

Proposed Calendar

March 2021

  • March 25: Phase II selected projects announced

News Releases

March 25, 2021
Reclamation provides $2.1 million for collaborative watershed projects in seven western states

March 16, 2020
Reclamation provides $2.8 million for watershed group development and restoration planning

September 13, 2019
Reclamation announces grant funding available to develop local water management solutions

August 8, 2019
Reclamation funds local watershed projects in Montana, Oklahoma and Idaho

Last Updated: 5/4/21