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.


Current Status

The selections for the Cooperative Watershed Management Program implementation of watershed management projects was announced on August 8, 2019

The Cooperative Watershed Management Program Phase I Funding Opportunity Announcement is expected to be posted to in August 2019.

Evaluation Criteria

Phase I: Cooperative Watershed Management Program Evaluation Criteria

Phase II: Cooperative Watershed Management Program Evaluation Criteria

Proposed Calendar

August 2019

November 2019

  • Phase I Applications Due

January 2020

  • Phase I grant selections expected to be announced

News Releases

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

October 10, 2018
Bureau of Reclamation provides funding opportunity for established watershed groups for on-the-ground watershed management projects

July 10, 2018
Bureau of Reclamation provides 27 projects $2.6 million in WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program Grants

Nov 15, 2017
Bureau of Reclamation Announces WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program Funding Opportunity for 2018

June 21, 2017
Bureau of Reclamation Awards $664,754 for WaterSMART Watershed Management Projects in Five States

Last Updated: 8/7/19