The American West faces serious water challenges. Wide-spread drought, increased populations, aging infrastructure, and environmental requirements all strain existing water and hydropower resources. Adequate and safe water supplies are fundamental to the health, economy, and security of the country. Through WaterSMART, Reclamation will continue to work cooperatively with states, tribes, and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts.
2021 WaterSMART Project Selections Update
As of September 2, 2021, Reclamation has selected 227 projects to be funded with $73.2 million in WaterSMART funding across the western states:
- February 11, 2021, Drought Resiliency Projects selected, $15.4 million for 18 projects in 7 western states.
- March 17, 2021: Water and Energy Efficiency Grants selected, $42.4 million for 55 projects in 13 western states.
- March 25, 2021: Cooperative Watershed Management Program – Phase II Grants selected, $2.1 million for 11 projects in 7 western states.
- April 21, 2021: Drought Response Program – Drought Contingency Planning Grants selected, $809,000 for 5 contingency plans in 3 western states.
- June 1, 2021: Basin Study Program - Water Management Options Pilots selected, $219,496 for 2 projects in central Oregon.
- June 15, 2021: Cooperative Watershed Management Program – Phase I Grants selected, $2.6 million for 27 projects in 12 western states.
- July 1, 2021: Water Marketing Strategy Grants selected, $1.14 million for 7 projects in 4 western states.
- August 31, 2021: Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects selected, $5.5 million for 82 projects in 16 western states.
- September 2, 2021: Applied Science Grants selected, $3.1 million for 20 projects in 11 western states.
See program specific links, at left, for more details.
The Bureau of Reclamation will host a webinar on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, at 10:00 am MDT to share the results of the Missouri Headwaters Basin Study. Reclamation conducted the Basin Study in partnership with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Click here to to join the webinar.
Reclamation awards $3.1 million in grants to develop water data, modeling and forecasting tools and information for water managers
The Bureau of Reclamation selected 20 projects to share $3.1 million in applied science grants to develop tools and information to support water management decisions. These projects in 11 western states include improved water data, modeling and forecasting capabilities. Read More →
The Bureau of Reclamation selected 82 projects to share $5.5 million in WaterSMART Small Scale Water Efficiency Grants. These grants will help local communities make water efficiency improvements such as installing flow measurement, automating a water delivery system, or lining a canal section to reduce seepage. Read More →
Upper Missouri River Basin Study identifies strategies to meet future water demands and improve drought resiliency
The Bureau of Reclamation released the Missouri River Headwaters Basin Study that provides options to meet the increased water demand and a change in the timing of the snowmelt runoff in the Missouri River Basin above Fort Peck Reservoir. The basin covers about 50,000 square miles and is the primary water source for 320,000 people and about 1.1 million acres of irrigated lands. Read More →
Webinar on WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants Drought Resiliency Projects, and Environmental Water Resources Projects
The Bureau of Reclamation hosted a webinar on Friday, August 27, 2021, at 1 pm MDT to discuss eligible applicants and project types, program requirements, and the evaluation criteria for three recently announced Funding Opportunities: Water and Energy Efficiency Grants (WEEG), Drought Resiliency Projects (DRP), and Environmental Water Resources Projects (EWRP). Click here to view a recording of the webinar.
Download PowerPoint slides
Reclamation hosted a webinar on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, to discuss information about WaterSMART Basin Studies, including eligible applicants, program requirements, and the selection process. Click here to view the webinar. If you have questions regarding applicant eligibility, program requirements, or the selection process, click here and select your appropriate Reclamation region to schedule time to talk with the program coordinators.
Drought and the impacts of climate change are having a significant effect on the Western United States. These impacts include reductions to water resource needs of agriculture, cities and the environment. The three WaterSMART grant opportunities — Drought Resiliency Projects, Water and Energy Efficiency Grants and the new Environmental Water Resources Projects — will help communities throughout the West by increasing water supply sustainability and drought resiliency. Read More →.
The Bureau of Reclamation is awarding $1.14 million in WaterSMART Water Marketing Grants to seven projects in California, Colorado, Utah, and Washington. These grants will provide cost-shared financial assistance for the selected entities to develop water marketing strategies to establish or expand water markets or water marketing activities. Read More →.
The Bureau of Reclamation is awarding $2.6 million to 27 communities in the Western United States to establish or expand existing watershed management groups through WaterSMART's Cooperative Watershed Management Program. Each group is eligible for up to $50,000 a year for two years with no federal cost-share required. Read More →.
The Bureau of Reclamation is allocating $219,496 for two pilot projects in Central Oregon. The Central Oregon Irrigation District and East Fork Irrigation District water management pilots will analyze improvements to conserve water for identified needs in their areas. The two districts are providing $232,480 in cost-sharing for the two pilot projects. Read More →.
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.
The comment period has closed. Comments received by June 18, 2021, along with Reclamation's responses, are available below.
The Bureau of Reclamation is providing $808,912 to five entities in California, Nebraska and Utah to develop a drought contingency plan or update an existing plan. These drought plans will help regions and communities plan for and build long-term resiliency to drought. Read More →.
TThe American West faces serious water challenges. Wide-spread drought, increased populations, aging infrastructure, and environmental requirements all strain existing water and hydropower resources. Adequate and safe water supplies are fundamental to the health, economy, and security of the country. Through WaterSMART, Reclamation will continue to work cooperatively with states, tribes, and local entities to plan for and implement actions to increase water supplies through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts. Read More →