Bureau of Reclamation: WaterSmart Environmental Water Resources Projects
The WaterSmart Environmental Water Resources Projects aims to help applicants to leverage their money and resources by cost sharing with Reclamation on Environmental Water Resources Projects, including water conservation and efficiency projects that result in quantifiable and sustained water savings and benefit ecological values or watershed health, water management or infrastructure improvements to benefit ecological values or watershed health, and restoration projects benefitting ecological values or watershed health that have a nexus to water resources or water resources management.
Eligible projects include on-the-ground implementation projects for the primary purpose of benefitting ecological values or improving watershed health that have a nexus to water resources management. This includes projects that benefit plant and animal species; fish and wildlife habitat; riparian areas; ecosystems; commercial, recreational, subsistence, or Tribal ceremonial fishing; and river-based recreation, which are supported by rivers, streams, or other water sources, or that are directly influenced by water resources management. This may include, but is not limited to, projects that improve the timing or quantity of water available; improve water quality and temperature; improve stream or riparian conditions for the benefit of plant and animal species, fish and wildlife habitat, riparian areas, watershed health, and ecosystems; restore a natural feature or use a nature-based feature to reduce water supply and demand imbalances or the risk of drought or flooding; and projects that otherwise mitigate against the impacts of climate change to fish and wildlife habitats. This includes projects that provide benefits to multiple sectors, including projects that benefit ecological values or watershed health AND agricultural, municipal, Tribal, or recreation water uses. Additionally, projects with multiple benefits to watershed health are encouraged and prioritized. Applicants can apply for funding for project components in one or more of the following three categories:
Category A: Water conservation and efficiency projects that result in quantifiable and sustained water savings and benefit ecological values or watershed health. These projects include: canal lining or piping; irrigation flow measurements; supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) automation; and municipal and industrial water use efficiency improvements.
Category B: Water management or infrastructure improvements to benefit ecological values or watershed health. These projects include: • Improving fish passage, including installation and/or modification of fish screens, ladders, bypasses, or removing small barriers to fish passage (e.g., diversion dams). • Improving fish hatcheries (e.g., chillers, holding pens, transport, disease control, or prevention). • Water management changes or infrastructure improvements that will improve water supply reliability and benefit ecological value or watershed health (e.g., upgrading a headgate to improve water supply reliability and ecological value or watershed health, installing a new diversion location downstream from critical temperature control points).
Category C: Restoration projects benefitting ecological values or watershed health that have a nexus to water resources or water resources management. projects may include: • Improving stream channel structure and complexity. • Improving channel/flood plain connectivity. • Protecting and stabilizing streams and riverbanks and other restoration projects to reduce erosion. • Restoration projects influencing water temperature or improving the timing or volume of available flows at particular locations to improve aquatic conditions. • Stream restoration to improve groundwater recharge and riparian habitat. • Restoring backwater/flood plain areas (for larval and juvenile fish and other wildlife species) to enhance and maintain rearing as well as feeding and foraging habitats. • Restoring a natural feature or use of a nature-based feature to reduce water supply and demand imbalances or the risk of drought or flood, including restoring natural wetlands, construction or improving wetlands for treatment of irrigation water or stormwater flows, or otherwise using or restoring natural features to address water management issues. • Restoration projects that enhance commercial, recreational, subsistence, or Tribal ceremonial fishing, and river-based recreation. • Removing invasive species, protection against invasive species, and restoration of native species.
• Forest management activities to protect water resources, including fuels management and post-wildland fire restoration.
Amount: Total amount is not specified, however, 20–40 awards are anticipated. Applicants are typically limited to a total of $5,000,000 in federal funding. Cost share requirements are either 25% or 50%, depending on the project type.
C.1.1 Category A Applicants • States, Indian Tribes, irrigation districts, and water districts • State, regional, or local authorities, the members of which include one or more organizations with water or power delivery authority • Other organizations with water or power delivery authority
Applicants must also be located in one of the following States or territories: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico.
Category B Applicants: Nonprofit conservation organizations, including watershed groups. Category B applicants must include with their application a letter from the Category A partner.
Category C Applicants: Nonprofit conservation organizations submitting an application for a project to improve the condition of a natural feature, such as wetlands on Federal land, without a Category A partner must demonstrate that entities described in Category A from the applicable service area have been notified and do not object to the project. All Category C applicants must be in the United States or one of the territories identified above.
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