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U.S. Department of Interior: WaterSMART Grants – Water and Energy Efficiency Grants

Deadline: November 3, 2021

WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants provide funding for projects that result in quantifiable water savings, implement renewable energy components, and support broader sustainability benefits. These projects conserve and use water more efficiently; increase the production of renewable energy; mitigate conflict risk in areas at a high risk of future water conflict; enable farmers to make additional on-farm improvements in the future, including improvements that may be eligible for Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) funding; and accomplish other benefits that contribute to sustainability in the Western U.S.

Water conservation and renewable energy projects eligible for funding include:
* Canal Lining/Piping: Projects that line or pipe canals, resulting in conserved water.
* Municipal Metering: Projects that install meters, resulting in measurable water savings.
* Irrigation Flow Measurement: Projects that improve measurement accuracy and result in reduced spills and over-deliveries to irrigators.
* Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition and Automation (SCADA): Projects that install SCADA and/or automation components that provide water savings when irrigation delivery system operational efficiency is improved to reduce spills, over-deliveries, and seepage.
* Landscape Irrigation Measures: Projects that provide water savings by reducing outdoor water usage. These measures include turf removal, Smart irrigation controllers (weather or soil-moisture based) and high-efficiency nozzles (sprinkler heads). These measures are typically promoted by water entities through rebates or direct-install programs.
* High-Efficiency Indoor Appliances and Fixtures: Projects that promote installation of high-efficiency indoor appliances and fixtures to provide water savings for municipal water entities where there is significant potential for replacing existing non-efficient indoor appliances and fixtures. This is typically promoted by water entities through rebates or direct-install programs.
* Commercial Cooling Systems: Projects to retrofit or replace large evaporative cooling units (cooling towers) to reduce consumptive water use and energy, such as conversion to air-cooled units or high-efficiency cooling towers.

Renewable Energy Projects are also supported. These projects increase the use of renewable energy sources in managing and delivering water and/or projects that upgrade existing water management facilities resulting in quantifiable and sustained energy generation and/or savings. Projects include, but are not limited to:
* Implementing Renewable Energy Projects Related to Water Management and Delivery, such as: 1) Developing new hydropower capacity by installing a new hydropower facility or uprating (i.e., increasing) the capacity of an existing hydropower facility; 2) Bringing existing mothballed hydropower capacity back online through facility investment; and 3) Installing solar-electric, wind energy, or geothermal power systems (e.g., replacing fossil fuel powered pumps with renewable energy-based pumps).

Note: WaterSMART is collaborating with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Applicants under WaterSMART Grants receive additional consideration in the evaluation process for delivery system improvements that complement on-farm improvements supported by NRCS, such as those funded through their Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). See solicitation for further details.

* Funding Group I: Up to $500,000 for smaller, on-the-ground projects. In general, projects funded should be completed within two years of award. It is expected that more awards will be made for projects in Funding Group I than Funding Group II. * Funding Group II: Up to $2,000,000 will be available for larger, phased on-the-ground projects that may take up to 3 years to complete. It is expected that a smaller number of awards will be made for projects in Funding Group II than Funding Group I.

Multiple applications for funding may be submitted for consideration (e.g., an applicant may submit a proposal for funding under Funding Group I and a separate proposal under Funding Group II). In general, no more than $2,000,000 will be awarded to any one applicant. However, Category B applicants may be considered for multiple awards of up to $2,000,000 per project if the Category A partners are different. Approximately 40-45 projects. A cost share of at least 50% is required.

* Category A: States, Indian Tribes, irrigation districts, and water districts; any state, regional, or local authority whose members include one or more organizations with water or power delivery authority; and other organizations with water or power delivery authority. * Category B: Nonprofit conservation organizations that are acting in partnership and with the agreement of an entity described in Category A.
All applicants must be located in the Western United States or U.S. Territories.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=335103


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