Connecting Waterpeople

USBR makes up to $5 million available for WaterSMART funding opportunities

  • USBR makes up to $5 million available for WaterSMART funding opportunities

About the entity

Bureau of Reclamation
Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits.

Reclamation announced a notice of funding opportunity through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the WaterSMART Basin Study Program for the development of hydrologic information and water management tools that improve modeling and forecasting capabilities.

Reclamation’s WaterSMART Applied Science Grants are providing up to $5 million, with funding for each project limited to no more than $400,000. The funding opportunity is available at by searching for funding opportunity number R23AS00446. Applications are due by 5 p.m. MDT, Oct. 17, 2023.

"President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is helping Reclamation do what we do best -- seek out the latest information and best science to help us effectively manage water in the American West," said Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. "Investing in Applied Science Grants will help improve the tools that Western water managers use and help them make better water management decisions in a changing climate."

The tools being funded through these grants should improve hydrologic information, or develop decision support tools to improve water management, including improved modeling and forecasting capabilities to support water operations or water management. They may also support the application of nature-based solutions, such as modeling or data tools necessary for habitat improvements, or for improving stream conditions for ecological values. Results from these projects will be used by water managers to increase water supply reliability, provide flexibility in water operations, and improve water management.

The tools being funded through these grants should improve hydrologic information, or develop decision support tools to improve water management

The Investing in America agenda is delivering historic resources to communities to help advance drought resilience and strengthen local economies. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates $8.3 billion for Reclamation water infrastructure projects over five years to advance drought resilience and expand access to clean water for families, farmers, and wildlife. The investment will revitalize water delivery systems, advance water purification and reuse techniques, expand water storage capacities and complete rural water projects.

The requesting entity must provide a 25 or 50-percent cost-share depending on the project type. Eligible states and U.S. Territories include 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 and Puerto Rico. Applied Science Grants with primarily ecological benefits and/or nature-based solutions, that are based on a collaborative planning process and meet other requirements in the funding opportunity, are eligible for up to 75% federal cost-share contribution. All other projects are eligible for a 50% federal cost-share contribution.

Entities can apply under one of two categories:

  • Category A: Entities eligible to apply under Category A of the funding opportunity include states, Tribes, irrigation and water districts, state, regional, or local authorities, which include one or more organizations with water or power delivery authority as members, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority.
  • Category B: Entities eligible to apply under Category B of the funding opportunity include universities, nonprofit research institutions, federally funded research and development centers, and non-profit entities.  All Category B applicants must act in partnership with and with the agreement of an entity described in Category A, documented by a letter from the Category A partner.

To learn more about this funding opportunity visit here

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