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Bureau of Reclamation announces fiscal year 2018 WaterSMART Program funding opportunities for water and energy efficiency, small-scale water efficiency, and water marketing strategy projects
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has released three funding opportunities for fiscal year 2018, Water and Energy Efficiency Grants, Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects and Water Marketing Strategy Grants, all of which are part of the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART program initiative.

Through WaterSMART, Reclamation provides three types of grants. The Water and Energy Efficiency Grants will be awarded to projects that result in quantifiable water savings and those which support broader water reliability benefits. Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects will be awarded to small-scale water management projects that have been identified through previous planning efforts. Water Marketing Strategy Grants will be awarded to entities exploring actions that can be taken to develop or facilitate water marketing.

States, Indian tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority located in the Western United States or United States Territories are eligible to apply for these funding opportunities.

Applicants for Water and Energy Efficiency Grants must submit their proposals by 4:00 p.m. MDT on Thursday, May 10, 2018. To view this funding opportunity, please visit www.grants.gov and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-18-F006.

Applicants for Water Marketing Strategy Grants must submit their proposals by 4:00 p.m. MDT, on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. To view this funding opportunity, please visit www.grants.gov and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-18-F010.

Applicants for Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects must submit their proposals by 4:00pm MDT on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. To view this funding opportunity, please visit www.grants.gov and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-18-F009.

The aforementioned project funding opportunities include financial assistance provided by Reclamation under its WaterSMART Grants program, on a 50/50 cost-share basis. To learn more about the WaterSMART Grants program, please visit: https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/.




Bureau of Reclamation seeks comments on Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program funding opportunity evaluation criteria
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking comments on the updated evaluation criteria associated with the WaterSMART Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program.

Through the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, Reclamation provides financial assistance to local water agencies for the planning, design and construction of water reclamation and reuse projects.

These evaluation criteria will be used in the fiscal year 2018 Title XVI funding opportunity announcement which will be open to both congressionally authorized Title XVI projects and Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act Title XVI projects. Several changes to the criteria used in the 2017 Title XVI WIIN Act funding opportunity are being proposed for the FY 2018 announcement.

To see the list of criteria, visit https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/title/.

Send your comments to Amanda Erath at aerath@usbr.gov. Comments will be accepted through April 12, 2018.




Bureau of Reclamation releases environmental documents and finding of no significant impact for Stockdale East Groundwater Recharge Project
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Bureau of Reclamation released the environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact for the Stockdale East Groundwater Recharge Project. The project will construct a 200-acre groundwater recharge pond, allowing it to save around 8,700 acre-feet of water per year.

Reclamation selected the Rosedale–Rio Bravo Water Storage District to receive a $1 million WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant for this project in 2016. It is located 6 miles west of Bakersfield, California. An adjacent 30 acres are slated for access roads, staging areas and a new intake pumping plant expected to save around 6,870 acre-feet of water per year.

Reclamation prepared the Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact detailing possible environmental effects of providing this funding. The EA and FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and are available at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=30781. For questions on the project or to request a copy of the documents, please contact Nathaniel Martin at 916-978-6153 (TTY 800-877-8339) or nmartin@usbr.gov.

For more information on WaterSMART, please visit https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/




Reclamation finalizes analysis of hydroelectric project near Grass Valley
GRASS VALLEY, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation signed a Finding of No Significant Impact for Nevada Irrigation District to construct and operate a hydroelectric generation station near its Loma Rica Water Treatment Plant, near Grass Valley in Nevada County.

Reclamation proposes to provide NID $285,000 through a 2014 WaterSMART Water Energy and Efficiency Grant to help fund the $3.8 million project.

The concrete building would enclose a turbine and generator capable of producing up to 1.4 megawatts and would allow NID to maximize hydropower potential, help offset electrical costs within the system and provide a potential source of income for NID. The facility would take advantage of existing piping and flow that was constructed for the Banner Cascade Pipeline project completed in 2012.

The FONSI was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and may be viewed at at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=29673.

For additional information, please contact Doug Kleinsmith at dkleinsmith@usbr.gov, or 916-978-5034 (TTY 800-877-8339).




Final environmental documents completed for Bella Vista Water District solar energy projects
BELLA VISTA, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation completed a Finding of No Significant Impact for Bella Vista Water District to install two solar photovoltaic power generation facilities near the cities of Bella Vista and Redding, with help from a WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant.

The two solar facilities would provide up to 608 kilowatts of combined energy to offset much of BVWD’s operating energy costs. The district’s goal is to meet approximately 80 percent of its electrical energy needs through the installation of solar voltaic generation equipment. Through the WaterSMART program, Reclamation provides cost-shared funding on a competitive basis for projects that seek to conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy and protect endangered species or facilitate water markets. Reclamation provided BVWD a grant for $999,938 out of a total project cost of $2,571,782.

Reclamation completed the FONSI in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, and it can be viewed at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=30121.

For additional information or to receive a copy of the document, please contact Doug Kleinsmith at dkleinsmith@usbr.gov or 916-978-5034 (TTY 800-877-8339).




Bureau of Reclamation Announces Fiscal Year 2018 Drought Response Program Funding Opportunities
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has released two funding opportunities for fiscal year 2018 through its Drought Response Program, which is part of the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART program. These funding opportunities are available for entities to develop drought contingency plans and build long-term solutions to drought.

The drought resiliency project funding opportunity is available for projects that will increase water management flexibility, and improve the resiliency of water resources throughout the West. Award recipients will leverage their resources by cost-sharing with Reclamation on drought resiliency projects.

Drought resiliency projects mitigate drought impacts by increasing the reliability of water supplies, improving water management, and providing benefits for fish, wildlife and the environment.

Applicants for drought resiliency projects funding must submit their proposals by 4:00 p.m. MST on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. To view this funding opportunity, please visit www.grants.gov and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-18-F008.

The drought contingency planning funding opportunity is available for applicants interested in developing a new drought plan or updating an existing drought plan. Applicants may request technical assistance from Reclamation for developing elements of the drought contingency plan.

Applicants for drought contingency planning must submit their proposals by 4:00 p.m. MST on Wednesday, February 7, 2018. To view this funding opportunity, visit www.grants.gov and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-18-F007.

Reclamation's Drought Response Program supports a proactive approach to drought by providing financial assistance to water managers to: develop and update comprehensive drought plans (drought contingency planning), and implement projects that will build long-term resiliency to drought (drought resiliency projects).

To learn more about Reclamation's Drought Response Program please visit https://www.usbr.gov/drought.




Bureau of Reclamation Announces WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program Funding Opportunity for 2018
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has announced its 2018 funding opportunity for Phase I of the Cooperative Watershed Management Program. This funding opportunity is seeking proposals for activities to develop a watershed group, complete watershed restoration planning activities, and to design watershed management projects.

Applicants must submit their proposals by Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at 4:00 p.m. MST. To view this funding opportunity, please visit www.grants.gov and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-18-F005. Up to $100,000 in federal funds may be awarded to an applicant per award, with no more than $50,000 made available in a year for a period of up to two years.

States, tribes, local and special districts (e.g., irrigation and water districts), local governmental entities, interstate organizations, and non-profit organizations, including existing watershed groups, within the 17 western states are eligible to apply.

The Cooperative Watershed Management Program contributes to the Department of the Interior’s priorities to create a legacy of conservation stewardship and to restore trust with local communities by providing funding to local watershed groups to encourage the development of collaborative solutions designed to address water management needs among Reclamation’s diverse stakeholders. By providing this FOA, Reclamation leverages federal funding to support stakeholder efforts to stretch scarce water supplies and avoid conflicts over water.

To learn more about the WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Phase I grants for fiscal year 2018, visit www.usbr.gov/watersmart/cwmp.

Working together with stakeholders, WaterSMART provides support for sustainably developing energy and natural resources, modernizing infrastructure through public-private partnerships, and by improving relationships and communication with states, tribes and local governments, communities, landowners and water users. Visit https://www.doi.gov/watersmart for additional information about WaterSMART.




Reclamation releases environmental documents for Horsefly Irrigation District’s WaterSMART grant project
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation has released a Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for Horsefly Irrigation District’s (HID) Horsely and Somers Canals Piping Project.

Through a WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant (WEEG), Reclamation will provide financial assistance to HID to convert approximately 1.68 miles of open canal to subterranean piping. The project, located in Klamath County, Oregon, will eliminate seepage and evaporation losses in those canal sections and is anticipated to result in water savings of roughly 700 acre-feet per year. Conserved water would remain in the Lost River system for instream benefits and downstream users.

Through the WaterSMART program, Reclamation provides cost-shared funding on a competitive basis for projects that seek to conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy, protect endangered species or facilitate water markets. For more information about the WaterSMART WEEG Program, please visit http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/weeg/index.html.

The Final EA and FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?project_ID=29761.

For additional information or to request a copy of the Final EA and/or FONSI, please contact Brandon (Kirk) Young at 541-880-2589 or byoung@usbr.gov.




Bureau of Reclamation Awards Nine Projects $2.1 Million for Planning Activities in the Development of WaterSMART Water Marketing Strategies
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Alan Mikkelsen announced that nine projects will receive $2.1 million for planning activities to help establish or expand water markets or water marketing transactions. The nine projects are located in California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

"Through water markets, willing buyers and sellers come together to share the water within their delivery area," Mikkelsen said. "Water managers need a variety of tools to manage water to assure a sustainable supply into the future. Water markets are just one of those tools."

The full description of the selected projects is available at https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/weeg/watermarketing.html. The selected projects are:

Central Oregon Irrigation District (Oregon)
Reclamation Funding: $400,000 Total Project Cost: $800,000

East Bay Municipal Utility District (California)
Reclamation Funding: $400,000 Total Project Cost: $1,062,127

El Dorado County Water Agency (California)
Reclamation Funding: $400,000 Total Project Cost: $842,218

Grand Valley Water Users Association (Colorado)
Reclamation Funding: $128,000 Total Project Cost: $265,900

Kittitas Reclamation District (Washington)
Reclamation Funding: $198,990 Total Project Cost: $433,154

Lower South Platte Water Conservancy (Colorado)
Reclamation Funding: $236,245 Total Project Cost: $708,961

Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (Idaho)
Reclamation Funding: $42,887 Total Project Cost: $85,775

The New Cache La Poudre Irrigating Company, Inc. (Colorado)
Reclamation Funding: $192,950 Total Project Cost: $397,705

Warm Springs Water and Power Enterprises (Oregon)
Reclamation Funding: $172,062 Total Project Cost: $344,124

Water marketing strategy grants are used to conduct planning activities in developing a water marketing strategy. Water marketing refers to water rights transactions and includes the lease, sale or exchange of water rights undertaken in accordance with state and federal laws between willing buyers and sellers.

WaterSMART aims to improve water conservation and sustainability, helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. The program identifies strategies to ensure this generation and future ones will have sufficient amounts of clean water for drinking, economic activities, recreation and ecosystem health. To learn more, please visit https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart.




Reclamation seeks comment on hydroelectric project near Grass Valley
GRASS VALLEY, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation has prepared for public review an Environmental Assessment for a project proposed by Nevada Irrigation District to construct and operate a hydroelectric generation station near its Loma Rica Water Treatment Plant, 3 miles east of Grass Valley in Nevada County.

Reclamation proposes to provide NID $285,000 through a 2014 WaterSMART Water Energy and Efficiency Grant to help fund the $3.8 million project.

The concrete building would enclose a turbine and generator capable of producing up to 1.4 megawatts and would allow NID to maximize hydropower potential, help offset electrical costs within the system and provide a potential source of income for NID. The facility would take advantage of existing piping and flow that was constructed for the Banner Cascade Pipeline project completed in 2012.

The EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and may be viewed at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=29673. Written comments are due by close of business Sept. 15, 2017, to Doug Kleinsmith, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825 or dkleinsmith@usbr.gov.

For additional information or to receive a copy of the document, please contact Kleinsmith at 916-978-5034 (TTY 800-877-8339). The document may also be viewed at Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Regional Office at the above address.




Bureau of Reclamation Launches New Basin Studies in New Mexico and Arizona
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Alan Mikkelsen announced that Reclamation is launching two new basin studies. The Rio Grande Basin Study in New Mexico and Eloy and Maricopa-Stanfield Basin Study in Arizona will help inform water managers within their respective basins.

"Growing imbalances between supply and demand are impacting many basins throughout the West," Mikkelsen said. "Through collaboration and using the latest science and data we can develop solutions that will help ensure a sustainable water supply."

The Rio Grande Basin Study in New Mexico is focused on the Middle Rio Grande from the Colorado-New Mexico border to Elephant Butte Reservoir. The basin has been fully allocated since 1907 and future potential conditions in the basin could result in decreased water supply and quality. Reclamation is partnering with the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District on this study.

The basin study will enhance existing models and data to evaluate infrastructure and operations. It will also develop strategies to improve water supply reliability and improve stakeholder collaboration and water management in an area of competing needs. Reclamation is providing $498,000 and the non-federal partners are contributing $517,000 for a total study cost of $1.12 million.

The Eloy and Maricopa-Stanfield groundwater basins in Southern Arizona encompass most of the corridor between Phoenix and Tucson. The area receives about 340,000 acre-feet of water annually through the Central Arizona Project, which is used in conjunction with more than 435,000 acre-feet of groundwater for agricultural, municipal and industrial uses. The basins also provide aquifer storage of CAP water to increase regional supply reliability. The groundwater is being overdrafted by about 230,000 acre-feet per year and is causing severe subsidence in the basins, putting critical infrastructure at risk.

The study will help water managers in the basins update existing models, bring together diverse stakeholders and the public, and develop adaptation strategies to better manage groundwater supplies with future uncertainties in Colorado River supplies. Reclamation and the non-federal partners will each contribute $680,000 for a total study cost of $1.36 million.

Reclamation is partnering with the Central Arizona Project, Arizona Department of Water Resources, Pinal County, Pinal County Water Augmentation Authority, Global Water Resources, Arizona Water Company, City of Casa Grande, City of Eloy, Maricopa Stanfield Irrigation and Drainage District on this basin study.

The Basin Study Program is part of WaterSMART. WaterSMART is the Department of the Interior's sustainable water initiative that uses the best available science to improve water conservation and help water resource managers identify strategies to narrow the gap between supply and demand. For more information on the WaterSMART program, visit www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART.   To learn more about the Basin Study Program or the projects announced today, please visit www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/bsp.




Bureau of Reclamation Announces Nearly $21 Million to 43 Projects for Water Delivery Improvements Across Western United States
WASHINGTON - Acting Commissioner Alan Mikkelsen announced that the Bureau of Reclamation has selected $20.9 million for 43 projects to water delivery efficiency improvements in the Western United States. When leveraged with non-Federal funding sources these projects will complete more than $101 million in improvements. The selected projects will include canal lining and piping to reduce seepage losses, automated gates and control systems, and installation of advanced metering.

"Conserving water through improving water and energy efficiency is important to help communities stretch limited water supplies," Acting Commissioner Mikkelsen said. "Through the projects announced today, Reclamation is helping local water managers with another tool in the toolkit to meet the ever-growing water demands."

A complete list of selected projects is available at https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart.

Water and energy efficiency grants focus on projects that improve water management, including projects that save water. Projects may also mitigate conflict in areas at risk of future water conflict and accomplish other benefits that contribute to water supply sustainability in the Western United States. Others result in water delivery improvements that facilitate future on-farm improvements, which can be carried out with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to accomplish coordinated water conservation improvements.

Funding is provided for two funding groups, funding group I projects provide up to $300,000 for a project that can be completed within two years and funding group II projects provide up to $1 million for a phased project of up to three years. Examples of project selected are:

The Lower Tule River Irrigation District in Tulare, California, will receive $1 million to pipe 2.3 miles of the earthen Lateral B Service Area and 3.6 miles of earthen Lateral C Service Area. This project is expected to save 9,216 acre-feet of water annually that is currently lost to seepage, which will reduce the district's need for groundwater.

The North Snake Ground Water District near Twin Falls, Idaho, will receive $296,454 to install advanced water flow measurement devices on 120 groundwater wells that are owned or operated by individuals within the district. The project is expected to conserve 3,130 acre-feet of water annually by increasing flow measurement accuracy and better documenting groundwater withdrawals.

WaterSMART aims to improve water conservation and sustainability, helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. The program identifies strategies to ensure this generation and future ones will have sufficient amounts of clean water for drinking, economic activities, recreation and ecosystem health. The program also identifies adaptive measures to address climate change and its impact on future water demands. To learn more, please visit https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart.




Horsefly Irrigation District aims to convert open canal with help of WaterSMART grant funds
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded the Horsefly Irrigation District a WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant to assist with converting approximately 1.68 miles of open canal to subterranean piping. Reclamation has released a Draft Environmental Assessment to disclose potential environmental effects and solicit public comment on the proposed project, which must be completed before construction can begin.

The project, located in Klamath County, Oregon, will eliminate seepage and evaporation losses in those sections and is anticipated to result in water savings of roughly 700 acre-feet per year. Conserved water would remain in the Lost River system for instream benefits and downstream users.

Through the WaterSMART program, Reclamation provides cost-shared funding on a competitive basis for projects that seek to conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy and protect endangered species or facilitate water markets. For more on WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants, please visit http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/weeg/index.html.

The draft EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?project_ID=29761. If you encounter problems accessing the documents, please call 916-978-5100 or email mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov.

The draft EA will be available for public comment for two weeks. Physical copies will be available for review at the Bonanza Library, Horsefly Irrigation District Office, and Reclamation’s Klamath Basin Area Office. Written comments must be received by close of business Sept. 1.

Please send comments to Brandon Kirk Young, Bureau of Reclamation, 6600 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls, OR 97603 or to byoung@usbr.gov. For additional information or to request a copy of the document, please contact Young at 541-880-2589 or byoung@usbr.gov.




Reclamation Announces Grants for WaterSMART Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects in 15 States
WASHINGTON –The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation announced today that it has selected 57 Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects in 15 states to receive a total of $3.6 million as part of the WaterSMART grants program. The WaterSMART grants are leveraged with local and state funding to support $7.47 million in efficiency improvements. "This funding provides essential tools for stretching limited water supplies by helping 57 communities conserve and manage them more efficiently,” said Secretary Ryan Zinke. “These grants are just part of the toolkit for bridging the gap between water supply and demand. Leveraging the grants helps boost state and local efforts to protect water supplies.”

Projects range from installation of automated systems to lining irrigation canals to purchasing water meters. They include a variety of innovations using the latest technologies in Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and other “smart” control and monitoring systems.

The 57 communities awarded grants are found in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Washington. The list of selected projects can be found at https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/weeg/docs/2017/2017-7-21smallscaleawards1.pdf.

Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects are part of Reclamation’s WaterSMART Program. The program aims to improve water conservation and sustainability, helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. The WaterSMART Program identifies strategies to ensure this generation and future ones will have sufficient amounts of clean water for drinking, economic activities, recreation and ecosystem health. To learn more, please visit www.usbr.gov/watersmart.




Bureau of Reclamation Publishes Funding Opportunity for Title XVI Water Recycling Projects Under WIIN Act
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a new funding opportunity for Title XVI water recycling projects under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (P.L. 114-322). This funding opportunity is for sponsors of water recycling projects that have completed a Title XVI Feasibility Study that has been reviewed by Reclamation, found to meet all the requirements of Reclamation Manual Release WTR 11-01 and been transmitted to Congress by Reclamation. For a list of eligible projects, please visit: https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/title/feasibility.html.

To view the funding opportunity, please visit www.grants.gov and search on funding opportunity number BOR-DO-17-F028. Applications are due on August 17, 2017. It is anticipated that Reclamation will fund four to eight awards depending on requested funding. Reclamation may provide up to 25 percent of the total cost of planning, design and/or construction that will be conducted before September 30, 2019. Recipients are responsible for 75 percent or more of total project costs.

The WIIN Act was enacted in December 2016, to address water resources infrastructure that is critical to the nation's economic growth, health and competitiveness. The amendments in Section 4009 (c) of Subtitle J of WIIN allows new water recycling projects to be eligible for federal funding.

Reclamation provides funding through the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program for projects that reclaim and reuse municipal, industrial, domestic or agricultural wastewater and impaired ground or surface waters. Reclaimed water can be used for a variety of purposes, such as environmental restoration, fish and wildlife, groundwater recharge, municipal, domestic, industrial, agricultural, power generation or recreation.

Since 1992, Title XVI funding has been used to provide communities with new sources of clean water, while promoting water and energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. In that time, approximately $672 million in federal funding has been leveraged with non-federal funding to implement more than $3.3 billion in water reuse improvements.

To learn more about Title XVI and these awards, please visit https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/title.