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Funding Opportunity Available for Efforts to Establish or Expand Watershed Groups

WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor announced that Reclamation is seeking applications for its Cooperative Watershed Management Program to establish or expand a local watershed management group.

"This collaborative program is one more way we are advancing the goals of the WaterSMART effort as well as the recently announced Blueways System at the Department of the Interior," Commissioner Connor said. "The Cooperative Watershed Management Program will help coordinate and sustain clean and consistent water to communities in the West. Reclamation continues to work with its stakeholders and partners to find better ways to conserve and reuse this precious resource."

The Cooperative Watershed Management Program provides funding for watershed groups to encourage diverse stakeholders to form local groups to address their water management needs. Associated with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s WaterSMART initiative, the purpose of the program is to improve water quality and ecological resilience, conserve water, and reduce conflicts over water through collaborative conservation efforts in the management of local watersheds.

Reclamation has made $247,000 available for this funding opportunity announcement and each award is limited to $50,000. A second-year of funding, up to $50,000, may be awarded to successful applicants if sufficient progress is demonstrated. No cost-share is required. Applicants may be eligible under two categories through this funding opportunity. One is for the establishment of a watershed group. Eligible applicants are states, Indian tribes, local and special districts (irrigation and water districts, county soil conservation districts, etc.), local governmental entities, interstate organizations and nonprofit organizations located in the western United States or U.S. territory. The second funding category is for the expansion of a watershed group. Eligible applicants must be a current watershed group or a participant in an existing watershed group that is legally incorporated within the state in which it operates and meets the definition of a "watershed" group as defined in the funding opportunity.

The Cooperative Watershed Management Program also supports the Blueways System that Interior Secretary Salazar announced earlier today in Connecticut. The National Blueways System highlights and supports river and watershed strategies for sustainable watershed resources that are led by stakeholder communities and organizations.

The WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow) effort was launched by Secretary Salazar in February 2010 to facilitate the work of Interior's bureaus in pursuing a sustainable water supply for the nation. The program establishes a framework to provide federal leadership and assistance on the efficient use of water and integrating water and energy policies to support the sustainable use of all natural resources.

The funding opportunity is available on www.grants.gov by searching for funding opportunity number R12SF80035. Applications are due by 4 p.m. MDT, July 9.

 

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov.

 

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