This month, the Bureau of Reclamation approved an additional $17.5 million in WaterSMART Drought Resiliency Project grants for ten more projects in the Western United States, aimed at helping communities increase their ability to recover from droughts. This funding supplements the prior $20.5 million in WaterSMART grant funding that was announced in January 2022, for a $38 million total federal investment this year in improving drought resiliency in the West.
“Reclamation is pleased that we can provide more funding to this vital program to help communities respond better and faster to drought conditions,” said Acting Commissioner David Palumbo. “Drought will continue to impact these Western communities, and we will continue to do all that we can to assist them.”
Reclamation’s Drought Response Program is part of WaterSMART. The program provides water managers financial assistance to implement projects that build long-term resiliency to drought. The $38 million federal investment will complement the funding provided by Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s investments in water efficiency and recycling programs, water storage, rural water projects, watershed projects, and dam safety.
The WaterSMART program is one part of how Reclamation is responding to drought and climate change across the West as part of the White House Interagency Drought Relief Working Group, part of the National Climate Task Force created by President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. The working group, chaired by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, is working to build upon existing resources and coordinate across the federal government, working in partnership with state, local, and Tribal governments to address the needs of communities suffering from drought-related impacts.
Drought Resiliency Projects.
The selected projects include a financial match by the applicant raising the investment in resiliency an additional $32.5 million in non-federal funding. The selected projects are:
- Carmichael Water District (California), Aquifer Storage and Recovery at Engle/Garfield – $2,000,000
- City of McAllen (Texas), McAllen Public Utility’s Reuse Water Enhancement Project – $1,327,305
- City of Santa Ana (California), Water Treatment Project – $2,000,000
- Draper Irrigation Company (WaterPro) (Utah), Developing Secondary Water Supplies for Irrigation – $2,000,000
- Las Vegas Valley Water District (Nevada), Drought Resiliency Through Additional Water Supplies – $732,684
- North Kern Water Storage District (California), 2022 Return Capacity Improvements Project – $2,000,000
- Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District (California), Groundwater Banking Recovery Project – $2,000,000
- Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (California), Rosedale Phase 2 Project – $1,458,987
- Syracuse City Corporation (Utah), 2700 Secondary Water Reservoir and Water Pump Station Project – $2,000,000
- Turlock Irrigation District (California), Ceres Main Regulating Reservoir Project – $2,000,000
Fiscal Year 2023 Drought Resiliency Projects Webinar Scheduled for April 8.
The Bureau of Reclamation will host a webinar on Friday, April 8, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. MDT to discuss eligible applicants, project types, and the evaluation criteria for the Drought Resiliency Projects (DRP) funding opportunity.
The DRP funding opportunity offers three funding groups: Funding Group I is up to $500,000 in federal cost-share for projects that can be completed in 2 years, Funding Group II is up to $2 million in federal cost-share for projects that can be completed in three years, and Funding Group III is up to $5 million in federal cost-share for projects that can be completed in 3 years. Federal cost-share is limited to 50% of total project costs. A 50 percent minimum recipient cost-share is required.
Webinar information and link: Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART website.
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