Reclamation invests $8.9 million in watershed cooperative projects

The Bureau of Reclamation invests in watershed health across Colorado River Basin states, focusing on ecosystem restoration and climate resilience.
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  • $8.9 million investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • Support for 6 new and 12 ongoing cooperative projects in 7 Colorado River Basin states.
  • Projects focus on watershed health, ecosystem restoration, and climate resilience.
  • Advancement of Justice40 Initiative for disadvantaged communities.
  • Collaborative efforts involving diverse local stakeholders.

July 5, 2024 — The United States Bureau of Reclamation has announcedOpens in a new tab. an $8.9 million investment through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to protect watershed health and enhance water supply resilience. This funding will support six new cooperative projects and 12 ongoing ones in the Colorado River Basin.

“Protection of our watersheds is critical as we work to safeguard local water supplies, restore ecosystems and build climate resilience in the West,” Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton saidOpens in a new tab.. “Thanks to new resources through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we are advancing cooperative locally driven partnerships that will help combat the impacts of climate change and provide restored habitat for fish and wildlife.”

Funding and Key Projects.

The investment is part of the WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program, encouraging diverse local stakeholders to develop sustainable water management solutions. The selected projects will benefit from collaborative efforts, enhancing ecosystem health and local water management.

Key Initiatives Include:

  • Arizona: Upper Queen Creek Watershed Group
    • Funding: $245,308
    • Focus: Water quality, quantity, and watershed restoration
    • Stakeholders: State and local government agencies, tribes, recreation and tourism leaders, local ranchers, landowners, mining interests
  • California: Lake Sonoma West Watershed Plan
    • Funding: $299,052
    • Focus: Addressing wildfire impacts and reducing future fire risks
    • Stakeholders: Sonoma County Water Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kashia Band of Pomo Indians
  • Nevada: Walker Basin Conservancy
    • Funding: $299,918
    • Focus: Watershed restoration, addressing over-appropriation, water quality, and ecological strain
    • Stakeholders: Federal, state, and local government entities, ranchers, farmers, conservation districts, tribes
  • Wyoming: Headwaters of the Colorado Initiative
    • Funding: $300,000
    • Focus: Forest and watershed health, hydrologic resilience
    • Stakeholders: Private lands, state lands, federal lands, National Forest, U.S. Bureau of Land Management
  • New Mexico: Hermit’s Peak Watershed Alliance
    • Funding: $299,835
    • Focus: Post-fire watershed recovery, native vegetation restoration, water quality improvement
    • Stakeholders: New Mexico Environmental Department, Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Forest Service, private landowners

Collaborative Approach and Impact.

The program aims to build partnerships that address climate change impacts and enhance habitat for fish and wildlife. These collaborative efforts align with President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, ensuring that 40% of the benefits from federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities.

More Information.

For more detailed information on all the projects, visit the Bureau of Reclamation’s pdf reportOpens in a new tab..


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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