In announcing a total of 54 projects to receive a total of $26.5 million through WaterSMART water and energy efficiency grants, Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) Commissioner Brenda Burman indicated that 12 of the projects, totaling $7.5 million, were based in California. The California projects funded with these grants include an off-stream regulating reservoir, rebate programs for lawn to native/friendly landscaping and installation of advanced metering.
“Improving water efficiency is an important part of ensuring communities have a reliable water supply in the future,” Commissioner Burman said. “The projects we’ve selected today will help communities throughout the Western United States by providing them with tools they can use to better manage their water needs.”
Funding for the projects is divided into two groups. Funding Group I projects receive up to $300,000 and can be completed within two years. Funding Group II projects may receive up to $1 million for a phased project of up to three years.
“President Trump is dedicated to better water infrastructure for communities and farmers, and adequate and safe water supplies are fundamental to the health, economy, and security of the country,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. WaterSMART water and energy efficiency grants enable Interior, states, tribes, and local entities to work together to take action to increase available water supply through infrastructure investments.”
Water and energy efficiency grants focus on projects that conserve and use water more efficiently. Projects can complement on-farm improvements that 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. Other projects may also lessen the risk of future water conflicts and provide other benefits that contribute to water supply reliability in the western United States.
The California funded WaterSMART water and energy efficiency grants include a range of a high of $1,000,000 for five agencies and the smallest grant of $299,342 for the Municipal Water District of Orange County’s Water Efficient Landscape Transformation Program. Five agencies received $300,000 each while the twelfth California water agency – the city of Bakersfield received a grant of $743,300 for their Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition and Automation Project.
The complete list of projects of BOR’s most recent WaterSMART water and energy efficiency grants and the projects’ descriptions are available at https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/weeg/. Projects were selected through a competitive process and must provide a minimum of a 50 percent cost-share.