Reclamation Offering Grant Funding to Prepare for Drought Resiliency Projects in 2020 and 2021

By on August 11, 2019

Extended, multi-year droughts have become more the norm in the exception throughout the western United States and the Bureau of Reclamation is keenly aware of the situation. Consequently, Reclamation recently announced that it is making grant funding opportunities available to assist communities in building long-term resilience for future droughts.

This funding opportunity is part of the WaterSMART Drought Response Program for projects in 2020 and 2021. Up to $300,000 per agreement is available for a project that can be completed within two years. Up to $750,000 per agreement is available for a project that can be completed within three years. Recipients must match the funding with a minimum of 50 percent non-federal cost-share.

“Drought across the West is more of a norm than an exception today that severely impacts everyone and everything,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “These grants show Reclamation’s commitment to supporting western communities as they build drought resiliency through innovation, investment and collaboration.”

Funding is available for projects that:

  • Increase the reliability of water supplies through infrastructure improvements
  • Improve water management through decision support tools, modeling and measurement
  • Provide protection for fish, wildlife and the environment

These WaterSMART Drought Response Program grants funds are available for eligible applicants which include irrigation districts, states, tribes, water districts or other organizations with water or power delivery authority located in the western United States or U.S. territories. New eligible states this year, includes projects in Alaska and Hawaii.

“While many areas across the West have received good snow pack and more plentiful water supplies this year, some areas were not so lucky,” said Reclamation’s Drought Response Program Manager Darion Mayhorn.  “As each of us knows, this could be a one-year blip. We need to take advantage of this break to plan and prepare for the next drought. This reminds us that drought planning, in advance of a crisis, is far more cost-effective than addressing it during the drought.”

Applications are due on October 16, 2019, for projects in 2020; applications are due on October 14, 2020, for projects in 2021. Deadline time for both applications is 4 p.m. MDT. To learn more about these grant funding opportunities go to: and click on: search grants. The opportunity number is: BOR-DO-20-F002.