The Bureau of Reclamation has selected 52 projects in 13 states in the West to share $3.3 million in WaterSMART grants for small-scale water efficiency improvements. These projects deliver on the Department of the Interior and Reclamation’s commitment to support local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply through investments to modernize existing infrastructure. The selected projects include installation of flow measurement or automation in a specific part of a water delivery system, lining of a section of a canal to address seepage or other similar small-scale projects.
“Through WaterSMART, Reclamation works with communities to improve water conservation and reliability,” said Reclamation’s Commissioner Brenda Burman. “These grants help water providers and tribes complete small projects, so they can use water more efficiently.”
One of the projects selected is the Greenfields Irrigation District, located in western Montana. They will receive $75,000 to automate manual flow measurements and controls at four key main canal gates in the Sun River. The project will enable the district to increase water use efficiency and reduce waste flows that currently enter Muddy Creek. These waste flows contribute to erosion and water quality concerns in the Sun River Basin. Conserved water will increase water reliability for irrigators and contribute to instream flows in the Sun River, which has frequently gone dry or below safe levels for fish. The project is supported by a Water Scoping Study completed for the District and the Sun River Watershed Group’s watershed restoration plan.
The Harlingen Irrigation District Cameron County No.1, located in southern Texas will receive $74,767 to upgrade and relocate the intake structures for the Adams Garden Reservoir. The District will install an automated gate structure with two aluminum slide gates. The district will also add supervisory control and data acquisition hardware to control the gates in real time and meter flows in the Main Canal. The project will improve water reliability by increasing the amount of water that can be stored in the reservoir and reducing spills and conveyance losses. The project is consistent with goals of the 2016 Rio Grande Regional Water Plan.
The Chickasaw Nation in southern Oklahoma will receive $75,000 for the installation of 32 smart meters and a supervisory control and data acquisition system at Murray State College. The smart meters are one element of a more significant effort within the Nation to improve water infrastructure and maximize water reliability for its users. The project is expected to reduce water losses and better manage limited water supplies. The project is supported by the 2012 Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan, Lower Washita Watershed Planning Region, and the 2015 WaterSMART Drought Contingency Plan for the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer.
Selected projects for the Small-Scale Water Efficiency Project grants received up to $75,000. The selected entities must provide at least a 50% cost-share. To view all the selected projects or the program, please visit https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/swep/.
For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have worked to develop a sustainable water and power future for the West. This program is part of the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART Program, which focuses on improving water conservation and reliability while helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. To find out more information about Reclamation’s WaterSMART program, visit https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart.