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WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants for FY 2015

  • 20 November 2014
  • networx

Agency: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Policy and Administration

Due: January 14, 2015

Award Date: June 2015

Eligible Applicants:

·         States

·         Indian Tribes

·         Irrigation Districts

·         Other organizations with water or power delivery authority located in the western United States or United States Territories as identified in the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902, as amended

Cost Share: At least 50% (may include in-kind donations)

Grant Objective:

The objective of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is for applicants to leverage their money and resources by cost sharing with the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) on projects that seek to:

·         Conserve and use water more efficiently

·         Increase the use of renewable energy

·         Improve energy efficiency

·         Benefit endangered and threatened species

·         Facilitate water markets, or carry out other activities to address climate-related impacts on water or prevent any water-related crisis or conflict

·         Through this FOA, Reclamation also makes funding available for water management improvements that complement other ongoing efforts to address water supply sustainability

Available Funds and Funding Groups:

There is a total of $19 million available through this FOA. Multiple applications may be submitted for consideration if they are each under a different funding group (see funding group descriptions below).  However, no more than $1,000,000 will be awarded to any one applicant under this FOA.

Funding Group I: Up to $300,000 will be available for smaller, on-the-ground projects.

·         Should be completed within 2 years, by September 30, 2017

·         Funds will be awarded no later than September 30, 2015

·         A majority of awards will be made under Funding Group I

Funding Group II: Up to $1,000,000 will be available for larger, phased on-the-ground projects that may take up to 3 years to complete.

·         Will be funded on an annual basis, for a period of up to 3 years.  Funding group II projects must be completed by September 30, 2018.

·         No more than $500,000 in Federal funds will be provided within a given Federal fiscal year to complete each phase of a project selected in FY 2015, with a maximum of $1,000,000 available for the entire project.

·         Each phase of the project is expected to be substantially completed within one year of award. Recipients must demonstrate sufficient progress to receive subsequent funding for remaining phases of the project.

·         Federal funding under this FOA for the first year of phased projects will be awarded no later than September 30, 2015. Funding for the remaining project years will be made available contingent on subsequent congressional appropriations. (Note: recipients will not be asked to reapply to receive FY 2016 and FY 2017 funding).

·         Only a small number of awards will be made for projects in Funding Group II

Eligible Projects:

Task A – Water Conservation

·         Canal Lining/Piping

·         Municipal Metering

·         Irrigation Flow Measurement

·         SCADA and Automation

·         Groundwater Recharge

·         Landscape Irrigation Measures

·         High-Efficiency Indoor Appliances and Fixtures

Task B – Energy-Water Nexus

·         Installing small-scale hydroelectric, solar-electric, wind energy, geothermal power systems, or other facilities that enable use of these or other renewable energy sources (e.g., replacing fossil fuel powered pumps with renewable energy based pumps, installing low-head hydrokinetic power generation units in a water system)

·         Producing and using biomass or renewable fuels (including woody and herbaceous crops and residues, solid waste, sewage, and liquid fuels from agricultural products) (e.g., using technology that would transform algae into a renewable oil source)

·         Retrofitting or modernizing water management facilities or equipment to increase energy efficiency (e.g., installing Variable Frequency Drives, Advanced Meter Readings, or “smart grid” technology on pump and water systems)

·         Quantifiably reducing energy consumption through water conservation projects that reduce pumping or diversions

Task C – Benefits to Endangered Species

·         Improving habitat, including restoring habitat, making additional water available, and managing vegetation

·         Installing fish bypasses and fish screens as well as improving hatcheries

Task D – Water Markets

·         Projects that develop a water market that would provide a mechanism for willing participants to buy, sell, lease, or exchange water to avoid or reduce water conflicts

Ineligible Projects

·         Projects not specifically described in the bullet points above

·         Water purchases

·         Title XVI water recycling and reuse programs.  However, small-scale improvements relating to an existing water recycling facility may be considered eligible for funding

·         Building Construction

·         Pilot Projects

·         Operations, Maintenance, and Replacement Projects, for example:

o Replacing malfunctioning components of an existing facility with the same components

o Improving an existing facility to operate as originally designed

o Performing an activity on a recurring basis, even if that period is extended (e.g., 10-year interval)

o Sealing expansion joints of concrete lining because the original sealer or the water stops have failed

o Replacing broken meters with new meters of the same type

o Replacing leaky pipes with new pipes of the same type

Projects Must:

·         Comply with NEPA, and other applicable environmental laws

·         Have an official resolution and necessary permits upon submission of the grant application

·         Propose a method of quantifying the actual benefits of the project once it is completed

·         If cost sharing will be provided by entities other than the applicant, letters of commitment must be obtained


·         Specific reporting terms will be included in the financial assistance agreement, but will include semi-annual progress reports and a final report.

To learn more about WaterSMART Water & Energy Efficiency Grants, please visit