FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Biden-Harris Administration announces $20 million funding opportunity for small surface and groundwater storage drought resilience projects

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

The Bureau of Reclamation today announced a funding opportunity through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for small surface and groundwater storage projects. In the wake of severe drought, surface water and groundwater storage are essential tools in stretching the limited water supplies in the Western United States. These projects will provide Western communities with new sources of water and increase water management flexibility, making water supply more reliable.

“The limited supplies of water in the West make it essential that we find ways to store more water,” said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo. “These new storage projects will increase resilience to climate change providing water managers flexibility in their water management decisions.”

“This critical funding will boost water storage opportunities for future generations and help us invest in infrastructure that will help make water supplies more reliable,” said Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “These resources will help water managers by providing more groundwater management opportunities, improve water quality and provide benefits for ecosystems.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates $8.3 billion for Bureau of Reclamation water infrastructure projects over the next five years to advance drought resilience and expand access to clean water for families, farmers, and wildlife. The investment will repair aging water delivery systems, secure dams, complete rural water projects, protect aquatic ecosystems and fulfill Indian Water Rights Settlements, including $100 million for small surface and groundwater storage projects over five years. In fiscal year 2023, $20 million is available for eligible projects.

Funding is available for projects with a water storage capacity between 2,000 and 30,000 acre feet that increase surface water or groundwater storage or convey water directly or indirectly to the storage project. Project sponsors may request cost-shared funding for their project’s planning, design and/or construction.

Reclamation will host a webinar on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 1 p.m. MDT to provide more information on this funding opportunity and answer questions. Please join this webinar.

To learn more about implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, please visit www.usbr.gov/bil.

Information on how to apply for funding

The funding opportunity is available on grants.gov by searching for funding opportunity number R23AS00019. Applications are due to Reclamation on Dec. 9, at 5 p.m. MST.

A completed feasibility study must also be submitted to Reclamation no later than Oct. 31, to determine project eligibility under this funding opportunity, using the study requirements Reclamation published in January 2022. Reclamation encourages applicants to submit their completed feasibility study to Reclamation before the October deadline. Eligibility does not entitle a project to any future federal funding or create a new project authorization.

Applicants must provide a cost share of 75% or more of the total project costs.

To learn more, please visit www.usbr.gov/smallstorage.

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