Grant Details


WaterSMART Planning and Project Design Grants: Water Strategy Grants and Project Design Grants - FY 2023/2024

Agency: U.S. Department of Interior
CFDA: 15.507, 15.514
Federal FON: R23AS00109
Office: Bureau of Reclamation Water Resources and Planning Office
Multipart Grant: No
Next Due: 05/21/2024 (Multiple)
Solicitation Date: 08/07/2023
   
Match Required: Yes
Match Type: Cash/In-Kind
Actual Funds: Unspecified
Award Range: $100,000 (Min) / $400,000 (Max)
Summary:

The purpose of this program is to stretch and secure water supplies for future generations. Funding will support collaborative planning and design projects that support water management improvements. Projects must fall under one of the following categories:

  • Water strategy projects: Funding will support projects that will conduct initial or early-stage planning activities to support water supply and management solutions, including water supply projects, water marketing activities, water management projects and/or activities, and river restoration activities. All projects must include the following components:
    • Outreach and partnership building
    • Analyses, scoping, and planning activities, such as technical analyses to identify problems, needs, and opportunities; water marking and water rights analyses; research of legal and institutional requirements; decision support tools; and development and comparison of project alternatives
    • Development of a water strategy document
  • Project design projects: Funding will support projects to conduct project-specific design for medium- and large-scale on-the-ground water supply construction, water management construction, and restoration projects. Eligible activities include:
    • Development of project requirements and evaluation of design alternatives
    • Evaluation of site alternatives and selection of project site
    • Preparation of final design drawings and specifications for the construction of the project
    • Evaluation of economic conditions, preparation of project cost estimates, and development of project implementation plan
    • Legal and institutional requirements research

For the purposes of this program, medium- and large-scale water management construction and restoration projects are defined as projects with construction/restoration costs of at least $250,000 and above.

All project design projects must result in a final design package at an approximately 60 percent design level so that the design package can be used subsequently to apply for construction funding, as detailed on page 77 of the NOFA file.

Refer to pages 71-76 of the NOFA file for additional information regarding eligible activities and project requirements for water strategy projects. Refer to pages 77-78 of the NOFA file for additional information regarding eligible activities and project requirements for project design projects.

For all projects, priority will be given to projects that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Will reduce climate pollution; increase resilience to the impacts of climate change; protect public health; and conserve lands, waters, oceans, and biodiversity
  • Benefit disadvantaged or underserved communities, which, for the purposes of this program, include tribes and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Serve and/or benefit tribes
  • Demonstrate a nexus between the project and a project, activity, and priority under the Bureau of Reclamation

Applicants for water strategy projects must be located in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming, or the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Eligible costs include personnel, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, contractual costs, construction, other direct costs, and indirect costs.

An optional webinar is scheduled for this program. Refer to the Application section for details.

This program is related to the funding agency's WaterSMART Planning and Project Design Grants: Drought Contingency Planning program, known in eCivis Grants Network as US15848.

Last Updated: February 02, 2024

Eligibility Notes:

Eligible applicants for water strategy projects are:

  • States
  • Tribes
  • Irrigation districts
  • Water districts
  • State, regional, or local authorities in which the members include one or more organizations with water or power delivery authority
  • Other organizations with water or power delivery authority

Applicants for water strategy projects must be located in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming, or the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Eligible applicants for project design projects are nonprofit conservation organizations that are acting in partnership with, and with the agreement of, one of the following entities:

  • States
  • Tribes
  • Irrigation districts
  • Water districts
  • State, regional, or local authorities in which the members include one or more organizations with water or power delivery authority
  • Other organizations with water or power delivery authority

Eligible applicants for project design projects may be located in the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

For all projects, priority will be given to projects that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Benefit disadvantaged or underserved communities, which, for the purposes of this program, include tribes and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Serve and/or benefit tribes

Applicants may submit multiple applications; however, no more than one application may be submitted for each project category. Applicants for project design projects may apply for multiple projects in one application; however, the proposed projects must be interrelated or closely related in scope and/or geography.

The following entities are not eligible to apply:

  • Federal governmental entities
  • Institutes of higher education
Eligible Applicants:
Local Government
Consortia
Native American Tribe
Non Profits
State Government
Application Notes:

Prior to submitting an application, applicants requesting technical assistance must contact the appropriate program coordinator, using the information provided in the Contact section, to discuss the request.

Applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. MT on one of the following dates:

  • FY 2023: October 17, 2023
  • FY 2024: April 2, 2024

The due date for the application for FY 2024 has been extended to 4:00 p.m. MT on May 21, 2024. Additional information is included in the NOFA file.

Prior to submitting an application, applicants that are tribes or located in the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands are encouraged to contact the appropriate program coordinator using the information provided in the Contact section.

Applications must be submitted online at www.ecivis.com/grants.gov, or mailed or delivered to the address provided in the Contact section; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications online. Applicants submitting applications via mail or delivery must contact Karen Shubert for approval via email at the appropriate address provided in the Contact section by 2:00 p.m. MT on the appropriate application due date. Applications submitted via email, fax, or any other method will not be accepted.

Applications must include:

  • SF 424
  • SF 424A
  • SF 424B
  • SF LLL (if applicable)
  • Grants.gov lobbying form (if applicable)
  • Technical proposal (20 pages max)
  • Budget narrative
  • Environmental and cultural resources compliance (if applicable)
  • Required permits and approvals
  • Overlap or duplication of effort statement
  • Conflict of interest disclosure statement
  • Uniform audit reporting statement
  • Letters of support
  • Letter of partnership (if applicable)

The application is limited to a total of 125 pages. Applications must be formatted on standard-sized pages with standard one-inch margins using at least a 12-point easily readable font. The technical proposal must be formatted on consecutively numbered pages. For hard-copy submission, applications must be bound using a binder clip. Hard-copy applications may not be stapled or bound through other means.

The following are required in order to submit an application:

  • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number
  • SAM (System for Award Management) registration
  • SPOC (state Single Point of Contact) notification

Applicants may obtain a UEI number and verify or renew SAM registration status at www.ecivis.com/sam. Applicants in states participating in the SPOC program must contact the relevant SPOC listed in the SPOC file before applying.

An optional webinar for this program is scheduled as follows:

August 24, 2023
11:30 a.m. MT
URL: teams.microsoft.com

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Project benefits (35 points)
  • Inclusion of stakeholders, stakeholder support, and previous planning efforts (25 points)
  • Ability to meet program requirements (20 points)
  • Presidential and Department of the Interior priorities (15 points)
  • Nexus to Bureau of Reclamation (5 points)

Refer to pages 53-56 of the NOFA file for additional information regarding the application evaluation process, including additional application evaluation criteria.

Refer to the NOFA and BudgetNarrativeGuide files for additional application information.

Match Required: Yes
Match Type: Cash/In-Kind
Actual Funds: Unspecified
Award Range: $100,000 (Min) / $400,000 (Max)
Match Notes:

Match requirements will vary according to project and applicant type, as follows:

  • Applicants for water strategy and project design projects with ecological benefits must provide at least 25 percent of total project costs via cash and/or in-kind contributions, as detailed on pages 26 of the NOFA file
  • Matching funds are not required for water strategy and project design projects that provide domestic water supplies to disadvantaged communities, as detailed on page 25-26 of the NOFA file
  • Matching funds are not required for applicants located in the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Applicants for all other projects must provide at least 50 percent of total project costs via cash and/or in-kind contributions

Matching funds from sources outside the applicant’s organization must be secured and available to the applicant prior to award.

The following may not be used as a match:

  • Other sources of federal funding, unless authorized by federal statute
  • Cost or value of third-party in-kind contributions that have been, or will be relied on, to satisfy a cost-sharing or matching requirement for another federal financial assistance agreement, a federal procurement contract, or any other award of federal funds
Funding Notes:

Approximately $35 million is available to support approximately 60 to 70 awards through this program and the funding agency's WaterSMART Planning and Project Design Grants: Drought Contingency Planning program, known in eCivis Grants Network as US15848. Awards under this program are expected to range from $100,000 to $400,000 for water strategy projects and project design projects. Awards under this program will be made as grants or cooperative agreements, as applicable to each project.

In general, applicants may receive no more than a cumulative total of $1.2 million per fiscal year under this program and the funding agency's WaterSMART Planning and Project Design Grants: Drought Contingency Planning program; however, applicants for project design projects may receive up to a cumulative total of $2 million if each project includes a different partner.

In addition to providing monetary awards, this program may provide technical assistance to award recipients. Applicants planning to receive technical assistance must account for these costs in the budget. Applicants requesting technical assistance must contact the appropriate program coordinator, using the information provided in the Contact section, to discuss the request prior to submitting an application.

For FY 2023, award notifications are expected to be made in March 2024, and awards are anticipated to be made on July 1, 2024. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2027.

For FY 2024, award notifications are expected to be made in in October 2024, and awards are anticipated to be made on April 1, 2025. Projects must be completed by March 31, 2028.

For water strategy projects, award recipients must submit their draft strategy to the funding agency for review and feedback within 120 days prior to the end of the project period.

Project design projects must involve the final design of medium- and large-scale on-the-ground water supply construction, water management construction, and restoration projects. For the purposes of this program, medium- and large-scale water management construction and restoration projects are defined as projects with construction/restoration costs of at least $250,000 and above.

Pre-award costs may be allowable, as detailed on page 42 of the NOFA file.

For water strategy projects, activities that would be considered development or modification of decision support tools to support the overall strategy development may be allowable if such activities are integral to the strategy and such costs are limited to 30 percent of the total project cost.

For water strategy projects, the costs of legal analysis activities are limited to 30 percent of the total project costs. Funds may not be used for costs of legal analysis for the preparation of a specific water court case.

For water strategy projects, activities that would
be considered measurements, monitoring, or field work that are necessary to complete technical analyses may be eligible for funding so long as such costs are limited to 30 percent of the total project cost and the applicant includes funding in the budget for related environmental and cultural resources compliance costs.

Funds may not be used for:

  • Developing appraisal investigations, system optimization reviews, feasibility studies, special studies, basin studies, and water management and conservation projects for planning and project design that are eligible for funding under the funding agency’s Water Conservation and Field Studies Program or Rural Water Program
  • Design of projects considered normal operations, maintenance, and replacement (OM&R), as detailed on pages 29-30 of the NOFA file
  • Conducting a pilot study to evaluate technical capability, economic feasibility, or viability for full-scale implementation, or to test an unproven material or technology, except for pilot projects that are a component of a water strategy project
  • Design of on-farm improvements
  • Completing on-the-ground construction
  • Projects or activities that are funded under another federal financial assistance agreement
  • Lobbying activities
  • Application preparation and submission costs
Contacts:

Applicant Eligibility, Project Eligibility, and Application Review for Water Strategy Projects Contact:

Ms. Irene Hoiby
Program Coordinator
(303) 445-3575
ihoiby@usbr.gov

Applicant Eligibility, Project Eligibility, and Application Review for Project Design Projects Contact:

Ms. Nickie McCann
Program Coordinator
(720) 610-3480
nmcann@usbr.gov

Application, Application Submission, and Award Administration Contact:

Karen Shubert
(801) 524-3663
kshubert@usbr.gov

Mailing Address
Bureau of Reclamation
Upper Colorado Regional Office
Attn: Karen Shubert
125 South State, Room 8100
Salt Lake City, UT 84138-1147

Contact Notes:

Questions should be directed to the appropriate program contact.

Applications must be submitted online at www.ecivis.com/grants.gov, or mailed or delivered to the address provided; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications online.

Files:
Other Pre-Award File: US18344_Announcement_FY2023-24.pdf (171.5 Kb)
Other Pre-Award File: US18344_BudgetNarrativeGuide_FY2023-24.pdf (296.2 Kb)
Other Pre-Award File: US18344_Budget_FY2023-24.xlsx (119.4 Kb)
Other Pre-Award File: US18344_Webinar_FY2023-24.pdf (124.6 Kb)
NOFA File: US18344_NOFA_FY2023-24.pdf (952.9 Kb)
Federal Forms:
SF 424 (144.4 Kb)
SF 424B (64.2 Kb)
SF 424A (131.6 Kb)
SPOC (195.6 Kb)
SF LLL (98.7 Kb)
File Notes:

The NOFA file contains the full solicitation for this program. The Announcement file contains the announcement of the solicitation for this program. The BudgetNarrativeGuide file contains detailed budget narrative instructions for the application. The Budget file contains an optional budget detail and narrative template for the application. The Webinar file contains information regarding a webinar scheduled for this program. The attached federal forms may be used if submitting a hard-copy application. The SPOC file contains information on the state Single Point of Contact program.

February 2, 2024
A revised solicitation containing an updated due date for the application for FY 2024 has been released and attached as the NOFA file. The Application and Financial sections have been updated accordingly.

August 17, 2023
Information regarding an optional webinar scheduled for this program has been released and attached as the Webinar file. Refer to the Application section for details.

Grant Keywords
DOI, WaterSMART, US15848, state government, tribe, tribal government, tribal, Native American, American Indian, irrigation district, water district, local government, nonprofit, non-profit, not-for-profit, nonprofit organization, conservation organization, plan, planning, design, project design, clean water, drinking water, pipe, piping, plumbing, potable water, reclamation, source water, water demand, water infrastructure, water quality, water resource, water supply, infrastructure, build, construction, construct, water management, analyses, analysis, territory, territories, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands, conservation, conserve, ecological, ecology, ecosystem, environment, environmental, environmentalism, green, habitat, natural resource, nature, outdoor, preservation, preserve, protect, protection, restoration, restore, stewardship, underserved, underprivileged, underrepresented, disadvantaged, under-represented
Grant Categories
Community Development
Disaster Preparedness
Human Services
Water Supply/Quality