Grant Details


WaterSMART Environmental Water Resources Projects (EWRP) - FY 2024/2025

Agency: U.S. Department of Interior
CFDA: 15.507, 15.554
Federal FON: R24AS00299
Office: Bureau of Reclamation Water Resources and Planning Office
Multipart Grant: No
Next Due: 06/25/2024 (Multiple)
Solicitation Date: 04/18/2024
   
Match Required: Yes
Match Type: Cash/In-Kind
Actual Funds: Unspecified
Summary:

The purpose of this program is to support water conservation projects, water efficiency projects, water management and infrastructure improvements, and river and watershed restoration and nature-based solution projects that provide significant ecological benefits, have been developed as part of a collaborative process, and help carry out an established strategy to increase the reliability of water resources. The program supports nature-based solutions that are sustainable environmental management practices that weave natural features or processes into the built environment to promote adaptation and resilience. 

Eligible projects include on-the-ground implementation projects where a primary purpose is to benefit ecological values or improve watershed health and have a nexus to water resources. This may include projects that benefit plant and animal species; fish and wildlife habitat; riparian areas; ecosystems; commercial, recreational, subsistence, or tribal ceremonial fishing; and river-based recreation. Projects may improve the timing or quantity of water available; improve water quality and temperature; improve stream or riparian conditions for the benefit of plant and animal species, fish and wildlife habitat, riparian areas, watershed health, and ecosystems; implementation of nature-based solutions; and projects that otherwise mitigate against the impacts of climate change to fish and wildlife habitats.

Specifically, eligible projects may include:

  • Category A: ecologically focused water conservation and efficiency projects that provide more reliable water supplies and ecological benefits, including:
    • Canal lining or piping
    • Irrigation flow measurements
    • Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) automation
  • Category B: ecologically focused water management or infrastructure improvements, including:
    • Improving fish passage, including installation and/or modification of fish screens, ladders, bypasses, or removing small barriers to fish passage
    • Improving fish hatcheries
    • Water management changes or infrastructure improvements that will improve water supply reliability and provide ecological benefits
    • Salinity or temperature control projects to provide ecological benefits and to aerate ecologically sensitive areas where dissolved oxygen levels are low
  • Category C: restoration and nature-based projects have a nexus to water resources or water resources management, including:
    • Restoration of aquatic and riparian habitat
    • Restoration of connectivity
    • Nature-based solutions
    • Water quality and temperature
    • Fisheries
    • Invasive species, including vegetation and other taxa
    • Forest management, including fuels management and post-wildland fire restoration

Other projects that are similar to the types listed above may be submitted for consideration and will be allowed to the extent that they are consistent with program authorization, prioritization criteria, and goals.

A limited amount of funds may be used for project monitoring activities.

It is recommended that projects have approximately 60 percent of design scheduled to be completed no later than December 2024. Projects with higher levels of design and engineering at the time of application will be prioritized.

The funding agency prioritizes projects that provide benefits to multiple water use sectors. During the evaluation process, applications that address the following priorities will also receive additional consideration:

  • Projects that will reduce climate pollution; increase resilience to the impacts of climate change; protect public health; and conserve lands, waters, oceans, and biodiversity
  • Projects that directly serve disadvantaged or tribal communities

Optional webinars are scheduled for this program. Refer to the Application section for additional information.

Last Updated: June 10, 2024

Eligibility Notes:

Eligible applicants include those in the following categories:

  • Category A:
    • States, tribes, irrigation districts, and water districts
    • State, regional, or local authorities, the members of which include one or more organizations with water or power delivery authority
    • Other organizations with water or power delivery authority
  • Category B: nonprofit conservation organizations, including watershed groups as defined in the Cooperative Watershed Management Act, Section 6001 (6), that are acting in partnership with and with the agreement of an entity described in Category A
  • Category C: nonprofit conservation organizations submitting an application for a project to implement a nature-based solution on federal land without a Category A partner, but able to demonstrate that entities described in Category A from the applicable service area have been notified and do not object to the project

Category A applicants must be located in one of the following states: 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 Virgin Islands. Category B and Category C applicants may be located anywhere in the United States and its territories.

Multiple applications for funding may be submitted for consideration. Generally, no more than the maximum award amount of $3 million may be awarded to any one applicant; however, Category B applicants may be considered for multiple awards of up to $15 million per project, if each project's Category A partner is different.

Applicants seeking funding for multiple projects that are interrelated or closely related should combine these in one application. Applicants seeking funding for multiple projects that are only loosely related should submit them as separate applications.

Projects that directly serve disadvantaged or tribal communities will receive priority consideration.

Ineligible entities include:

  • Federal government entities
  • Institutions of higher education

Previous award recipients include:

  • Altar Valley Conservation Alliance (AZ)
  • San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (CA)
  • Southern Ute Tribe (CO)
  • Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (HI)
  • City of Pocatello (ID)

Refer to the Award file for additional information on previous award recipients.

Eligible Applicants:
Local Government
Consortia
Native American Tribe
Non Profits
State Government
Application Notes:

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

  • FY 2024: June 18, 2024
  • FY 2025March 11, 2025

The FY 2024 due date for the application has been extended to 4:00 p.m. MT on June 25, 2024. Additional information is included in the revised NOFA file.

Applications must be submitted online at www.ecivis.com/grants.gov or mailed or delivered to the appropriate address provided in the Contact section. The funding agency strongly encourages applicants to submit applications online. If submitting a mailed or delivered application, applicants must notify the primary program contact, using the information provided in the Contact section, by noon MT on the applicable application deadline. Emailed or faxed applications will not be accepted.

Applications must include:

  • SF 424
  • SF 424A
  • SF 424D
  • SF LLL (if applicable)
  • Technical proposal (35 pages max)
  • Budget and budget narrative
  • Environmental and cultural resources compliance (optional; recommended)
  • Required permits or approvals (optional; recommended)
  • Overlap or duplication of effort statement (optional; recommended)
  • Official resolutions (optional; recommended)
  • Brief explanation of why the application was submitted in hard copy (if applicable)

Refer to pages 31-40 of the NOFA file for additional details regarding application contents. The technical proposal must be formatted on consecutively numbered, standard-sized pages with one-inch margins using a font no smaller than 12-point in size. Hard-copy applications should only use a binder clip for documents submitted. Other bindings, such as staples, should not be utilized. 

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 is scheduled for this program as follows:

April 25, 2024
2:00 p.m. MT
URL: teams.microsoft.com

A recording of the April 25, 2024, webinar can be found online at teams.microsoft.com.

An optional webinar for this program is expected to be scheduled for January 2025 for FY 2025. Additional information regarding this webinar is expected to be posted online at www.usbr.gov

Prospective applicants may also schedule a pre-application meeting with the program staff online at outlook.office365.com.

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Project benefits (35 points)
  • Collaborative planning (15 points)
  • Stakeholder support for proposed project (10 points)
  • Readiness to proceed (20 points)
  • Performance measures (5 points)
  • Presidential and funding agency priorities (15 points)

Refer to the NOFA file and Budget folder for additional application information.

Match Required: Yes
Match Type: Cash/In-Kind
Actual Funds: Unspecified
Match Notes:

Applicants with projects that meet the following requirements must provide at least 25 percent of the total project costs via cash, costs contributed by the applicant, or third-party in-kind contributions.

The program's matching requirement does not apply to American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Virgin Islands.

Third-party in-kind contributions may be in the form of equipment, supplies, other expendable property, and the value of services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the project.

A watershed group is eligible to apply for a 50 percent match without other partners; however, a Category A partner must be included to be eligible for a 25 percent match. Refer to the Eligibility section for details regarding applicant categories.

Partners do not necessarily need to contribute matching funding. 

Generally, federal funds may not be used as matching contributions, except for funds for which the federal statute specifically authorizes their use as matching contributions for other federal awards.

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) funds may not be used as matching contributions.

Funding Notes:

An unspecified amount of funding is available to support approximately 20 to 40 grants or cooperative agreements per fiscal year/application period through this program.  Generally, the award maximum is $3 million; however, category B applicants may receive up to $15 million if partnering with multiple category A partners. Watershed groups, as defined on pages 20-21 of the NOFA file, are eligible to apply for up to $5 million.

At an applicant's request, the funding agency may also provide technical assistance to award recipients. Applicants should discuss possible technical assistance activities with the program staff, using the information provided in the Contact section, prior to applying.

Award notifications will be issued as follows:

  • FY 2024: November 2024, or later if necessary, with awards expected to be issued on April 30, 2025
  • FY 2025: August 2025, or later if necessary, with awards expected to be issued on January 31, 2026 

Project must be generally be completed within three years, except for watershed group projects, which must be completed within five years. Project started and end dates are as follows:

  • FY 2024: construction start date may not be before January 1, 2025; standard projects must be completed by April 30, 2028, and watershed group projects must be completed by April 30, 2030
  • FY 2025: construction start date may not be before October 1, 2025; standard projects must be completed by January 31, 2029, and watershed group projects must be completed by January 31, 2031

In their budgets, applicants must include costs associated with environmental and regulatory compliance activities, as detailed on pages 43-44 of the NOFA file.

Projects may include activities to support monitoring of performance outcomes associated with on-the-ground implementation. Such costs may not exceed 25 percent of total project costs. Refer to page 26 of the NOFA file for details.

Pre-award costs may be allowed with prior written approval from the funding agency. Refer to page 43 of the NOFA file for details.

Funds may not be used for:

  • Long-term monitoring of awards, defined as more than six months of monitoring of performance after project construction is complete
  • Normal operations, maintenance, and replacement (OM&R) activities
  • Water reclamation, reuse, and desalination projects
  • Injection wells and recharge projects primarily for agricultural or municipal benefits
  • Small-surface water storage projects
  • Water purchases
  • Land purchases and easements
  • Building construction
  • Pilot projects
  • Projects to remove or prevent the invasion or spread of an invasive mussel species

Refer to pages 18-19 of the NOFA file for additional ineligible costs.

For FY 2023, a total of $51 million was distributed via 30 awards ranging from $367,091 to $3 million through this program. For FY 2022, a total of $36.1 million was distributed via 27 awards ranging from $100,000 to $2 million. Refer to the Award file for details.

Contacts:

Primary Contact:

Robin Graber
Program Coordinator
(303) 445-2764
rgraber@usbr.gov

Application Submission and Award Administration Contact:

Alisha James
(303) 445-3939
bor-sha-fafoa@usbr.gov

Mailing Address (Application)
Bureau of Reclamation
Financial Assistance Operations Section
Attn: NOFO Team
P.O. Box 25007, MS 84-27133
Denver, CO 80225

Delivery Address
Bureau of Reclamation Mail Services
Attn: NOFO Team
Denver Federal Center
Bldg. 67, Rm. 152
6th Avenue and Kipling Street
Denver, CO 80225

Mailing Address (Questions)
Bureau of Reclamation
Water Resources and Planning Office
Attn: Robin Graber
Mail Code: 86-63000
P.O. Box 25007
Denver, CO 80225-0007

Contact Notes:

Questions should be directed to the appropriate program contact. When emailing the primary program contact, applicants should include "R24AS00299" in the subject line.

Applications must be submitted online at www.ecivis.com/grants.gov or mailed or delivered to the appropriate address provided.

Files:
Other Pre-Award File: US17562_Budget_FY2024-25.zip (295.4 Kb)
Award File: US17562_Award_FY2024-25.pdf (476.9 Kb)
Other Pre-Award File: US17562_Webinar_FY2024-25.pdf (195.0 Kb)
Other Pre-Award File: US17562_WebinarPresentation_FY2024-25.pdf (9.1 Mb)
NOFA File: US17562_NOFA_FY2024-25.pdf (1007.2 Kb)
Federal Forms:
SPOC (195.6 Kb)
File Notes:

The NOFA file contains the revised solicitation for this program. The Budget folder contains the required budget form for submission, as well as detailed budget guidance. The Webinar file contains information regarding an optional webinar scheduled for this program. The WebinarPresentation file contains the presentation slides from a webinar held for this program. The Award file contains information regarding previous award recipients. The SPOC file contains information on the state Single Point of Contact program.

June 10, 2024
A revised solicitation containing an updated due date for the application has been released and attached as the NOFA file. The Application section has been updated accordingly.

May 23, 2024
The presentation slides from a webinar held for this program have been released and attached as the WebinarPresentation file. In addition, a recording of the webinar has been released, and a link to the presentation is available in the Application section.

April 23, 2024
Information regarding an optional webinar scheduled for this program has been released and attached as the Webinar file. The Application section has been updated accordingly.

Project: KRD South Branch Water Conservation Plan Implementation (4.7 Mb)
Applicant: Kittitas Reclamation District
Summary:

The purpose of this program is to provide financial assistance to water managers for conservation and water use projects that are focused on environmental benefits and that have been developed as part of a collaborative process to help carry out an established strategy to increase the reliability of water resources. Kittitas Reclamation District requested and received $2 million, and provided a $666,666 match, in support of a water conservation project designed to restore instream flows in over-appropriated or flow-impaired tributaries to the upper Yakima River. The project will provide benefits for fish, wildlife, and the environment.

 
Grant Keywords
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Grant Categories
Environment/Natural Resources
Water Supply/Quality