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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is eligible to submit content to the WaterSMART Clearinghouse?
A: With the launch of the WaterSMART Clearinghouse the Department of Interior is building capacity to share information and tackle America's water challenges. The initial phase of the Clearinghouse is focused on gathering information from governmental agencies and land grant universities. The types of entities which can submit information to the Clearinghouse will be expanded in the future.

Q: What kinds of information should I expect to find in the WaterSMART Clearinghouse?
A: Web sites, press releases, research, and best practices from a variety of governmental organizations and land grant universities involved with conserving and maintaining water supplies and water use.

Q: What does WaterSMART mean by "Best Practices" and the other searchable topics listed on the WaterSMART home page?
Best Practices: Descriptions of proven, effective, state-of-the-art practices or approaches developed by governments, organizations, and communities to meet the challenges of water conservation and sustainable use. The practices can be adopted or emulated by others.
Case Studies:  Examples of how innovative and cost-effective technologies and strategies are used by governments, organizations, and communities to successfully meet the challenges of water conservation and sustainable use.
Education and Outreach:  Education, outreach, and awareness programs and resources for all levels from “K to Gray” are provided by governments, organizations, and communities to promote water conservation and the adoption of best practices. The information and programs are relevant for all levels, from the individual homeowner, farmer, rancher, and small business owner, to communities and beyond.
Energy and Water:  Identifying, quantifying, and responding to the impacts of conventional and renewable energy extraction and use on water availability and quality relative to domestic, agricultural, recreational, and other uses, including within ecosystems.
Financial Assistance:  Sources for grants and other financial resources and incentives to implement best practices and to promote the development and application of cost-effective strategies and state-of-the-art technologies to ensure sound water conservation, management, and use. These resources are aimed at facilitating a wide range of activities including water supply and demand studies, water efficiency, conservation and management projects, infrastructure needs and feasibility analysis, and water marketing.
Laws, Regulations, Policies:  Information about and links to local, State, tribal, and national laws, regulations, and policies governing water use, quality, and conservation by all sectors, public and private.
Products and Services:  Products and services to help governments, communities, and citizens conserve, protect, and efficiently manage and use water resources, including tools to measure the effectiveness of water conservation efforts.
Research:  Information about research (basic to applied) and monitoring efforts to (1) assess surface and groundwater resource distribution, quantity, quality, and use; (2) identify effective conservation strategies; (3) understand the environmental response to water management; (4) determine the impacts of climate change on water supplies; and (5) assess the implications and impacts of competition for water resources to support population growth and urban expansion, agriculture, industry, energy development and use, and other societal needs.
Water Data and Information:  Local, regional, and national data and information on groundwater and surface-water quantity, quality, distribution, and use—data necessary for accurate analysis and for sound decision-making.

Q: How do I perform a search by a specific State, River Basin or Tribal Area?
A: This location search is performed by selecting an option from the three drop down menus to the right of the topic options. The default options are Any State, Any River Basin and Any Tribal Area. By clicking on a menu, you will be presented with a list of specific options under that main heading. Where there is no content for the specific State, River Basin, or Tribal Area selected, only content that is national in scope will be displayed.

Q: How do I enter my topic if it is not included in the “Search by Topic” list?
A: Enter it in the "Search WaterSMART" box below the Welcome banner on the home page.

Q: How do I share my information?
A: If you represent a governmental agency, including Federal, State, County, Municipal, Interstate, Provincial, and Tribal governments within the United States, you can submit information and a web site URL by using the Share Information with the Clearinghouse link on the home page. Land grant universities from all fifty states and the US provinces will also be considered eligible entities for the purposes of submitting information to this site.

Q: Does the Department of the Interior endorse any products or services?
A: No. The Department of the Interior does not endorse any products or services. Please read the Disclaimer for more information.