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Press Release



Salazar Announces $2.7 Million in WaterSMART Funding to Study River Basins and Improve Water Systems



07/20/2011

Contact: Joan Moody, DOI (202) 208-6416
Peter Soeth, Reclamation (303) 445-3615

WASHINGTON, DC—Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the Bureau of Reclamation is providing $2.7 million in funding for studies in California, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Texas through the U.S. Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program.

A total of $1.8 million of the funds will be used to collaboratively study seven basins and identify adaptation strategies in the western United States where imbalances between water supply and demand exist or are projected. The remaining $900,000 will be shared by eight water delivery systems to study ways to improve water efficiency and operations.

"The funding announced today provides just the latest example of how the WaterSMART program focuses on improving water conservation and sustainability while helping water resource managers provide for future water demand," Secretary Salazar said. "Implementation of the WaterSMART Program is a critical tool to help ensure that current and future generations will have sufficient supplies of clean water for drinking, economic activities, recreation and ecosystem health."

Salazar established the WaterSMART program in February, 2010 – the SMART in WaterSMART stands for "Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow" – in cooperation with Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle, and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor. Since then, more than $77 million has been provided through the program to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts and universities.

"Meeting future water demands is vital to our nation's security as well as our health, economy and environment," said Assistant Secretary Castle. "Through these collaborative WaterSMART basin studies, Reclamation will come together with other federal, state and local governments and tribes to assess anticipated future water supplies and demands, and propose jointly crafted solutions to address shortages.”

Today’s announcements include four full basin studies: Hood River in Oregon; Klamath River in California and Oregon; Lower Rio Grande River in Texas; and the Santa Fe, Upper Rio Grande and San Juan rivers in New Mexico.

The basin studies will incorporate the latest science, including engineering technology, climate models and innovation. The projects will be cost-shared with the non-federal partners and will include basin-specific plans that recommend collaborative solutions to help meet water demands and foster sustainable development.

In addition to these four full basin studies, three other watersheds were selected to complete plans of study with Reclamation – the Los Angeles Watershed in California, Republican River in Kansas and Nebraska, and Sacramento-San Joaquin Rivers in California. These plans will define the outcomes and set the scope and focus for future basin study application opportunities.

Salazar also announced that Reclamation Commissioner Connor has selected eight water systems in California, Kansas, Oregon and Utah to receive a total of $904,906 in WaterSMART grants to study improving water efficiency and operations.

"Improvements in both water efficiency and energy efficiency are critical to meeting present and future demands across the West," said Commissioner Connor. "Through these reviews, Reclamation and its partners will identify improvements that enhance the sustainability of limited water supplies and support long-term economic and environmental needs."

The "system optimization reviews" are assessments focused on improving efficiency and operations of a water delivery system. A plan of action is developed identifying efficiency and operations improvements, including the integration of renewable energy components and other physical or operational improvements.

The recommended improvements may be eligible in the future for Reclamation’s water and energy efficiency grant funding through WaterSMART. These grants fund on-the-ground improvements that improve water management, increase energy efficiency in the delivery of water, and other activities to prevent water-related crisis and conflict.

Through WaterSMART, Reclamation also provides funding for pilot and demonstration projects that explore the use of advanced water treatment to create new water supplies, as well as funding to develop tools and information to more efficiently manage water in a changing climate.

A state-by-state summary of all the river basin studies and system optimization reviews announced today follows.

Department of the Interior WaterSMART Grants for River Basin Studies and System Optimization Reviews

California

Basin Plan of Study, Klamath River, California and Oregon  
Reclamation Funding: $925,000 Total Funding: $1,944,000
The Klamath River Basin straddles the boundary between California and Oregon, covering approximately 12,100 square miles. The basin is affected by a variety of water supply and demand imbalances that are expected to increase with projected climate change. Recent negotiations and resolutions require ongoing cooperation and participation of federal, tribal, state and local governments along with fishing, environmental and other organizations. The basin study will collaboratively develop a basin-wide perspective of the climate change-related risks for supply and demand that may affect agriculture, anadromous and resident fish, recreation, municipal and domestic water supplies, hydropower and flood control facilities. This effort will assess potential impacts of climate change on snowpack and precipitation, timing and quality of runoff, groundwater recharge and discharge and any increases in demand and/or reservoir evaporation; and will develop structural and non-structural options to address current and projected imbalances in the basin. 

Basin Plan of Study, Greater Los Angeles, California  
Reclamation Funding: $75,000
Total Funding: $75,000
The Los Angeles County Flood Control District owns and operates 14 major flood control dams, 155 debris basins, 27 spreading grounds, and more than 3,400 miles of channels and storm drains. It serves 10 million residents within 2,752 square miles. The plan of study will outline the steps and deliverables of a basin study that will assess the District’s water conservation system, investigate strategies to create a local sustainable water supply, and help reduce dependence on imported water sources.

Basin Plan of Study, Sacramento-San Joaquin Rivers, California  
Reclamation Funding: $150,000 Total Funding: $300,000
The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers are located in California's Central Valley. These two basins are physically and operationally connected within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Water supplies from these two basins serve approximately 25 million people in the Central Valley and Southern California, as well as 7 million acres of irrigated agriculture. These basins experience wide fluctuations in water supply and currently experience shortfalls even in average years.


System Optimization Review, Bella Vista Water District, 2011 Water System Optimization Review- Water and Energy Efficiency Study  
Reclamation Funding: $47,547 Total Project Cost: $110,157
The Bella Vista Water District in Shasta County will perform a System Optimization Review of the district’s service area, including evaluating ditch lining and piping alternatives in the Cook & Butcher Ditch. The district estimates that such improvements have the potential to conserve approximately 800 acre-feet of water annually in an area that is experiencing increased competition for water supplies as a result of population growth. The district will also evaluate sites and capacities for new storage tanks to avoid pumping at peak times and will investigate the potential for solar energy at pumping stations. 

System Optimization Review, Solano Irrigation District, Solano Irrigation District's Water Delivery Planning Study: Optimization of Conveyance and Level of Service  
Reclamation Funding: $158,500 Total Project Cost: $318,500
The Solano Irrigation District will conduct a System Optimization Review as part of an effort to maximize efficient use of the district’s average annual supply to help protect depleted groundwater supplies in the area. The district will review historical water supply and demand information, currently available supplies, and the existing capacity of the surface water delivery system to better understand water management issues and the potential for improvements. The district will also compare water conservation delivery improvements based on their cost effectiveness.

System Optimization Review, City of Santa Monica, California, Development of a Sustainable Water Master Plan to Achieve Local Water Self-Sufficiency in the City of Santa Monica  
Reclamation Funding: $300,000
Total Project Cost: $640,112
The city of Santa Monica will conduct a System Optimization Review as part of an effort to reduce its use of imported water supplies. The city will evaluate water efficiency strategies to minimize potable and non-potable water demand and maximize the use of all local water resources, including the use of groundwater and recycled water. If the city is able to meet its goal of eliminating imported water it will also conserve from approximately 8 to 10 million kilowatt hours of energy per year, as a result of reduced pumping.  


Kansas

Basin Plan of Study, Republican River, Kansas and Nebraska  
Reclamation Funding: $100,000
Total Funding: $200,000
The Republican River flows from the headwaters in Colorado into northwest Kansas, through southern Nebraska and back into north central Kansas. The Republican River Basin drains approximately 23,300 square miles of these three states. Approximately 40 percent of the drainage basin lies in Kansas. The Republican River supplies water for municipalities, industry, surface water irrigation, groundwater irrigation, recreation, and wildlife. The basin is subject to an interstate compact, the Republican River Compact, ratified in 1943.  


System Optimization Review, Southwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 3, Review of the Associated Ditch System in Kearney and Finney Counties  
Reclamation Funding: $ 111,625  Total Project Cost: $223,250
The Southwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 3, in Garden City will evaluate lining portions of the South Side Ditch. Based on past projects, the district’s preliminary estimate is that improvements could save approximately 70 percent (12,000 acre-feet annually) of water currently being lost to seepage. The district will also identify locations for installing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems and will determine the potential for installing renewable energy components, including low head hydroelectric facilities, wind powered headgates and solar powered headgates. The activities to be completed as part of this System Optimization Review are part of the district’s efforts to increase energy efficiency in its use of the finite Arkansas River water supplies.

Nebraska

Basin Plan of Study, Republican River, Kansas and Nebraska  
Reclamation Funding: $100,000 Total Funding: $200,000
The Republican River flows from the headwaters in Colorado into northwest Kansas, through southern Nebraska and back into north central Kansas. The Republican River Basin drains approximately 23,300 square miles of these three states. Approximately 40 percent of the drainage basin lies in Kansas. The Republican River supplies water for municipalities, industry, surface water irrigation, groundwater irrigation, recreation, and wildlife. The basin is subject to an interstate compact, the Republican River Compact, ratified in 1943.  


New Mexico

Basin Plan of Study, Santa Fe, Upper Rio Grande, and San Juan watersheds  
Reclamation Funding: $197,990 
Total Funding: $421,255
The city of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County, New Mexico rely on surface and groundwater supplies from the Santa Fe, Upper Rio Grande and San Juan watersheds. This area is arid and currently experiences water shortages affecting municipal water supply, energy production, endangered species, ecosystems, Native American water rights settlements and local food production. Extensive groundwater overdraft has led to significant declines in aquifer levels and increased depletions of water from nearby streams, rivers and springs. The study will quantify the potential impact of climate change on the available water supply from each of the three sub-basins, including changes in precipitation, streamflow, reservoir evaporation, soil moisture content and groundwater recharge. The study will also assess the vulnerability and possible shortcomings of the current long-range water supply strategies while developing and evaluating alternative mitigation strategies including aquifer storage, surface water storage, water conservation, stormwater management and use and treated effluent use. Stakeholders include numerous federal, state and local entities, tribes, irrigation districts, non-governmental organizations and private citizens.

Oregon

Basin Plan of Study, Klamath River, California and Oregon  
Reclamation Funding: $925,000 Total Funding: $1,944,000
The Klamath River Basin straddles the boundary between California and Oregon, covering approximately 12,100 square miles. The basin is affected by a variety of water supply and demand imbalances which are expected to increase with projected climate change. Recent negotiations and resolutions require ongoing cooperation and participation of federal, tribal, state and local government along with fishing, environmental and other organizations. The basin study will collaboratively develop a basin-wide perspective of the climate change related risks for supply and demand that may affect agriculture, anadromous and resident fish, recreation, municipal and domestic water supplies, hydropower and flood control facilities. This effort will assess potential impacts of climate change on snowpack and precipitation, timing and quality of runoff, groundwater recharge and discharge and any increases in demand and/or reservoir evaporation; and will develop structural and non-structural options to address current and projected imbalances in the basin. 

Basin Plan of Study, Hood River, Oregon  
Reclamation Funding: $200,000 Total Funding: $400,000
The Hood River basin encompasses a 339-square mile region in Hood River County, Oregon. The basin supplies irrigation water to approximately 16,539 acres, drinking water to approximately 20,000 people, water for multiple ESA-listed species and other ecological needs and provides for 8.6 megawatts of hydropower generation capacity. Winter pears which are consumed throughout the world are grown in the Hood River Basin. The basin is also home to four species of threatened fish: the bull trout, steelhead, Chinook and Coho. Decreasing water supplies and uncertainties about the ability to meet future demands have emphasized the need for long-term planning in the basin. The study will define current and future basin water supply and demands, consider potential climate change impacts, determine the impacts on the performance of current water delivery systems, develop options to maintain viable water delivery systems in the future and conduct a tradeoff analysis of these options. This study will be carried out with the cooperation of a diverse group of stakeholders, including local, state and federal agencies, irrigation districts, watershed interests and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs.

System Optimization Review, Powder Valley Water Control District, Instream Flow Characterization in the Powder Basin  
Reclamation Funding: $102,105 Total Project Cost: $209,865
The Powder Valley Water Control District, in North Powder will conduct a System Optimization Review to locate inefficiencies in open canals within the Powder Basin. The district will assess drainage and tailwater conditions to identify water conservation and efficiency solutions, including adding automated headgates and automatic measuring devices. The district will also evaluate the potential for hydropower at each of the district's storage sites and will collect instream habitat data to establish a baseline that can be used to optimize ecological health. The Powder Basin is considered over-appropriated by the Oregon Department of Water Resources and is jointly managed by the District, the Burnt River Irrigation District, Baker Valley Irrigation District, Lower Powder Irrigation District and Pine Valley Water Users Association.

Texas

Basin Plan of Study, Lower Rio Grande, Texas  
Reclamation Funding: $198,948 
Total Funding: $412,798
The Lower Rio Grande Basin in southeastern Texas is one of the fastest growing and most economically depressed areas in the United States. The area’s population is projected to grow from 1.7 million to 4 million people over the next 50 years. The net water supply shortage in the study area is 368,356 acre-feet and is projected to grow to 592,000 acre-feet by 2060. This study will evaluate the impacts of climate change on water supply imbalances within an eight county region along the U.S./Mexico border. This effort will build on well-recognized data and models to perform a systems reliability analysis; and will include a comprehensive evaluation of regional water supply options and the formulation of a range of alternatives to meet short, mid and long-term planning objectives, particularly during times of drought. The study area is located within a major confluence of two flyways for migratory birds and waterfowl, and is home to the World Birding Center. Sixty-nine rare, threatened or endangered species reside within this area. The study will include development of adaptive strategies to address structural and non-structural options, reconnaissance-level cost estimates, environmental considerations, legal and regulatory framework, and public acceptance factors.

Utah

System Optimization Review, Cache County, Cache County Water Master Plan  
Reclamation Funding: $78,659 Total Project Cost: $157,318
Cache County will conduct a System Optimization Review (SOR) to evaluate regional water system improvements and strategies to make more efficient use of the available water resources in the county, including water marketing and aquifer storage and recovery. The study will also evaluate the potential of exchanging higher quality water, currently used for watering lawns, cleaning driveways and clearing gutters, for lower quality water. The SOR will help the county address future water needs in a sustainable manner, in a region that is experiencing increased tension over water resources. The study area includes 23 incorporated cities and 54 canal companies. 

System Optimization Review, South Willard Water Company, South Willard Area Secondary Water Study  
Reclamation Funding: $23,143  
Total Project Cost: $46,287
The South Willard Water Company, in Willard, will conduct a System Optimization Review (SOR) to evaluate the options for installing a comprehensive secondary water system to alleviate the current strain on the company’s primary potable water supply. In addition, the secondary system will address energy inefficiencies, water losses, and potential conflicts between users. The SOR will also investigate the potential of a gravity-fed pressurized irrigation water system, to reduce the need for pumping.

System Optimization Review, Davis and Weber Counties Canal Company, Davis and Weber Canal Master Plan  
Reclamation Funding: $83,327 Total Project Cost: $166,654
The Davis and Weber Counties Canal Company, in northern Utah, will conduct a System Optimization Review (SOR) to develop a master plan for 8.9 miles of canal within the company's system. In 1999, the company experienced a breach in the upper portion of its canal, prompting the company to focus on preventing future interruptions to the water supply. As part of the SOR, the company will create a hydrologic model for the canal, identify current and future turnout locations, evaluate the current condition of the canal liner and pipes, and identify locations where real time flows are needed along the canal and metering canal turnouts. Areas with known seepage from the canal will be investigated in greater detail to verify that proposed improvements to the canal will solve the water loss issues and result in water conservation. The company also plans to investigate the potential of installing a 150 kilowatt capacity hydropower plant, which could be used to operate their system as well as to provide power to Rocky Mountain Power’s grid system.

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