Department of the Interior

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Kip White (202) 513-0684
August 2, 2005
F. Quimby/J.Moody(202) 208-6416
Six Western States Awarded New Water 2025 Grants

WASHINGTON - Six Western states have been awarded the first grants under a new Water 2025 program developed specifically for innovative state projects that reduce the likelihood of conflict over scarce water supplies in the region.

Idaho, Kansas, Texas, Arizona, Montana and New Mexico will receive about $1 million in grants that will help fund projects to recharge groundwater, install flow-measurement and leak-detection equipment on canals and pipelines, and develop Web-based tools and databases to manage water resources more efficiently.

"We launched the Water 2025 State Challenge Grants Program this year in response to the needs of Western state governments," Secretary Norton said in announcing the awards today. "All of these projects make more efficient use of existing water supplies through cooperative partnerships with the Bureau of Reclamation."

The state program focuses on achieving the goals identified in Secretary Norton's Water 2025 initiative to avoid crises and conflict in the West, particularly the development and use of water markets, structural modifications that will conserve water and improve water management, and the use of analytical tools that help states better administer or more efficiently manage water rights, comply with interstate compacts, or otherwise stretch scarce water supplies. The grants were awarded under a 50-50 cost-share agreement. Priority was given to projects with practical applications that can be completed within 24 months of the date of the award.

Though similar to the Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program, the new Challenge Grant Program for Western States limits eligible applicants to state government water- management agencies and authorities in the western United States, as identified in the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902. The regular Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program is open to local government, municipal and private irrigation districts and water associations and tribal water authorities. Additional information about the Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program for Western States is at

A summary of the projects follows:

Idaho: The Idaho Water Resources Board will develop a groundwater-recharge project for the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer, using unappropriated natural surface-water flows from the Upper Snake River Basin. The Board will construct a pipeline from the W-Canal to two recharge basins. The recharge project would receive about 10,000 acre-feet of water per year. The total cost of the project is $519,126 with a Water 2025 contribution of $250,000.

Kansas: The Kansas Department of Agriculture will install flow-measurement equipment on 100 diversions in the Republican River basin. The real-time monitoring of the diversions will enhance water-management and water-marketing opportunities between senior and junior water rights holders. Irrigators in the basin have had to curtail diversions in 5 of the 6 previous years. The total project will cost $495,698 with a Water 2025 contribution of $230,720.

Texas: The Texas Water Development Board will purchase 10 acoustical leak- detection units and make them available to public water-supply systems and analyze statewide public water-system loss audits in preparation of setting regulations. The project will identify leaks in water systems for future water-saving projects. The total project will cost $321,527 with a Water 2025 contribution of $158,250.

Arizona: The Arizona Department of Water Resources will develop a Web-based reporting tool to collect water-use data from community water systems in rural Arizona; develop a database of supply-and-demand information; make data available via the Web; review system efficiency; and develop goals or benchmarks for water conservation in rural communities. The project will facilitate regional planning, promote conservation and enhance monitoring. The total project will cost $438,700 with a Water 2025 contribution of $190,000.

Montana: The state of Montana will install flow-measurement equipment on 13 diversions in the Milk River Project; develop a computer flow-simulation model for the Milk-St. Mary Rivers System; upgrade four streamflow gages on tributaries of the Milk River; and install an agrimet station and use satellite imagery to verify consumptive uses in Canada. The total project will cost $188,999 with a Water 2025 contribution of $81,286.

New Mexico: The state of New Mexico will rehabilitate a USGS streamflow gage on the Pecos River to provide more accurate high streamflow measurements. The gage will help better measure water under high flow conditions. Accurate measurement of water delivered to Texas under the Pecos River Compact is critical to the state. The total project will cost $146,660 with a Water 2025 contribution of $59,480.