Grant Opportunities

Back to all Grants

WaterSMART Drought Response Program: Drought Resiliency Projects for Fiscal Year 2023

  • Granting Agency: Bureau of Reclamation
  • Appropriation Amount: $80,000,000
  • Grant Amount:  <$5,000,000, >50% Match
  • Announcement Date: March 24, 2022
  • Closing Date: June 15, 2022

Learn more here.

Purpose: The U.S. Department of the Interior’s (Department) WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow) Program provides a framework for Federal leadership and assistance to stretch and secure water supplies for future generations in support of the Department’s priorities. Through WaterSMART, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) leverages Federal and non-Federal funding to work cooperatively with States, Tribes, and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply reliability through investments in existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts.

Eligible Expenditures:

Task A Projects — Increasing the Reliability of Water Supplies through Infrastructure
Even small investments in infrastructure can improve resiliency to drought conditions by increasing water management flexibility and providing alternative sources of water supply. For example, constructing new surface water intakes and new conveyance system components—such as pipes or pumping plants—can provide water managers with much needed options to deliver water from alternative sources or support voluntary transfers of water during drought. Likewise, aquifer recharge facilities can support water banking in wet years for use in dry years and sustainable conjunctive use programs. (Please note that Task A projects do not include the construction or rehabilitation of wells. Please see Task B for well construction and rehabilitation.)

Task B Projects — Increasing the Reliability of Water Supplies Through Groundwater
As water managers continue to face vulnerabilities due to drought and climate change, diversification of water supplies is critical for water security. The sustainable use of groundwater and recovery of recharged water are vital to building drought resiliency and supporting public health. Aquifer storage and recovery programs are becoming an important water management tool and the water recovered from these programs are being used for municipal and industrial water supplies, irrigation, and ecosystem restoration. Wells funded under this NOFO are to be used for supplemental supplies during times of drought, to serve communities that are or are potentially facing a public health crisis due to a lack potable
water, or to recover previously recharged/stored water. This NOFO is not intended to provide funding for wells that are part of a long-term planning effort to support increased need due to population growth or increased irrigation demands. Projects may include, but are limited to following:
o Constructing wells to provide back-up water supplies during times of drought.
o Constructing extraction wells at groundwater banks or other recharge areas to improve extraction and return capabilities during dry years.

Task C Projects — Projects to Improve Water Management through Decision Support Tools,
Modeling, and Measurement
Task C Projects are intended to help provide entities with water use information and tools to monitor the onset of drought, detect different levels of drought that may trigger certain drought mitigation and response actions, and identify potential strategies to address drought. Task B Projects also includes developing tools that facilitate water marketing between willing buyers and sellers to redistribute water supplies to meet other existing needs or uses (e.g., agricultural, municipal, or dedication to in-stream flows).

Eligible Applicants:

  •  Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • State governments
  • County governments
  • City or township governments
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Special district governments