Forty-four projects in 11 states will receive $20.8 million in WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants from Reclamation.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Conner said the projects will be able to help the growing drought problem in the Western region of the country.
Together the projects could save more than 100,000 acre-feet of water annually, which is enough water for more than 400,000 people.
Through the reduction of pumping and using more efficient equipment, the projects will save 10.8 million kilowatt-hours annually, which is enough energy to power approximately 1,000 households.
All entities must provide a 50-percent match to the Reclamation funding, and those eligible include states, Indian tribes, irrigation districts, water districts or other organizations with water or power delivery authority in the 17 western states. American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marian Island and the Virginia Islands are also eligible.
Project Examples Include:
- The Tranquillity Irrigation District near Fresno, California, will receive $300,000 to connect two separate District distribution systems to increase efficiency. The project is expected to result in reduced seepage, evaporation, and storage losses and save approximately 630 acre-feet annually reduce energy consumption by about 216,000 kilowatt-hours each year by reducing pumping.
- The Southern Nevada Water Authority in the Las Vegas, Nevada, area will receive $300,000 to assist its expansion of its existing landscape rebate program which provides financial incentives for residential property owners to replace turf with water efficient landscaping. The project will save approximately 448 acre-feet per year. Water conserved will be left in the Colorado River for instream uses and will contribute to existing water banks in California, Arizona and southern Nevada.
- The Commonwealth Utilities Corporation in the Northern Mariana Islands will receive $300,000 to install 1,000 new advanced water meters for agricultural and domestic customers. The grant also includes the installation of the first-phase of a supervisory control and data acquisition system to better manage water delivery and is expected to save 1,562 acre-feet of water annually.
- The Hoopa Valley Tribe in Northern California will receive $1.041 million to install more than 20,000 linear feet of new plastic pipe to replace a delivery system which includes open ditches. The tribe will also install an infiltration gallery, a new pump and meters to monitor water use. This new pressurized system is expected to save approximately 148,399 kilowatt-hours of energy annually.
A full list can be viewed here.
Applicants applied to one of two funding groups. The first funding group included 25 projects that could receive up to $300,000 and generally are smaller projects that may take up to two years to complete.
The second funding group included ten projects, which could receive up to $1.5 million for larger, phased projects that will take up to three years to complete.
This will provide an opportunity for larger, multiple-year projects to receive some funding in the first year without having to compete for funding in the second and third years.
Nine projects selected in the second funding group in FY 2012 will receive additional funding this fiscal year to finish their projects.