USBR awards $3.1 million in grants to develop #water data, modeling and forecasting tools and information for water managers

Grand Mesa Colorado sunset.

Here’s the release from the Bureau of Reclamation (Peter Soeth):

The Bureau of Reclamation selected 20 projects to share $3.1 million in applied science grants to develop tools and information to support water management decisions. These projects in 11 western states include improved water data, modeling and forecasting capabilities.

“Water managers today need more accurate and reliable information to make the best water management decisions in a changing climate,” said Chief Engineer David Raff. “Applied Science Grants are an important tool to assist water managers getting the information they need so they can make those informed decisions.”

Projects selected range from $48,000 for the Big Bend Conservation Alliance in Texas to develop a common data management platform for shared aquifers to several receiving the maximum of $200,000. Texas A&M University-Kingsville is receiving $107,497 to develop a web-based tool to simulate post-wildfire hydrologic changes in Northwest Montana.

To view a complete description of all the selected projects, please visit

Applied Science Grants are for non-federal entities to develop tools and information to support water management for multiple uses. Selected projects must provide at least a 50% non-federal cost-share. Project types include:

Enhancing modeling capabilities to improve water supply reliability and increase flexibility in water operations.
Improving or adapting forecasting tools and technologies to enhance management of water supplies and reservoir operations.

Improving access to and use of water resources data or developing new data types to inform water management decisions.

For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have developed sustainable water and power future for the West. This program is part of the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART Program, which focuses on improving water conservation and reliability while helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. To find out more information about Reclamation’s WaterSMART program, visit

One Colorado award was listed:


Reclamation Funding: $200,000 Total Project Cost: $440,000

The Grand Mesa Water Users Association, located on the Grand Mesa in Delta County, Colorado, will produce digitized capacity surveys for 50 reservoirs. The reservoirs on the Grand Mesa were built to capture and conserve available water from snowpack for irrigation and municipal use. This project includes conducting reservoir capacity surveys using drone technology, installing water measuring sensors at each reservoir to monitor water level heights, and developing a water distribution control system with multiple functions such as an interactive map of the reservoirs, a database with data on the reservoirs, a dashboard showing water administration activity, and a forecasting tool. These tools will enhance the management of water supplies and reservoir operations.

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