The federal agency tasked with overseeing water diversion and water storage projects in the West has just released new proposed funding evaluation guidelines for those projects.
Those guidelines are published in the Bureau of Reclamation’s Evaluation Criteria for Review and Comment and are expected to be used beginning next year to determine funding opportunities for local projects.
Those opportunities center on 50/50 cost-share funding for irrigation and water districts, as well as states and tribes through the agency’s Water Smart water and energy efficiency grants.
The evaluation criteria document comes just weeks after the Bureau of Reclamation announced it was awarding $75,000 to the Carlsbad Irrigation District in New Mexico for canal lining work.
That project is seeing the Carlsbad district sealing 7,300 feet of concrete liner on a portion of a main irrigation canal.
In sealing the liner, the Carlsbad district will enhance water conservation by reducing losses due to seepage.
Altogether, the Bureau of Reclamation awarded $280,000 in funds for four small-scale water projects in New Mexico.
In a statement, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman said, “These small scale projects are a result of planning efforts by the recipients to improve their water delivery efficiency.”
Built more than 125 years ago, the Carlsbad Irrigation District provides irrigated water to a wide area surrounding Carlsbad. The water it provides is diverted from both the Pecos River, as well as the Black River.
Comments on the Bureau of Reclamation’s new grant guidelines will be accepted until December 20.
By Garry Boulard
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