The Cooperative Watershed Management Program (CWMP) contributes to the WaterSMART strategy by providing funding to watershed groups to encourage diverse stakeholders to form local solutions to address their water management needs. Funding is provided on a competitive basis for:
Watershed Group Development and Watershed Restoration Planning: In 2012, Reclamation began providing funding for watershed group development, watershed restoration planning, and watershed management project design (Phase I). A watershed group is a self-sustaining, non-regulatory, consensus-based group that is composed of a diverse array of stakeholders, which may include, but is not limited to, private property owners, non-profit organizations, Federal, state, or local agencies, and tribes. As part of Phase I activities, applicants may use funding to develop bylaws, a mission statement, complete stakeholder outreach, develop a watershed restoration plan, and watershed management project design. For Phase I projects, Reclamation will award a successful applicant up to $50,000 per year for a period of up to two years with no non-Federal cost-share required.
Implementation of Watershed Management Projects: In 2017, Reclamation started to provide cost-shared financial assistance to watershed groups to implement watershed management projects (Phase II). These on-the-ground projects, collaboratively developed by members of a watershed group, address critical water supply needs and water quality concerns, helping water users meet competing demands and avoid conflicts over water. Reclamation will award up to $100,000 per project over a two-year period. For Phase II projects, applicants must contribute at least 50% of the total project costs.