Cooperative Watershed Management Program


The purpose of the Cooperative Watershed Management Program is to enhance water conservation, uses; improve water quality; improve ecological resiliency of a river or stream;, and to reduce conflicts over water at the watershed level by supporting the formation of watershed groups to develop local solutions to address water management issues.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of the Interior
Office: Bureau of Reclamation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: In FY 2013, Reclamation awarded funding to five applicants. One applicant was awarded Federal funding to establish a new watershed group and four were awarded funding to expand an existing watershed group. In FY 2014, the Sierra Streams Institute received $99,925 to establish a watershed group for the Bear River in north-central California. Five other entities were selected to receive funding to expand existing watershed groups. For descriptions of previously funded projects, please visit our website at: . Fiscal Year 2015: Information not available. Fiscal Year 2016: Information not available.
Public Law 111-11, Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Title VI, Subtitle A, Sec. 6001-6003 (16 USC 1015 et seq.).
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Applicants eligible to receive a financial assistance agreement under the Cooperative Watershed Management Program include:
•Indian tribes;
•Local and special districts; (e.g., irrigation and water districts, county soil conservation districts, etc.);
•Local governmental entities; and non-profit organizations, including watershed groups.

To be eligible, applicants must also significantly affect or be affected by the quality or quantity of water in a watershed; be capable of promoting the sustainable use of water resources within the given watershed area; and be located within the 17 western United States or Territories as identified in the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902, as amended and supplemented.
Beneficiary Eligibility
The Cooperative Watershed Management Program benefits a diverse array of stakeholders, which may include but is not limited to, private property owners, Federal, State, or local agencies, and Indian tribes that are located in the 17 western States identified in the Act of June 17, 1902, as amended, and have authority with respect to the watershed.
(1) A detailed written technical proposal is required, including background data regarding the applicant, such as: location; diversity, and the geographic scope of the proposed or existing watershed group; a description of the watershed, including the source of water supply, the water rights involved, current water uses (i.e., agricultural, municipal, domestic, instream uses or industrial), and the types of water issues faced in the affected watershed (e.g., shortfalls in water supply, endangered species concerns, environmental issues, or other issues that the planned watershed group would like to address); an overview of the goals and approach of establishing or expanding an existing watershed group; an estimated project schedule that shows the stages and duration of the proposed work, including major tasks, milestones, and dates for establishing or expanding the watershed group upon entering into a financial assistance agreement; and describing data responsive to the evaluation criteria listed in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). (2) A detailed project cost proposal, including a budget with the annual estimated project costs, including salaries and wages, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, contracts, and indirect costs, an estimate of annual operation & maintenance costs, and the value of in-kind contributions of goods and services. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Environmental compliance for this program may be required depending on the scope of the specific project funded. This may result in the need for an environmental impact assessment or environmental impact statement prior to the commencement of project activities. An environmental impact statement is required for this program. An environmental impact assessment is required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. FOA for this program are posted on Submission of a complete technical proposal and budget is mandatory by the due date identified in the Announcement. In addition, applicants must submit all applicable SF 424 forms referenced in the Announcement.
Award Procedure
Proposals received in response to the FOA are reviewed on the basis of a competitive, merit-based review process, and are rated in accordance with the evaluation criteria stated in the FOA. Reclamation will make awards to the highest rated proposals based on the amount of funding available each year.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
The review, scoring and FOA of the recipients typically take three to five months.
Upon request, Reclamation will provide all applicants with information on why their proposals were not selected.
Projects which requested funding for one year only are fully funded at time of award. For projects requesting two consecutive years of funding, second-year may be awarded to applicants that demonstrate sufficient progress throughout the year, contingent on the availability of appropriations.
How are proposals selected?
Specific evaluation criteria will be included in the FOA posted on All applications will be evaluated using criteria that give priority based on the diversity and geographic scope of the proposed watershed group; the critical nature of the issues to be addressed by the group; whether the proposed group (or its proposed activities) is aligned with a state water plan; whether the amount of funding requested is reasonable for the work proposed; and whether the proposed schedule and milestones are reasonable and appropriate.
How may assistance be used?
Funding is to be used for activities that fall under the following categories: (1) establishment or expansion of a watershed group; (2) development of a mission statement for the watershed group; (3) development of watershed management project concepts; and (4) development of watershed restoration plan.

In FY 2015, funding is limited to Phase I activities to establish or expand an existing watershed group. Funding shall be used to develop a mission statement; develop project concepts; and to develop a restoration plan. When additional funding is available, Reclamation will expand implementation of the CWMP to include funding for Phases II and III ,which will include funding for water management projects through a separate funding opportunity.
Applicants may request up to $50,000 in Federal funds each year, for a period of up to two years for Phase I activities. Second-year funding will be awarded to applicants that demonstrate sufficient progress throughout the year, contingent on availability of appropriations.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Grant recipients shall submit the following reports on a semi-annual basis: (1) SF-425, Federal Financial Report; and (2) Semi-Annual Program Performance Reports. Upon completion of the agreement, recipients shall submit a final: (1) SF-425, Federal Financial Report; and (2) Prior to receiving second-year funding, all program participants will submit a report at 270 days that demonstrates achieved milestones for review and concurrence; and (3) Final Program Performance Report that demonstrates the applicants successful completion of the activities described in the financial assistance agreement. No cash reports are required. No progress reports are required. Grant recipients shall submit the SF-425, Federal Financial Report on a semi-annual basis. Upon completion of the agreement, a final SF-425 shall be submitted. No performance monitoring is required.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.
All recipients of Federal awards shall maintain project records in accordance with 2 CFR 200.333 Retention requirements for records. Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other non-Federal entity records pertinent to a Federal award must be retained for a period of three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report or, for Federal awards that are renewed quarterly or annually, from the date of the submission of the quarterly or annual financial report, respectively, as reported to the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity in the case of a subrecipient. Federal awarding agencies and pass-through entities must not impose any other record retention requirements upon non-Federal entities, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.333.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching Requirements: Phase I (establishment or expansion of a watershed group): A non-Federal cost-share is not required for Phase I activities.

Phase II and Phase III (watershed management projects): A 50% non-Federal cost-share is required for watershed management projects.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Proposed activities should be completed within 2 years from the project start date. Applicants seeking funding for activities requiring more than 2 years will be considered if you can demonstrate that there will be measureable accomplishments each year. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Payment terms vary by agreement awarded under this program.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices.
Headquarters Office
Avra Morgan Bureau of Reclamation, Office of Program & Policy Services, Mail Code: 84-51000, P.O. Box 25007, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225 Email: Phone: (303)445-2906
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 14 $450,365; FY 15 est $250,000; and FY 16 est $250,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range: $ 25,000- $100,000
Average: $ 316,788.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
2 CFR 200 UNIFORM ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS, COST PRINCIPLES, AND AUDIT REQUIREMENTS FOR FEDERAL AWARDS and the applicable OMB Circulars. These documents may also be obtained by contacting the Bureau of Reclamation Office listed below.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: Friends of the Teton River located in Teton County will expand a current watershed group to form the Teton Advisory Council to develop a restoration plan that identifies, prioritizes and endorses a specific series of watershed restoration and water conservation activities to improve water quality and ecological resiliency of the Teton River watershed.
The Land Trust of the Treasure Valley will establish the Boise River Enhancement Network in collaboration with Trout Unlimited, Ecosystem Sciences Foundation, Idaho Rivers United and the South Boise Water Company. The Network will address water quality issues, endangered species and loss of natural habitats in the lower Boise River watershed and will work with stakeholders to increase opportunities for public and private enhancement project collaboration. Fiscal Year 2015: No information available. Fiscal Year 2016: No information available.


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