Applied Science Grants


The objective of the Desert and Southern Rockies LCCs is to enhance the management of natural and cultural resources that have a nexus to water resource management. This includes developing tools to assess and adapt to the impacts of climate change and other landscape scale stressors within the geographic boundaries of the Desert and Southern Rockies LCC and adapt to those stressors.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Bureau of Reclamation, Department of The Interior
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 Information not available. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 and 2014, Applied Science Grants for the Desert and Southern Rockies LCCs combined more than $2.1 million in Federal funding to enhance the management of natural and cultural resources that have a nexus to water resource management. For example, once completed, the funded projects are expected to develop decision support tools and methodologies to incorporate ecological flows into water management models used for basin-wide water supply planning; develop new biological information about springs and seeps; and develop a web-based tool to facilitate conservation planning. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 and 2016, the LCCs did not post an Announcement for financial assistance. Instead, the LCCs worked on building their technical capacity to assist their partners. For example, the Desert LCC invested in data and website platform development to more efficiently communicate data and research to resource managers.
Fiscal Year 2017 Information not available.
Fiscal Year 2019 In Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, Applied Science Grants were used to develop tools and information to support water resources managers in the West. Seven projects were selected for funding, including projects to improve access to water availability information through the development of web-based decision support tools, a project to improve the management of springs and related ecosystems, and a project to model drought conditions on Lake Mead to inform water treatment processes. In FY 2019, $3.5 million in Federal funding was used to fund 19 Applied Science Grant projects. These projects totaled over $8 million in applied science projects.
Fiscal Year 2020 Information not available.
Public Law 111-11, Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Subtitle F, Secure Water, Section 9509.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Category A applicants: States, Indian tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, or other organizations with water or power delivery authority located in the Western United States or United States Territories including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands. Category B applicants: Universities, nonprofit research institutions, federally-funded research and development centers, and non-profit entities including 501[c][3]. Category B applicants must be located in the United States or American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Virgin Islands. These applicants must also include, as a partner, at least one entity from Category A that meets the eligibility requirements as documented by a letter included with the application stating that the partner commits to participate in the project and supports the need for the project. A letter of participation must demonstrate that the partner intends to participate in the project in some way, for example, by providing input, feedback or other support for the project.
Beneficiary Eligibility
The general public; agricultural, municipal and industrial water users; irrigation or water districts; state governmental entities with water or power delivery authority; tribes; non-profit research institutions; and non-profit organizations located in the states identified in the Act of June 17, 1902.
(1) A detailed written technical proposal including background data regarding the applicant, such as location, a detailed scope of work separating the work into major tasks, detail the stages of the proposed project, include an estimated project schedule showing the stages and the duration of the proposed work, including major milestones and dates, and substantiate the method(s) selected, the principles or techniques which are proposed to solve the problem, and the degree of success expected, and describing data responsive to the evaluation criteria listed in the Announcement. (2) A funding plan showing how the applicant will pay for its 50% cost share requirement, and an official resolution adopted by the applicant's board of directors or governing body, or for state government entities and universities, an official authorized to commit the applicant to the financial and legal obligations associated with receipt, resolving that, if selected, it will negotiate and execute a cooperative agreement with Reclamation. (3) 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.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact statement is required for this listing. An environmental impact assessment is required for this listing. 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.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Multiple Funding Opportunity Announcements (Announcement) are annually posted on Submission of a complete technical proposal and projects 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 Announcement are reviewed on the basis of a competitive, merit-based review process, and are rated in accordance with the evaluation criteria stated in the Announcement. Reclamation will make awards to the highest rated proposals based on the amount of funding available each year.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
The review, scoring and announcement of the recipients typically take three to five months.
Not applicable.
The awarded projects are fully funded at the time of award.
How are proposals selected?
Specific evaluation criteria will be included in the funding announcements posted on All applications will be evaluated using criteria that give priority to a project's technical merit, the relevance to water managers in the West, dissemination of results to Reclamation and stakeholders, and connections to Reclamation activities.
How may assistance be used?
Through Applied Science Grants, Reclamation provides cost-shared financial assistance on a competitive basis for projects to develop tools and information for: (1) assessing water availability and quality, (2) assessing risks to water supplies from drought and other water management challenges (e.g., invasive species, sedimentation, managing to meet competing water demands, meeting endangered species requirements, etc.) , and (3) assessing and evaluating watershed management practices. Eligible projects must be located in the 17 Western States or Territories (see below for eligibility).
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Nonfederal entities that expend $750,000 or more a year in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal 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 formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. 50%. The Federal share of the cost of a project or activity carried out under this Program shall not exceed 50% of the total cost of the project or activity.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Proposed projects should be completed within 24 months from the project start date. Applications for projects requiring more than 2 years will be considered if it is demonstrable that there will be on-the-ground accomplishments each year. Payment terms vary by agreement awarded under this program.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Headquarters Office
Avra Morgan
Bureau of Reclamation, Water Resources and Planning Office, Mail Code: 86-69200, P.O. Box 25007
Denver, CO 80225 US
Phone: (303)445-2906
Fax: (720)544-4207
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 18$700,000.00; FY 19 Estimate Not Available FY 20 Estimate Not Available FY 17 est $700,000.00; FY 16$15,649.00; - FY16: $15,649 (award was for an inter-agency agreement to provide capacity support for the LCCs, not to fund applied science projects).
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range: $150,000 - $300,000 Average: $200,000
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 2016 Information not available. Examples of projects funded in FY 2014 include: (Note: the last announcement for the LCCs was made in FY 2014, which is why these examples date back to 2013 and 2014. New examples will be provided after FY 2017 projects are selected). Desert LCC: The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) will use modeling tools and data from the 2014 Minute 319 pulse flow to develop an integrated system that will assist with future pulse flow release experimental determinations. The Minute 319 pulse flow is a temporary release of water to mimic natural spring floods in the Colorado River Delta to study how best to restore native riparian habitat. The new system will integrate data and models such as environmental conditions and designed pulse flow releases with targeted environmental variables to predict the environmental reaction to future pulse flow releases, thereby supporting adaptive management and planning in the future. By linking data and models together into an integrated system, EDF intends to reduce the time required to analyze scenarios and to provide data that would help guide the pulse flow design. Southern Rockies LCCs: The Museum of Northern Arizona will leverage tools previously developed through its Springs Stewardship Initiative to help resource managers in the southwestern U.S. collect, analyze, report upon, monitor and archive the complex and inter-related information associated with springs and spring-dependent species in the region. Building upon those past efforts, the project will include compilation of existing springs-related information to make the information more readily available online and further development of interactive online maps and climate change risk assessment tools of springs-dependent sensitive plant and animal species. This project builds on an effort funded in FY 2013 to complete similar work for the Desert LCC.
Fiscal Year 2017 Information not available.
Fiscal Year 2019 Utah State University, Drought Synthesis to Inform Drought Resiliency Planning Reclamation: $99,998 Total Project Cost: $199,995. Utah State University, in collaboration with the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, the Provo River Water Users Association, the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, and the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities will synthesize drought characteristics to inform drought resiliency decisions. The project includes a synthesis of key water cycle processes of snowpack, streamflow, evapotranspiration, and soil moisture in the Wasatch Range that will enhance the decadal prediction of drought for water users dependent on Wastach Range watersheds. The project will create a synthesized drought information platform available through the Utah Climate Center webpage and, to reach broader audiences, will also be hosted on the National Integrated Drought Information System and the Western Water Assessment Dashboard. Southern Nevada Water Authority, Modeling of Drought Conditions in Lake Mead to inform future Drinking Water Treatment Process Needs, Habitat Conditions for Critical Species, and LCR Water Quality Reclamation: $88,599 Total Project Cost: $224,814. The Southern Nevada Water Authority, located in Las Vegas, Nevada, will perform water quality modeling to assess how changes in lake elevations due to drought affect critical water quality parameters, and to determine if and when water treatment plant modifications may be required. SNWA will conduct three-dimensional water quality modeling, and model output will then be incorporated into a new simulation model of SNWA's drinking water treatment processes. The project will address gaps in knowledge regarding the effects of drought on lake and reservoir water quality, including impacts to water temperature, turbidity, and algal growth. The modeling will inform future planning efforts for treatment plant upgrades and expansions, as well as planning efforts related to aquatic species, including endangered Razorback Suckers and Humpback Chub.


Related Federal Grants

Federal Grants Resources