Water Use and Data Research


To support State water resource agencies in developing water use and availability datasets that are integrated with each appropriate dataset developed or maintained by the USGS or that integrate any water use or water availability dataset of the State water resource agency into each appropriate dataset developed or maintained by the USGS. The Water Use Data and Research program will allow State Water Resource agencies to improve the collection and reporting frequency of water use categories, including the inclusion of categories that have been discontinued in the past due to limited resources. Data collection, and improvement efforts, as well as research conducted will complement priorities and investigations carried by Federal, State, and Local Governments, and by private industry in water availability assessments for human and ecological uses.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
U.S. Geological Survey, Department of The Interior
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2017 In FY17, for the competitive program announcement, the program anticipates receiving 25 applications and issuing 15 awards. The program also anticipates awarding non-competitive awards to three states to complete documentation of current water use data and research in their respective state. : In FY17, for the competitive program announcement, the program received 17 applications and issued 15 awards. The program also awarded a non-competitive awards to one state to complete documentation of current water-use data and research in their respective state.
Fiscal Year 2018 Example 1: The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's water use data program currently receives information about water use sources through submission of a paper registration form. Paper form submissions are also used for termination and revision of registered sources. To improve the quality of registration and to encourage registration, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection proposes to convert existing paper forms to online forms for electronic submission. Example 2: This project aims to improve the accuracy and collection of water measurement data by developing a standardized field tool for surface water collection for water masters in Idaho and serving the data to the public. The majority of water use in Idaho is for irrigation, and therefore water masters will primarily inventory and measure water at diversions used for irrigation. However, since some of the water is used for other purposes including municipal, recreation and fish propagation, the proposed work could also benefit other water use categories. This work will improve the quality and increase the number of measurements of water use data collected by increasing efficiency and standardization. This project will also create a methodology for using Sentinel Imagery Normalized Difference Vegetation Index to determine irrigation status using a three-class classification (irrigated, non-irrigated, semi-irrigated). Determining irrigated land acres is an essential dataset for determining water budget, one of many input parameters used in modelling scenarios that are being developed for Idaho aquifers and planning regions. The intent is to develop a procedure that is portable between differing geographic agricultural areas. Example 3: This project that will improve the quality of water use data collected by creating geospatial data for the Public Water Supply use category and refine the methodology used in the development of livestock water use data. It will improve the collection and compilation of public water system use data by developing an ESRI-based geodatabase that contains geospatial data of non-transient PWS locations, their associated service areas, and the locations of their supply sources. This will be a critical tool for analyzing populations served by the systems. The proposed work will also review past assumptions about the location of livestock operations, research available current information related to livestock production, and develop methods to better correlate livestock production with geospatial information by identifying geospatial locations of major individual facilities as well as dispersed livestock. The work conducted under this project will not only serve the State's goal of improving livestock water use data development but will also serve the USGS goal of improving the data that is transferred to the USGS in the cooperative effort to produce the USGS's Estimated Use of Water in the United States. The proposed work will allow WUCB to better characterize the populations served by location, better estimate the populations served, provide a necessary step to identifying the water source and water type, provide the ability to identify interbasin transfers, and enable the identification of public water system use by Hydrologic Unit Code 8. The proposed work intends to improve data collection for statewide water use for PWSs and livestock, and the work is expected to take up to 24 months.
Fiscal Year 2019 In FY19, for the competitive program announcement, the program received 9 applications and issued 7 awards.
Fiscal Year 2020 In FY20, for the competitive program announcement, the program received 4 applications in Round 1 and 11 applications in Round 2. The program issued 0 awards in Round 1 and 10 awards in Round 2.
Fiscal Year 2021 Received 6 proposals and issued awards to 6 agencies. One project was to a new State water resource agency and the rest were State water resource agencies that have received funding in the past.
Fiscal Year 2022 Received 5 proposals and are issuing awards to multiple agencies through two rounds to solicit new proposals. One project was a new State water resource agency.
Fiscal Year 2023 The FY2023 program opportunity is completed; this year, the opportunity was open from Dec. 14, 2022, to April 13, 2023. This year received three proposals and funded three new projects.
Fiscal Year 2024 Planning for FY2024 will occur later in FY2023, with the expectation for approximately 8-12 proposals.
Public Law 111-11, Subtitle F—Secure Water: Section 9508 “Water Availability and Use Assessment Program.
Public Law -PL 117-58
Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Bipartisan Infrastructure Law)
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Proposals will be accepted from state agencies that collect and maintain water use data and databases. Various elements of the data that are required for the Water Use Data and Research (WUDR) program are often available from different agencies within a state; however only one agency is eligible to submit a proposal for the program. We ask that State agencies collaborate in this instance, and States may submit a single proposal that covers the work of multiple state agencies. Coordination of agencies within a state is strongly encouraged to avoid proposals that overlap.
Beneficiary Eligibility
State, Federally recognized Indian Tribal, and local governments, public nonprofit institutions/organizations, private nonprofit institutions/organizations, profit organizations, industry and public decision makers, research scientists, engineers, and the general public will ultimately benefit from data made available through the program.
Proposals must include documentation of the data that are collected by the applicant that would become part of USGS Water Use Databases. Proposals that intend to improve data delivery and estimation accuracy will be considered, as will multi-State proposals.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. Discussions regarding funding availability and program interest are strongly encouraged, as limited funding is available for new projects.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. This program is subject to the provisions of 2 CFR Part 200 and Department of the Interior regulations 2 CFR Part 1402 and 43 CFR Part 12. Application form Standard Form (SF) 424 must be used. The application requirements as contained in the announcement package and the above regulations must be used for this program. Applications may be made only through the internet site http://www.grants.gov.
Award Procedure
Notification of an award is by receipt of a grant or cooperative agreement from a U.S. Geological Survey contracting officer.
The FY2021 application submission deadline is May 13, 2021.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 90 days.
Not applicable.
All projects have a limited duration not to exceed two years.
How are proposals selected?
The criteria for selecting proposals are included in the program announcement
How may assistance be used?
Funding will be used to support State Water Resource agencies in improving data collection techniques and methods, data delivery and management, and data integration with each appropriate dataset developed or maintained by the USGS. Funding for each State cannot exceed $250,000 cumulatively over the length of the program.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Recipients are responsible for monitoring performance for each award and sub-award under this program in accordance with 2 CFR 200.
Not applicable.
All records must be maintained for 3 years after submission of the final financial report.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Program obligates funds and sends a notice of award to successful applicants. Recipients request funds in accordance with 2 CFR 200, Subpart E-Cost Principles, unless otherwise dictated by program-specific legislation or special award terms. Program will include any special payment terms and conditions in the notice of award. Funds are released as required. Recipients request payment as needed throughout the award period.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Erik Smith
Austin, TX 78754 US
Phone: 5124668697

Kimberly Shaffer
Columbus, OH 43229 USA
Phone: (614) 430-7781
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 22$136,228.00; FY 23 est $60,195.00; FY 24 est $100,000.00; FY 21$1,500,000.00; FY 19$1,500,000.00; FY 20 est $1,500,000.00; FY 18$1,500,000.00; FY 17$1,500,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Past Fiscal Year (2022): In FY2022, financial assistance averaged $125,000. Current Fiscal Year (2023): In FY2023, financial assistance ranged from $24,000 to $125,000, with an average of $91,214. Budget Fiscal Year (2024): In FY2024, financial assistance could range from $24,000 to $125,000, with an average of $90,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2017 Program has not yet selected projects for funding. Program anticipates funding projects that improve the availability, quality, compatibility, and delivery of water-use data that are collected and/or estimated by States. Example 1: The Idaho Department of Water Resources proposes that funds be used to improve the collection, quality assurance, and transfer of water use data by targeting irrigation, public supply, and industrial use categories. The three main tasks of this project are to identify points of water diversion and make records of those diversions; improve metadata standardization, data discoverability, and data delivery; and diagram potential database improvements associating water measurement locations and measurement data with existing water right information. Example 2: This project proposes developing a method for estimating withdrawals for irrigated agriculture at the HUC-8 watershed scale from estimates of consumptive use of crop irrigation water using the Operational Simplified Surface Energy balance, and estimates of water use efficiencies calculated for selected irrigation distribution projects in order to quantify agricultural water use. This study will develop methods to improve water use estimates for irrigated agriculture in areas where measured data is not available. The results of this study will include Tier 1, 2, and 3 data products, and will improve tier levels by increasing the spatial and temporal resolution of irrigation withdrawal and consumption estimates, as well as providing greater continuity and consistency in these estimates. Example 3: The Utah Division of Water Rights proposes to improve online water use reporting tools for Industrial/Commercial users; improve database storage of water use data for Public Supply, Industrial, and Commercial data; and create a new program to transmit data electronically to the USGS and other entities. Additionally, improvements will be made to improve the storage of the data such that it can be easily organized and retrieved.
Fiscal Year 2018 Program has not yet selected projects for funding. Program anticipates funding projects that improve the availability, quality, compatibility, and delivery of water-use data that are collected and/or estimated by States.
Fiscal Year 2019 1) The Alabama project will update the data management application used by the State of Alabama to collect, house, and and manage information in support of the Alabama Water Use Reporting Program. 2) The Idaho project will improve the transfer of Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) water use data for USGS and other data users by 1) displaying water measurement data from three separate systems at IDWR that record measurement data into one mapping application and 2) georeferencing surface water measurements as events on the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) using linear referencing and make those events available through the NHD Linked Data Registry. 3) For Mississippi, real-time flow meters with telemetry will be installed and maintained to improve water-use estimates for the Mississippi Delta. For more than thirty years, water levels in the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer (MRVA) have declined significantly. The MRVA supplies over 90% of the water used for irrigation, aquaculture, and wildlife habitat enhancement in the Delta (the northwest area of Mississippi). The proposed work would enhance the accuracy and reliability of the USGS water use model used by the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (MAP) Project and increase the understanding of water availability. 4) For Nevada, the project includes conducting field efforts to improve the quality of data that is collected from the annual crop and pumpage inventory work, 2) add enhancements to the Meters database to make the reports more user-friendly and make queries that will allow the user to obtain water-use data easier, and 3) construct an interactive web map that will allow users to view groundwater pumpage by basin and County.
Fiscal Year 2020 Past Fiscal Year: Actual (2020) 1) The American Samoa Power Authority project will create a data system to extract public supply production and use data from existing systems to transfer data to the USGS, will develop a database of “village water systems” and install pressure and flow meters at selected sites to improve information on non-revenue water aimed at reducing system losses. 2) The Maine project will improve the data collection for the industrial water-use category and snow making facilities by surveying industrial water users and ski areas that use water to make snow. 3) The Oregon project will develop datasets and improve water-use estimates of irrigated lands using satellite imagery and open source software. The proposed work will develop datasets for field-level evapotranspiration (ET) and consumptive use (using ET minus effective precipitation), and GIS polygons of agricultural fields and field attributes (irrigation status, irrigation source type, crop type, and irrigation method). 4) For Montana, the project will sync two statewide databases that contain groundwater information to facilitate the exchange of water-use data and determine the source aquifer for groundwater sites.
Fiscal Year 2021 One new State water resource agency was funded, with five states returning for additional funding. Projects supported included enhancing a State water-use data management system (including GIS map services), integrating water withdrawal permit data into a water-use database for analysis on system's impact on water resources, streamlining a water-use database data entry system, validating and improving associated data for irrigated field boundary datasets, expanding knowledge of rural water suppliers, and improving water use estimates for irrigated lands.
Fiscal Year 2022 One State water resource agency returned to the program for additional funding. This project includes database improvements to help streamline activities within the agency while facilitating greater data integration with other state programs, while also improving the state's performance according to the USGS Baseline Standards.
Fiscal Year 2023 Similar projects to those funding int the past two years are expected to be supported in Fiscal Year 2023.
Fiscal Year 2024 Similar projects to those funding int the past two years are expected to be supported in Fiscal Year 2024.


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