Water Reclamation and Reuse Program

This Title gives Reclamation general authority to conduct appraisal and feasibility studies on water reclamation and reuse projects.

It also provides general authority for research and demonstration programs to test water reclamation and reuse technologies.

Reclamation may also participate
in construction of reuse projects after congressional authorization of the project.

The original Act provided authority to participate in the design and construction of five specific projects in California and Arizona.

The 1996 Act authorized 16 additional recycling projects and 2 desalination demonstration projects.

Subsequent amendments to Title XVI and other individual acts authorized nine additional construction projects.
Examples of Funded Projects

San Diego Area Water Reclamation Program, CA; San Gabriel Basin Project, CA; Los Angeles Area Water Reclamation and Reuse Project, CA; San Jose Area Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, CA; Watsonville Area Water Recycling Project, CA; Tooele Wastewater Treatment and Reuse Project, UT; Southern Nevada Water Recycling Project, NV; City of North Las Vegas Water Reuse Project, NV; Phoenix Metropolitan Water Reclamation and Reuse Project, AZ; Albuquerque Metropolitan Area Water Reclamation and Reuse Project, NM; and Northwest El Paso Water Reclamation and Reuse Project, TX.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - Regional Director, Bureau of Reclamation.

For addresses, see Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Program Accomplishments

The Arsenic Wellhead Demonstration Project in Albuquerque, NM has been completed, and the Mission Basin Brackish Groundwater Desalting Demonstration Project in Oceanside, CA should be completed in 2006. Construction projects in El Paso, TX, and San Diego, San Gabriel, Watsonville and San Jose, CA, and Albuquerque, NM are progressing. The Long Beach (CA) Desalination Research and Development Project is in the pilot development stage. The comprehensive studies for Southern California and the San Francisco Bay area have been completed. Feasibility studies in Phoenix and Tucson, AZ, Santa Fe, NM, Pasadena and Desert Hot Springs, CA, and Austin and Williamson County TX, are underway. In addition, four new construction projects in southern California were initiated in 2000. They are the North San Diego County Area Water Recycling Project, the Orange County Regional Water Reclamation Project (Phase 1), the Calleguas Municipal Water District Recycling Project, and the Long Beach Area Water Reclamation and Reuse Project.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Reclamation is restricted by law to activities in the 17 Western States, unless otherwise authorized by Congress, as was done by Public Law 106-566, which extended Reclamation's authority to conduct Title XVI investigations to include Hawaii.

The nonfederal sponsor must complete a feasibility study, including NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) compliance, complete a cost-share agreement with Reclamation, and furnish a statement of financial capability of the project sponsor to fund the nonfederal share to Reclamation prior to receiving construction appropriations from Congress for the Federal cost share.

Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs for the constructed project must be furnished by the nonfederal sponsor.

Federal contributions for demonstration projects that exceed 25 percent of the cost cannot be made unless the Secretary (of the Interior) determines that the project is not feasible without such Federal contribution.

Although the Act provides that Reclamation may furnish up to 50 percent of O&M costs for demonstration projects, it is Reclamation policy not to provide funds for this purpose.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

A legally organized nonfederal entity to sponsor the project is required, such as an irrigation district or a municipality.

The applicant must be able to furnish the nonfederal cost share and be able to assume the operation and maintenance of the project upon completion of construction.

Research projects may also be undertaken by colleges and universities and architectural and engineering firms.

Beneficiary Eligibility

A legally organized nonfederal entity such as an irrigation district or an organization within a municipality, such as the water department.


A feasibility report must be completed, either by the nonfederal sponsor alone or with the assistance of the Federal government. A statement of financial capability by the nonfederal sponsor must be provided to Reclamation. This statement demonstrates the capability of the sponsor to fund its portion of the feasibility report, its share of construction costs, and the ability to fund and assume responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the completed project. A cost-share agreement must be completed with Reclamation before funds can be requested for appropriation for construction.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

An environmental impact assessment or environmental impact statement may be required.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


It is recommended nonfederal entities contact the appropriate Reclamation office to discuss the processes and procedures for participation.

Application Procedures

Discretionary funding opportunities will be posted on Grants.gov. The standard application forms furnished by the Federal agency and required by 43 CFR Part 12, Subparts C and F, must be used for this program. The required documents must be furnished to Reclamation prior to authorization for construction. Upon satisfactory completion of these documents, Reclamation may seek authorization for the project and initiate appropriation requests. Reclamation has limited funding authority for this program, therefore requests for project construction authority may be delayed until a funding request can be made that is within the authorized limit.

Award Procedures

After funds are appropriated, Reclamation will complete the necessary paperwork to transfer funds.




Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act, Title XVI, Public Law 102-575, as amended; Reclamation Recycling and Water Conservation Act of 1996, Public Law 104-266; Oregon Public Lands Transfer and Protection Act of 1998, Public Law 105-321; Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2000, Public Law 106-544; Hawaii Water Resources Act of 2000, Public Law 106-566; Lakehaven Utilities District, WA, Project, 2002, Public Law 107-344; Consolidated Appropriations Resolution, 2003, Public Law 108-7; San Diego Creek Watershed, CA, Project, 2004, Public Law 108-233; Williamson County, TX, Project, Public Law 108-316; Hawaii Water Resources Act of 2005, Public Law 109-70.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Authorization of a project and appropriation of funds for its construction are dictated by the schedule of Congress with respect to appropriating funds. Because of the limitation on the ability of Reclamation to request funding for this program, delay can be anticipated in requesting funds for construction. Depending on the number of requests for funding, this delay could be several years.




Continuation of funding from one fiscal year to the next to complete a project is at the discretion of the Congress.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Appraisal level studies are nonreimbursable, that is, if the Federal government either completes or participates in an appraisal study, its funding requirements are nonreimbursable. Reclamation can cost share up to 50 percent of the cost of a feasibility study with the nonfederal sponsor supplying the balance. Environmental compliance costs are considered to be part of the planning costs and are cost shared accordingly. If the project proceeds to construction, the Federal share of planning becomes part of the total project cost. Reclamation may furnish up to 25 percent of the total project cost up to a maximum of $20 million per project. The balance of the construction cost must be furnished by the nonfederal sponsor. The entire O&M cost for the project must be borne by the nonfederal sponsor. Ownership of the completed facilities is with the sponsor.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

There are no time restrictions placed on the use of the funds and the funds have generally been made available periodically throughout the year on a reimbursable basis. A schedule is planned between Reclamation and the recipient when the cost share agreement is arranged. However, this schedule can be impacted by funds availability during the year.

Post Assistance Requirements


Reporting requirements are as prescribed by 43 CFR 12, Subparts C and F, as applicable.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


The required records will be specified as part of the audit procedure discussed above.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $10,100,000; FY 08 est $9,780,000; FY 09 est $9,780,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Construction funding is limited to 25 percent of the total project cost or $20 million per project, which ever is less.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Brochure containing guidelines for nonfederal sponsors to participate in program. No charge.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Regional Director, Bureau of Reclamation. For addresses, see Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Office of the Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 25007, D-5000, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225. Contact: Richard A. Martin. Telephone: (303) 445-3710. E-mail: rmartin@do.usbr.gov.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Reclamation will place priority on funding projects that are economically justified and environmentally acceptable in a watershed context, not eligible for funding under another Federal program, and that directly address Administration priorities for the Reclamation program, such as providing instream flows for Federally endangered or threatened species, meeting the needs of Native American communities, and meeting international commitments.

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