Cooperative Watershed Management Program

The purpose of the Cooperative Watershed Management Program is to enhance water conservation, including alternative 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.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2012: The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, a 25 year old nonprofit, proposed a two-year project to expand the watershed group, assess watershed issues and develop a management plan to promote sustainable use.

This project will increase outreach efforts, which include stakeholder meetings, brochures, the expansion of their website and videos, to be available in both English and Spanish.

The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership (UWP) plans to address local issues such as water quality and quantity by expanding the watershed group.

Expansion will occur by compiling information from stakeholders, drafting articles of incorporation, funding a watershed coordinator and conducting outreach activities in the watershed, ultimately resulting in the development of a watershed restoration plan.

The proposed project will take two years to complete.

Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014: No Current Data Available

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 - See Regional Agency Offices.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2012: Reclamation awarded funding to eight applicants. Two applicants were awarded Federal funding to establish a watershed group and six were awarded funding to expand an existing watershed group. Fiscal Year 2013: Information not available. Fiscal Year 2014: Information not available.

Uses and Use Restrictions

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 2013, 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 Phase II and III 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.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants eligible to receive a financial assistance agreement under the Cooperative Watershed Management Program include:
• States;
• Indian tribes;
• Local and special districts; (e.g., irrigation and water districts, county soil conservation districts, etc.);
• Local governmental entities; and non-profit organizations.

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 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 Announcement. (2) When applicable, applicants proposing a non-federal cost-share must submit a funding plan that shows how the applicant will pay for its non-Federal 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. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

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.


Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Funding Opportunity Announcements (Announcement) 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 Procedures

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 office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Public Law 111-11, Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Title VI, Subtitle A, Sec. 6001-6003 (16 USC 1015 et seq.).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The review, scoring and announcement 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.

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.

Post Assistance Requirements


Grant recipients shall submit semi-annual Program Performance Reports.

Upon completion of the agreement, recipients shall submit a 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 OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit 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.


State, local and Indian Tribal governments shall maintain project records in accordance with 43 CFR 12.82. All other recipients shall maintain project records in accordance with 43 CFR 12.953.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 12 $310,480; FY 13 est $250,000; and FY 14 est $0

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range: $0- $50,000
Average: $186,827.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

43 CFR 12 and OMB Circulars. These documents may also be obtained by contacting the Bureau of Reclamation Office listed below.

Information Contacts

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

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Specific evaluation criteria will be included in the funding announcements 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.
The funding opportunity will also prioritize proposals that establish a nexus to a Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC).

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