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LCC science projects receive $1.2 million through WaterSMART program

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor announced $1.2 million in WaterSMART funding for nine applied science projects to assist management decisions for the Desert and Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperatives that encompass Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, as well as a substantial portion of Northern Mexico. This funding will be matched for a total of $2,512,080 available for research.

Since its establishment in 2010, the WaterSMART Program has provided more than $82 million in competitively awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts and universities.

"The Department of the Interior Landscape Conservation Cooperatives cross agency jurisdictions and political boundaries to address landscape-scale changes and impacts to land, water, wildlife and cultural resources," said Connor. "These applied science projects will inform federal, state, tribes and local managers as they analyze and adapt to climate change and other stressors such as drought or invasive species."

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar established the WaterSMART program in February, 2010 the SMART in WaterSMART stands for "Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow" in cooperation with Commissioner Connor, Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle. WaterSMART grants are given for water and energy efficiency projects, system optimization reviews, advanced water treatment pilot, demonstration projects and climate studies.

The entities receiving funding for the applied science grants are:

  • Colorado State University
  • Conservation Biology Institute
  • Kansas State University
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Sky Island Alliance
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • World Wildlife Fund

The Desert and Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperatives are two of 21 Landscape Conservation Cooperatives that collectively form a national network of partnerships working collaboratively across jurisdictions and political boundaries to address landscape-style changes and impacts to America's land, water, wildlife and cultural resources by leveraging and sharing science capacity.

Under the Department of the Interior's climate change strategy established by Secretary Salazar, the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives will work in coordination with eight new DOI regional Climate Science Centers with the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center at the hub. Landscape Conservation Cooperatives complement and build upon existing science and conservation efforts with the United States and across the international borders, such as fish habitat partnerships and migratory bird joint ventures, as well as water resources, land and cultural partnerships. The Landscape Conservation Cooperatives include DOI and its agencies representatives, and federal, state and local agencies, nonprofit organizations, private groups, landowners and other stakeholders.


Contact: Peter Soeth
Bureau of Reclamation

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