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WaterSMART funds $1.7 million for science projects in desert and southern Rockies LCCs

WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor announced today 12 applied science projects will receive $1.2 million, and Reclamation will partner with other federal agencies and contribute $451,835 to applied science projects to benefit the Desert and Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. This funding will be matched to provide more than $3.5 million for these applied science projects.

"Landscape Conservation Cooperatives bring science and technical expertise together and develop applied science tools for land managers to assess and adapt to the impacts of climate change," Connor said today. "The projects we are funding will help resource managers as they strive to develop effective water management solutions." Twelve projects received grants to meet the science needs of the LCCs. The entity must provide at least a 50-percent cost-share. The entities that will receive funding are:

  • Alamosa Land Institute
  • Arizona Game and Fish Department (2)
  • Arizona State University (2)
  • Colorado State University
  • Desert Botanical Garden, Inc.
  • New Mexico Office of the State Engineer
  • Northern Arizona University
  • The Nature Conservancy (2)
  • University of Arizona

In addition, Reclamation solicited statements of interest from other federal agencies for partnership on science projects in the LCCs. Seven projects were identified to receive funding. The federal agencies partnering with Reclamation are:

  • U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station (4)
  • U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center
  • U.S. Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center (2)

LCCs are partnerships of governmental (federal, state, tribal and local) and non-governmental entities. The primary goal of the LCCs is to bring together science and resource management to inform adaptation strategies to address climate change and other stressors within an ecological region defined as a landscape.

The Desert LCC encompasses portions of five states: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas, as well as a substantial portion of Northern Mexico. The area is topographically complex, including three different deserts (Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan), grasslands and valley bottoms, and the isolated mountain ranges in the southern portion of the LCC (Apache Highlands and the New Mexico-Texas Highlands, also known as the Sky Islands). There are several large river systems, including the lower Colorado, Gila, Rio Grande, San Pedro and Verde. To learn more about the Desert LCC, please visit

The Southern Rockies LCC encompasses large portions of four states: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, as well as smaller parts of Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming. The area is geographically complex, including wide elevation and topographic variation; from 14,000 foot peaks to the Grand Canyon and cold desert basins. This topographically complex region includes the headwaters of the Colorado River and Rio Grande, the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains to the west, and the Southern Rocky Mountains to the east, separated by the rugged tableland of the Colorado Plateau. To learn more about the Southern Rockies LCC, please visit

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. Funding for WaterSMART is focused on improving water conservation and helping water and resource managers make wise decisions about water use.


Contact: Peter Soeth
Bureau of Reclamation

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