Program Description

Basin Studies are collaborative studies, cost-shared with non-Federal partners, to evaluate the impacts of climate change and help ensure sustainable water supplies by identifying strategies to address imbalances in water supply and demand. Each study includes four key segments:

  • State-of-the-art projections of future supply and demand by river basin, including the impacts of climate change.
  • An analysis of how the basin's existing water and power operations and infrastructure will perform in the face of changing water realities.
  • Development of adaptation and mitigation strategies to meet current and future water demands.
  • A trade-off analysis of the adaptation and mitigation strategies identified.

For more information on the Basin Studies, please visit the Bureau of Reclamation's website.

General Program Requirements

To be eligible to apply, applicants must have water management authority and be located in the 17 Western United States - specifically, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The specific boundaries of the study area will be identified by Reclamation with the cost-share partners through the proposal development and selection process. Basin studies may include the study of related impacts outside of a basin's geographic boundaries.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

The two-step selection process and the criteria for selecting Basin Studies are described detail in the Basin Studies - Selection Process Overview. In brief, the two-step selection process is as follows:

Step 1 - Letters of Interest: Reclamation's regional offices will seek letters of interest from states and major stakeholders throughout the 17 Western States. All non-Federal entities interested in cost-sharing with Reclamation to conduct a Basin Study will be required to prepare and submit a letter of interest to their regional Reclamation office. The regional offices will review the letters and notify the non-Federal study proponents whether their study concepts will proceed to Step 2 of the selection process.

Step 2 - Study Proposal: The regional office will work with those selected in Step 1 to develop a short (20 pages maximum) study proposal for consideration by a Reclamation Application Review Committee (ARC). The ARC will be made up of staff from across Reclamation with technical expertise relevant to the Basin Study process. The ARC will prioritize the proposals based on the selection criteria established in the Basin Studies Directives and Standards (WTR TRMR-65). Selections will be announced in a news release and all applicants will be notified individually of the outcome of the review process.

Program Contact Information

Amanda Erath
Basin Studies Program Coordinator

Additional Information

Current Method of Tribal EligibilityProgram not specific to American Indians and Alaska Natives, but they are eligible
Can the funding from the program be renewedNo
Funding TypeDiscretionary
Entities Eligible for Grant AssistanceFederally Recognized Tribes and Tribal Organizations, Other Tribal and Native Entities, Non-Tribal Entities
Matching Funds RequiredYes
Number of People Served by this Program (Approximate)24 Basin Studies have been selected since the initiation of the program in 2009. How many people are specifically served by the program is not known.
Length of ProgramProgram in ongoing but projects must be completed within three years form the date of award
Recurring Base Funding for TribesNo
Do Tribes compete with other entities for funding from the program?Yes. Tribes compete with states, local governments, and other non-tribal/non-native entities.

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