Cooperative Watershed Management Program

The Cooperative Watershed Management Program (CWMP) contributes to the WaterSMART strategy by providing funding to watershed groups to encourage diverse stakeholders to form local solutions to address their water management needs. Funding is provided on a competitive basis for:

Watershed Group Development and Watershed Restoration Planning: In 2012, Reclamation began providing funding for watershed group development, watershed restoration planning, and watershed management project design (Phase I). A watershed group is a self-sustaining, non-regulatory, consensus-based group that is composed of a diverse array of stakeholders, which may include, but is not limited to, private property owners, non-profit organizations, Federal, state, or local agencies, and tribes. As part of Phase I activities, applicants may use funding to develop bylaws, a mission statement, complete stakeholder outreach, develop a watershed restoration plan, and watershed management project design. For Phase I projects, Reclamation will award a successful applicant up to $100,000 per year for a period of up to two years with no non-Federal cost-share required.

Implementation of Watershed Management Projects: In 2017, Reclamation started to provide cost-shared financial assistance to watershed groups to implement watershed management projects. These on-the-ground projects, collaboratively developed by members of a watershed group, address critical water supply needs and water quality concerns, helping water users meet competing demands and avoid conflicts over water. Reclamation currently provides funding to watershed groups for the implementation of watershed management projects through the Environmental Water Resources Projects funding opportunity.



For more information regarding the CWMP, please contact the Program Coordinator, Robin Graber, at 303-445-2764 or Or, you may reach out to your regional CWMP contact, as follows:

  • Interior Region 5: Missouri Basin & Interior Region 6: Arkansas-Rio Grande-Texas Gulf - Denis Kelsch, 406-247-7754
  • Interior Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin - Brandi Rose, 801-524-3639
  • Interior Region 8: Lower Colorado Basin - Ken Isakson, 702-293-8537
  • Interior Region 9: Columbia-Pacific Northwest - Leah Meeks, 208-378-5025
  • Interior Region 10: California-Great Basin - Anna Sutton, 916-978-5214

If you are unclear what Region you are located in, please see Reclamation’s regional map, available at:

You may complete this form to receive WaterSMART program notification from the Bureau of Reclamation.


  • Watershed groups receive $3.8 million to collaboratively address water management issues

    The South Fork of the Boise River below Anderson Ranch Dam in IdahoThe Bureau of Reclamation is providing $3.8 million to 21 groups to create or expand watershed groups. WaterSMART's Cooperative Watershed Management Program brings diverse stakeholders together to develop local solutions for their water management needs. Read More →

  • Reclamation releases funding opportunity to establish or expand watershed groups

    The WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program Phase I funding opportunity is now available from the Bureau of Reclamation to develop a watershed group, complete watershed management planning activities, and design watershed management activities. The Cooperative Watershed Management Program encourages diverse stakeholders to form local solutions to address their water management needs.

    Reclamation hosted a webinar on February 17, 2022 to discuss eligible applicants and project types, program requirements, and the evaluation criteria this funding opportunity.

    Download PowerPoint slides

    If you have questions regarding applicant and project eligibility, program requirements, or the evaluation criteria, click here and select CWMP Phase I Program Inquiry to schedule a time to talk with the program coordinators.

  • Reclamation awards $2.6 million for Western communities to establish or expand watershed groups

    Lost River outside Klamath Falls, ORThe Bureau of Reclamation is awarding $2.6 million to 27 communities in the Western United States to establish or expand existing watershed management groups through WaterSMART's Cooperative Watershed Management Program. Each group is eligible for up to $50,000 a year for two years with no federal cost-share required. Read More →.

  • Reclamation seeks comments on updated eligibility and evaluation criteria for three WaterSMART funding opportunities

    Reclamation is proposing several changes to the WaterSMART program for 2022. Reclamation is seeking public comment on draft eligibility and evaluation criteria for three funding opportunities within the WaterSMART Program to assist with these changes.

    Reclamation proposes updates to the eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria for the Drought Resiliency Projects and Water and Energy Efficiency Grants funding opportunities. Reclamation is also launching a new funding opportunity for Environmental Water Resources Projects. This new funding opportunity will focus on projects that have environmental benefits, are developed as part of a collaborative process, and may be eligible for up to 75% federal funding.

    The changes were developed to incorporate recent amendments to the SECURE Water Act (Title IX, Subtitle F of P.L. 111-11), implement priorities identified in Presidential Executive Order 14008: Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad and Executive Order 13985: Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, and support the goals of the Interagency Drought Relief Working Group established in March 2021.

    The comment period has now closed. Comments received by June 18, 2021 are currently under review.

Last Updated: 5/1/23