Aug 16, 2021 | Blog, Issue Updates

ISSUE ALERT: FY 2022 WaterSMART Drought Response Program Solicitation Released

FY 2022 WaterSMART Drought Response Program solicitation released

Proposals for proactive approach to drought management due October 5 

The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation has released the FY 2022 WaterSMART Drought Response Program solicitation. The WaterSMART Drought Response Program supports a proactive approach to drought by providing assistance to water managers to develop and update comprehensive drought plans and implement projects that will build long-term resiliency to drought. Efforts to build resiliency that are eligible for support include the following tasks:

  • Task A: Increasing the reliability of water supplies through infrastructure improvements

  • Task B: Improving water management through decision support tools, modeling, and measurement

Eligible applicants are states, tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority located in the Western United States, as well as nonprofit conservation organizations working in partnership with the entities listed above.

Funding: In FY 2021, approximately $16.5 million is available to support up to 21 cooperative agreements of up to $2 million. Applicants must provide nonfederal cost share of 50 percent or more of project costs using cash or in-kind contributions.

Of note, the scoring criterion for this program has changed from the FY 2021 solicitation to reflect the priorities of the Biden Administration. The “Sustainability and Supplemental Benefits” scoring criterion has replaced the previous “Department of Interior and Bureau of Reclamation Priorities” and more weight has been given to this section. Projects should address one or more of the following Biden Administration priorities to receive points through the new scoring criteria:

  • Climate change

  • Disadvantaged or underserved communities

  • Tribal benefits

  • Ecological value

  • Other water sustainability benefits not captured in the above

The table below breaks down the scoring criteria and compares the FY22 and FY21 solicitations for context. The amount of points to the “project benefits” section has been reduced – these points are now weighted in the “Sustainability and Supplemental Benefits” section.

Proposals for this program are due October 5, 2021. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dan Keppen at