Colorado River District Accelerator Grant Program Nets Big Return in Federal Funding

Community Funding Partnership program invests $129,500 in local water project applications to leverage over $6 million in WaterSMART awards.

Monday, November 20, 2023 

Glenwood Springs, Colorado — On Tuesday, November 14, the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) announced funding awards for the WaterSMART Environmental Water Resource Projects. $51 million authorized through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be distributed to 30 different projects across 11 states in this latest round of funding. Eight of the successful projects are in Colorado and four are within the boundaries of the Colorado River District. All four West Slope applicants utilized funding from the Colorado River District’s Accelerator Grant program. By investing $129,500 from the Accelerator Grant program, the River District helped to successfully leverage $6,530,193 of federal funds for West Slope water projects.

Established in mid-2022 as a branch of the Community Funding Partnership, the Accelerator Grant program was designed to support West Slope water users as they navigate the time-consuming and often costly application requirements for federal water project dollars available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), including feasibility, design, preliminary environmental review, and engineering studies.

“We’re thrilled to see such a high return on investment for local taxpayer funds,” said Amy Moyer, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Colorado River District. “Following the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’ve worked with our water users to think big, be collaborative, and advance water infrastructure projects that address future conditions and meet multiple needs.”

“These locally led initiatives utilize the investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to demonstrate quantifiable and sustained water savings, all while providing a direct benefit to the surrounding ecosystems,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Michael Brain in a recent BOR news release. “These types of projects and robust cooperation with stakeholders are helping to improve watershed health and increase water reliability and access for families, farmers, and Tribes.”

The Colorado River District continues to support West Slope water users who are developing effective methods to adapt to hotter, drier climate conditions and mitigate the impacts of aging infrastructure through the Community Funding Partnership.

Project Name: American Rivers, Inc, Uncompahgre River Multi-Benefit Project
Accelerator Grant Award: $25,000
Bureau of Reclamation Funding: $1,198,376

Project Name: Middle Colorado Watershed Council, Roan Creek Fish Barrier and Diversion Infrastructure Upgrade
Accelerator Grant Award: $9,500
Bureau of Reclamation Funding: $746,423

Project Name: Western Slope Conservation Center, Farmer’s Ditch Improvement Project
Accelerator Grant Award: $45,000
Bureau of Reclamation Funding: $1,594,799

Project Name: Trout Unlimited, Inc, Middle Colorado River Agriculture Collaborative
Accelerator Grant Award: $50,000
Bureau of Reclamation Funding: $2,999,595


Press Release as PDF