Losing access to quality water supplies and healthy aquatic ecosystems is the greatest long-term conservation challenge threatening the viability of our hunting and angling traditions. Yet the federal government spends less than half a percent of its budget on improving freshwater aquatic habitat, restoring aquatic species, or increasing freshwater flows and wetland acres. This spending is spread over several agencies with authority to manage freshwater resources or enhance its use.
The President plays a major role in allocating limited federal dollars to water conservation, and Congress has the ultimate responsibility to decide annual spending levels. This site will track the President’s annual budget requests as well as spending levels set by Congress so that sportsmen can see how their elected officials prioritize water conservation, and hold them accountable.
WATERSMART GRANTS FACT SHEETS
Since 2010, the Bureau of Reclamation has been seeding local water-efficiency solutions and encouraging collaborative watershed partnerships through grants from the WaterSMART Program. Reclamation has awarded 243 of these grants totaling $114 million for local water-efficiency projects, like irrigation districts lining canals to cut down on water loss or municipalities installing more efficient water control technology. And because recipients of these grants have to bring their own matching funds to the table, WaterSMART grants have cumulatively leveraged an additional $335 million in non-federal funds for water efficiency. Use these fact sheets to see how WaterSMART has helped your state.
SNAPSHOTS OF SUCCESS — REPORT HIGHLIGHTS RESULTS OF FEDERAL FUNDING
New report showcases ten of the best collaborative conservation projects led by sportsmen and catalogs the importance of federal funding included in the Sportsmen’s Water Budget that fuels them. If we are going to get ahead of our water management problems, we must replicate and scale up the successes of collaborative partnerships like those described in Snapshots of Success: Protecting America’s watersheds, fish and wildlife, and the livelihoods of sportsmen.
How to Better Prepare for Drought – With water resources in the western United States stretched to a breaking point, the TRCP worked with the National Drought Resilience Partnership to bring nearly 40 diverse stakeholders together at the White House Drought Symposium on July 15, 2015. Participants discussed the federal government’s role in building drought resilience into our water management systems, as well as steps that federal agencies should take to forestall future drought crises.
Sportsmen, farmers and feds team up on local solutions that make healthy watersheds – USDA just announced nearly $800 million in funding through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program for 115 locally-led solutions to regional conservation challenges. Many of these projects will be led by sportsmen’s organizations working together with local farmers and ranchers.
Launch of The Sportsmen’s Water Budget – American sportsmen have been leading the conservation movement since its beginning, and for more than three quarters of a century, we have been putting our money where our mouths are. Now the Sportsmen’s Water Budget will help us track where that investment ends up.
Why Conservation Funding is Important to Sportsmen and the Economy – Our friend Steven Rinella, host of MeatEater on the Sportsman Channel, walks you through the importance of conservation funding to sportsmen and the economy.
Conserving Water in the West – Steven Rinella discusses water issues in the West and how numerous factors, including increased water use and drought, can negatively impact fish and wildlife populations.