WASHINGTON (KIFI/KIDK) - The Henry's Fork Foundation (HFF) and Idaho Power Company (IPC) will participate in a US Bureau of Reclamation project to help make water management decisions in the west.
HFF will receive $273,211 and IPC will receive $750,000 in WaterSmart Applied Science Grants to complete two of 19 projects planned in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Washington.
The Henry's Fork Foundation will partner with the Fremont Madison Irrigation District to develop hydrologic models and a web-based platform to improve access to hydrologic information within the Henry's Fork watershed. In addition to helping resolve water demands for irrigation and fisheries, the project will also help manage aquifer issues. The foundation will generate another $288,075 in non-federal funding will also be part of the project, which continues a WaterSmart basin study completed in 2015.
Idaho Power will partner with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to improve modeling capabilities used to forecast winter precipitation and quantify the impact of the utility's cloud seeding program. The project will build on a recently developed Weather Research and Forecasting Model, used to forecast winter precipitation and benefit cloud seeding to increase water supply reliability. Idaho Power is contributing $1.1 million in non-federal funds towards the project.
The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) said the WaterSmart projects are planned to help implement actions that increase water supply reliability through investments modernizing existing infrastructure to avoid water conflicts.
Across the west, BOR selected 19 projects to receive $3.5 million in grants. They will be matched by more than $4.5 million in non-federal matching funds. You can see the full list of projects here.