Western water districts and US federal agencies partner for water-saving

Three municipal water agencies of the US have teamed-up with federal bodies to start the latest round of an expanded competitive grant programme to discover latest water-saving devices and technologies.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the US Bureau of Reclamation, the Central Arizona Project, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Southern Nevada Water Authority, has participated in the country's Innovative Conservation Programme.

The programme also includes Southern California Gas Company and aims to improve water-saving efforts by discovering modern and innovative methods that enable people to use water supply more efficiently.

"As Western states brace for another year of drought, many are regarding dry conditions as the new normal."

EPA Pacific Southwest Water division director Tomas Torres said: "As Western states brace for another year of drought, many are regarding dry conditions as the new normal.

"By supporting the ICP, we're investing in innovative solutions to help communities meet the challenges of tomorrow, today."

Since starting in 2001, the ICP started by Metropolitan and Reclamation has approved 57 grants with a total amount of $1.85m over the first five two-year funding cycles.

The ICP has generated 262 proposals of $27m in total in funding requests from public agencies, private companies, entrepreneurs, community-based organisations, research institutes and equipment manufacturers.

Reclamation Lower Colorado Regional Director Terry Fulp said: "These kinds of successful programmes with our partners are an important tool in Reclamation's Colorado River water management responsibilities as we face the effects of years of drought and the influences of climate variability."

The last ICP round assisted in investigating plant-sensor based irrigation in vineyards for wine quality as well as production.