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Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program

Program Descriptions

Program Number



Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program


Federal Agency




Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act, Public Law 93-320, 59 Stat. 1219, as amended; Section 2, Public Law 98-569; Section 1, Public Law 104-20; Title III, Subtitle D, Chapter 4, Public Law 104-127, 110 Stat. 1006; Public Law 106- 459, 114 Stat. 1987; 43 U.S.C. 1571 and 43 U.S.C. 1592(c).






To provide financial and technical assistance to: (1) identify salt source areas; (2) develop project plans to carry out conservation practices to reduce salt loads; (3) install conversation practices to reduce salinity levels; (4) carry out research, education, and demonstration activities; (5) carry out monitoring and devaluation activities; and (6) to decrease salt concentration and salt loading which causes increased salinity levels within the Colorado River and to enhance the supply and quality of water available for use in the United States and the Republic of Mexico. Such programs shall consist of cost-effective measures and associated works to reduce salinity from saline springs, leaking wells, irrigation sources, industrial sources, erosion of public and private land, or other sources.


Types of Assistance

Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements).


Uses and Use Restrictions

Eligible owners or operators in approved project areas may receive assistance to treat salinity problems.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Federal, Interstate, Intrastate, State, Local, Sponsored organizations, Public nonprofit institution/organizations, Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Government, Individual/Family, Minority Group, Specialized Group, Small Business, Profit Organization, Other private institution/organization, general public, and Native American Organizations.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Any person in the Colorado River Basin will benefit who uses or reuses water for irrigation, domestic, municipal or industrial water supply, or for fish and wildlife habitat.


Some projects may require compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act. Information regarding whether these requirements must be met will be included in the funding opportunity announcement posted on


Application and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs. An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedure

Funding opportunity announcements for this program, along with registration procedures, application packages and instructions, SF-424 forms and any other forms to be used to submit application information, points of contact, and procedures for submitting applications will be available on

Award Procedure

Reclamation will solicit proposals and award funding through a Request for Application (RFA) process. The RFA will request proposals from public and private sectors that would control salinity based on cost per ton. The proposals will be ranked based on their cost effectiveness for preventing salt from entering the Colorado River system. The ranking would consider risk factors that might affect the project's performance. Upon receipt of applications/proposals by the date identified in the announcement(s), the applications will be reviewed to determine if application/proposal(s) are consistent with requirements identified in the announcements. The application/proposal(s) are reviewed against identified criteria by a Federal technical team of experts, that may include representatives of states as advisors. Based on the review, a ranking will be defined. Negotiations will be conducted and/or awards will be made based on recommendations from the technical experts. Award will be based on those applications best meeting the needs of the program, including cost and risk factors.


Varies by project. Deadline information will be included in all funding opportunity announcements posted on

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 90 Days.


None. Final award decisions are not subject to appeal; however, the Bureau of Reclamation will provide all applicants with information on why their proposals were not selected for award.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Cooperative agreements and grants are normally written for a 1 to 5 year period.


Post Assistance Requirements


Unless otherwise stated in the agreement document, recipients shall submit the following reports on a quarterly basis: (1) SF-269/SF-269a Financial Status Reports, (2) SF-272 Report of Federal Cash Transactions, and (3) Program performance reports. Annually, recipients shall submit an annual program performance report. Upon completion of the agreement, recipients shall submit a final: (1) SF-269/SF-269a Financial Status Report, (2) final Program performance report, and (3) other specific reports that may be applicable to the agreement such as property inventories, and patent and invention disclosures.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 1, 2003) or more a year in Federal awards will have a single or a program specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 1, 2003) a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


State, local and Indian Tribal governments shall maintain project records in accordance with 43 CFR 12.82. All other recipients shall maintain project records in accordance with 43 CFR 12.953.


Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $16,408,500; FY 08 est $7,850,000; and FY 09 est $6,900,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range - $12,916 to $2,570,000; average - $923,552.


Program Accomplishments

Since the inception of the program, an estimated 570,000 tons of salt have been controlled from entering the river.


Regulations, Guidelines and Literature

43 CFR 12, OMB Circulars, these documents may also be obtained by contacting the Bureau of Reclamation Office listed below.


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Salinity Program: Mr. Kib Jacobson, Bureau of Reclamation, 125 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84138-1147, Telephone: (801) 524-3753, Fax: (801) 524-5499, E-mail:; or Mr. John Redlinger, Bureau of Reclamation, 400 Railroad Ave, Boulder City, NV 89005, Telephone: (702) 293-8592, Fax: (702) 293-8042, E-mail: Western Colorado: Mr. Mike Baker, Bureau of Reclamation, 2764 Compass Drive, Grand Junction, CO 81506, Telephone: (970) 248-0637, Fax: (970) 248-0601, E-mail:; or Mr. Stan Powers, Bureau of Reclamation, 835 E Second Avenue, Suite 300, Durango, CO 81301, Telephone: (970) 385-6555, Fax: (970) 385-6539, E-mail: Eastern Utah and Western Wyoming: Mr. Lee Baxter, Bureau of Reclamation, 302 East 1860 South, Provo, UT 84606, Telephone: (801) 379-1174, Fax: (801) 379-1159, E-mail:

Headquarters Office


Web Site Address


Related Programs

10.070, Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program


Examples of Funded Projects

Salinity Improvement Project; Identifying Sources of Salt and Water in Grand Valley, CO; Eden Valley Salinity Project.


Criteria for Selecting Proposals

In 1984, the Salinity Control Act was amended to direct the Secretary of the Interior to give preference to units which reduce salinity at the least cost per unit of salinity reduction (or cost-effectiveness). Cost-effectiveness is defined as the Salinity Program's annual cost per ton of salt prevented from entering the Colorado River system. Conceptually, cost-effectiveness is analogous to determining the cost per mile to own and operate a car. That computation combines the annual expenses (loan payments, gas, maintenance, etc.) and divides by the miles traveled each year. The key to understanding this approach is to appreciate that the government evaluates all projects as if the money is borrowed from a loan institution and repaid in annual installments over the life of the project. This economic evaluation principle is required by the "Economic and Environmental Principles Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies", March 1983. This method lends consistency in the comparison of non-federally financed alternatives (which must borrow funds) to Federally financed projects. Each proposal will be evaluated by a technical review panel in accordance with the following criteria and corresponding percentage weights: (a) Technical merit - those passing will be evaluated further, (b) Cost effectiveness 70 percent of the annual cost for each ton of salt load reduction, expressed in dollars per ton, (c) Performance risk 30 percent of performance risk will evaluate the cost and effectiveness risks of the proposal. More detailed information will be included in each funding announcement or may be obtained from the Salinity Control Program contacts listed above.


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