President Carter's decision to recommend scuttling or modifying 22 of the 30 congressionally approved water projects he had targeted for review won praise yesterday from many of the nation's leading environmental organizations.

Although the President approved eight of the projects and recommended partial or conditional funding of five others, leaders of the Coalition for Water Project Review -- representing 23 environmental groups -- said Carter had set an important precedent.

"President Carter's decision to make massive cutbacks in the federal water development effort signals the end of unchecked damming and ditching of our national rivers," said John Burdick, coordinator of the coalition and executive director of the Citizens Committee on Natural Resources.

While affiliated groups disagree with some of the projects that Carter approved and will continue to fight them. Burdick said, "the significance of the Carter decision is far greater than the sum of its individual parts" and "must be viewed in the broader context of the whole initiative."

Burdick said the coalition will back Carter in his expected congressional battle to cut water project funding, but acknowledged it will be "rough sledding."

Sheldon Kensel, representing the Wildlife Society, called the President's action a "useful first step," but expressed concern that some projects were approved and questioned whether some projects such as the $436 million Garrison Diversion Project in North Dakota could be satisfactorily modified.

But Brent Blackwelder of the Environmental Policy Center said modifications demanded by Carter for the $1.8 billion Central Arizona Project to require improvements in ground water management might render the entire project unnecessary.

In addition to the 30 Bureau of Reclamation and Corps of Engineers projects, the coalition said that Carter also reviewed two Tennessee, approving the Bear Creek project and disapproving the Columbia Dam.

Here is a list of the 30 water projects and their status as reported by state and congressional officials or published accounts, according to the Associated Press.

Cache Basin, Ark., no funding.

Richard B. Russell Project, Ga., no funding.

Grove Lake, Kan., no funding.

Dayton, Ky., funding restored.

Yatesville Lake, Ky., no funding.

Archafalaya River and Bayous Chene, Boeuf and Black, La., no funding.

:[WORD ILLEGIBLE] Park Lake, Mo., no funding.

Lukfafa Lake, Okla., no funding.

Central Arizona, partial funding.

Auburn-Folsom South, Central Valley Project, Calif., funding withheld pending correction of a study.

Dolores, Colo., funding restored.

Fruitland Mesa, Colo., no funding.

Savery-Pot Hook, Colo., and Wyo., no funding.

Garrison Diversion Unit, N.D., and S.D., partial funding.

Cane Unit, S.D., no funding.

Central Utah Project, Bonneville Unit, Utah, partial funding.

Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway, Tenn. Ala., and Miss., funding restored.

Tensas Basin, Ark. and La., partial funding.

Fulton, Ill., funding restored.

Hillsdale Lake, Kan. no funding.

Baycu Bodcau, La., no funding.

Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, La., partial funding.

Red River Waterway, Mississippi River to Shreveport, La., funding restored.

Tallahala Creek Inlet, Miss., no funding.

Apolegate Lake, Ore., no funding.

Tyrone Project, Pa., funding restored.

LAFarge Lake, Wis., no funding.

Gallas Creek, Colo., funding restored.

Narrows Unit, Colo., funding withheld pending further study.

Lyman Project, Wyo., funding restored.