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Biden administration rolls out $585 million for Western water projects

Posted on April 12, 2023

The funding, provided in the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law, will go toward 83 projects in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, California, North Dakota and Washington. The law provided $8.3 billion for water infrastructure projects over five years.

Six projects in New Mexico will receive money from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation, Aging Infrastructure Projects

$7.1M Caballo Dam and Reservoir Bonita Lateral Upgrade Reclamation

$1.78M Elephant Butte Historic District Recreation Area Restaurant and Patio Reclamation Funding

$3.39M Elephant Butte Historic District Roads and Parking Lots Rehabilitation Reclamation

$9.6M Elephant Butte Recreation Area Water Infrastructure Rehab

$4M El Vado Dam and Reservoir Repair

$4.5M Rio Grande Channelization Lower San Acacia Reach Improvements

Speaking to reporters by phone Wednesday, administration officials said the funding was part of a government-wide effort to respond to persistent drought conditions that have caused increased wildfires in Western states and threaten future drinking and agricultural water supplies.

The 23-year drought “has culminated in critically low reservoir conditions in the Colorado River Basin and across the West, putting a strain on our people, our farms, our wildlife and their habitats and our very livelihoods,” Interior Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau said.

The funding will be used to repair water storage, water treatment and hydropower facilities.

Wednesday’s announcement coincided with a visit by administration officials to the Imperial Dam that spans the Colorado River on the Arizona-California border, and they gave particular attention to that river system, which supplies water to 40 million people.

“We’ll use every available resource and tool at the federal level to protect the Colorado River system and the critical services it provides to millions of people in countless ecosystems,” Beaudreau said.

The projects, selected by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation that manages water resources in Western states, are in every major river system in the West, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton said.

The list includes 27 projects in North Dakota and 24 in California. No other state had more than six projects selected.

California alone accounted for more than half of the funding, with $307.8 million allocated to projects in the state. North Dakota will receive $80.2 million.

Federal water infrastructure funding

The post Biden administration rolls out $585 million for Western water projects appeared first on Source New Mexico.

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