Date: Thursday, December 22, 2022
WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced a $84.7 million investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help 36 communities throughout the West prepare and respond to the challenges of drought. The selected projects will help bring clean, reliable drinking water to communities across the West through investments in innovative drought resilience efforts, such as groundwater storage, rainwater harvesting, aquifer recharge, water reuse, ion exchange treatment, and other methods to stretch existing water supplies.
"As climate change exacerbates drought impacts throughout the Western United States, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is advancing our work to invest in innovative, locally-led water infrastructure projects and provide clean, reliable water to families and communities across the country,” said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo. "Today’s funding will assist our local partners as they work to build drought resilience and improve water security for their community."
"Drought resilience is more important now ever as the West is experiencing more severe and longer droughts," added Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. "This investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in locally-led projects will help solidify community's water supplies and allow families and farmers to respond to the challenges posed by drought."
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates $8.3 billion for Reclamation water infrastructure projects over the next five years to advance drought resilience and expand access to clean water for families, farmers and wildlife. The investment will repair aging water delivery systems, secure dams, complete rural water projects, and protect aquatic ecosystems. Today’s funding announcement is part of $1 billion provided through the law for the innovative WaterSMART program, which supports states, tribes, and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and avoid potential water conflicts.
The projects selected for funding are:
The project descriptions and information about the program are available on Reclamation's Drought Response Program's webpage.