The Department of the Interior announced a $36.1 million investment, including $26.7 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds, to safeguard local water supplies in the wake of record drought across the West.
Twenty-seven projects in 12 states and the first-ever in Puerto Rico will be awarded funding to advance quantifiable and sustained water savings by protecting watersheds impacted by wildland fire, restoring aquatic habitats and stream beds, and advancing other environmental restoration projects to mitigate drought-related impacts. These investments will be leveraged through partnerships with local communities to address regional water challenges, including projects to address damage left by the Caldor Fire in California and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. These funds follow a $25.5 million investment announced last month allocated for 14 water efficiency projects across eight western states.
“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is advancing locally-led initiatives to address severe and historic western drought,” said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo. ”Through the Water Smart program funded under this law, we are addressing a variety of regional challenges to increase water reliability and accessibility for families, farmers and Tribes. Today’s investment will conserve water, restore riparian habitat and stream function, and improve watershed health to benefit local supplies and the surrounding environment.”
“Adequate and safe water supplies are fundamental to the health, economy and security of the country. By restoring ecosystems and improving the health of rivers and watersheds, we can provide more local communities reliable access to water,” said Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “These grants invest in water management projects that will directly benefit plant and animal species, fish and wildlife habitat and ecosystems.”
Overall, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $8.3 billion to address water and drought challenges for the nation’s western water and power infrastructure by repairing aging water delivery systems, securing dams, completing rural water projects, protecting aquatic ecosystems and fulfilling Indian Water Rights Settlements.
The funding announced today is part of the $160 million in WaterSMART grants provided by the Law in 2022. Local governments in states set to receive funding must complete their project within three years. Through a 25 percent cost-share, a total of $56.2 million in federal and non-federal investments will be leveraged to support selected projects.
For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have developed sustainable water and power solutions for the West. This Department’s WaterSMART Program focuses on collaborative efforts to plan and implement actions to increase water supply sustainability, including investments to modernize infrastructure.
More information about the Environmental Water Restoration Projects is available on Reclamation’s website.
Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District
Roosevelt Watershed Protection and Forest Thinning Project
Marin Municipal Water District
Lagunitas Creek Stream Channel Restoration Project
San Bernadino Valley Municipal Water District
Anza Creek Aquatic and Riparian Habitat Restoration Project
Resource Conservation District of Monterey County
Salinas River Arundo Eradication Project Phase V
El Dorado County Water Agency
Post Caldor Fire Watershed Restoration for Securing Water Supply for the Grizzly Flats Community
The Nature Conservancy
Modernization of the Maybell Irrigation District’s Diversion from the Yampa River in Colorado
Pagosa Gateway Project
State of Hawai’i DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife
Protecting Forests for Water Supply Sustainability in Kohala Hawaii Phase 1
State of Hawai’i DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife
Protecting Forests for Water Supply Sustainability in Kohala Hawaii Phase 2
Friends of the Teton River, Inc.
Reconnecting Canyon Creek
Board of Control for Triangle Irrigation and Wood River
Board of Control Diversion 45 Stabilization and Fish Passage Remediation
The Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation
Battle Creek Ecological Restoration at Sowo Gahni
Sun River Watershed
Muddy Creek Restoration and Resilience Project Phase I
Southern Nevada Water Authority
Las Vegas Wash Riparian Restoration Project
Rogue Valley Council of Governments
Bear Creek Fish Passage Barriers Removal
East Fork Irrigation District
Oanna & Yasui Sublateral Efficiency Project
Curry Watersheds Nonprofit
Sixes Riverbank Restoration and Estuary Enhancement
Protectores de Cuencas Inc
Accelerating Recovery and Increasing Resiliency of Coastal Wetlands in Punta Tuna Natural Reserve in Maunabo Puerto Rico
Cameron County Water Improvement District No. 10
Pipeline Improvements and Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Water Management Improvements
Cache Water District
Lower Logan River Trapper Park River Restoration Project
Weber River Ecological Resiliency Project
Paris Creek Hydropower Decommissioning and Instream Flow Restoration
Kittitas Reclamation District
South Branch Piping
Clallam Conservation District
Irrigation Efficiency and Improvement Project
Dungeness Reservoir Irrigation Conveyance Improvement Project
Wyoming Game and Fish Department
New Fork River Gas Wells River Restoration and Fish Habitat Improvement
Deaver Irrigation District
D52 Lateral Piping and Shoshone River Sediment Reduction Project
More information, including details about other current opportunities to apply for funding available under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is available on Reclamation’s WaterSMART program webpage.