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Infrastructure Law to Help Safeguard Water Supplies in Wake of Western Drought

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.

Selected projects:

Recipient 

State

Title 

Federal Funding 

Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District 

AZ 

Roosevelt Watershed Protection and Forest Thinning Project 

$560,250 

Marin Municipal Water District 

CA 

Lagunitas Creek Stream Channel Restoration Project 

$1,400,000

San Bernadino Valley Municipal Water District 

CA 

Anza Creek Aquatic and Riparian Habitat Restoration Project 

$2,000,000

Resource Conservation District of Monterey County 

CA 

Salinas River Arundo Eradication Project Phase V 

$1,479,262

El Dorado County Water Agency 

CA 

Post Caldor Fire Watershed Restoration for Securing Water Supply for the Grizzly Flats Community 

$1,875,000

The Nature Conservancy 

CO 

Modernization of the Maybell Irrigation District’s Diversion from the Yampa River in Colorado 

$1,920,900

Trout Unlimited 

CO 

Pagosa Gateway Project 

$375,000 

State of Hawai’i DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife 

HI 

Protecting Forests for Water Supply Sustainability in Kohala Hawaii Phase 1 

$996,487 

State of Hawai’i DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife 

HI 

Protecting Forests for Water Supply Sustainability in Kohala Hawaii Phase 2 

$931,783 

Friends of the Teton River, Inc. 

ID 

Reconnecting Canyon Creek 

$2,000,000

Board of Control for Triangle Irrigation and Wood River 

ID 

Board of Control Diversion 45 Stabilization and Fish Passage Remediation 

$629,000 

The Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation 

ID 

Battle Creek Ecological Restoration at Sowo Gahni 

$1,999,711

Sun River Watershed 

MT 

Muddy Creek Restoration and Resilience Project Phase I 

$1,769,323

Southern Nevada Water Authority 

NV 

Las Vegas Wash Riparian Restoration Project 

$900,500 

Rogue Valley Council of Governments 

OR 

Bear Creek Fish Passage Barriers Removal 

$784,151 

East Fork Irrigation District 

OR 

Oanna & Yasui Sublateral Efficiency Project 

$2,000,000

Curry Watersheds Nonprofit 

OR 

Sixes Riverbank Restoration and Estuary Enhancement 

$268,789 

Protectores de Cuencas Inc 

PR 

Accelerating Recovery and Increasing Resiliency of Coastal Wetlands in Punta Tuna Natural Reserve in Maunabo Puerto Rico 

$509,694 

Cameron County Water Improvement District No. 10 

TX 

Pipeline Improvements and Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Water Management Improvements 

$1,500,000

Cache Water District 

UT 

Lower Logan River Trapper Park River Restoration Project 

$2,000,000

Trout Unlimited 

UT 

Weber River Ecological Resiliency Project 

$1,864,032

Trout Unlimited 

UT 

Paris Creek Hydropower Decommissioning and Instream Flow Restoration 

$900,798 

Kittitas Reclamation District 

WA 

South Branch Piping 

$2,000,000

Clallam Conservation District 

WA 

Irrigation Efficiency and Improvement Project 

$1,535,937

Clallam County 

WA 

Dungeness Reservoir Irrigation Conveyance Improvement Project 

$1,813,275

Wyoming Game and Fish Department 

WY 

New Fork River Gas Wells River Restoration and Fish Habitat Improvement 

$100,000 

Deaver Irrigation District 

WY 

D52 Lateral Piping and Shoshone River Sediment Reduction Project 

$2,000,000

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.

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