Water infrastructure gets historic funding boost

State of the Infrastructure: A Joint Report by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
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  • Report details Army Corps, Reclamation investments
  • Focus on dams, hydropower, navigation, safety
  • Billions target drought resilience, efficiency
  • Collaboration with stakeholders remains a priority

February 22, 2024 — In a joint report titled “State of the Infrastructure: A Joint Report by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of EngineersOpens in a new tab.” (February 2024), the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Army Corps of Engineers outline their extensive water infrastructure portfolios, asset management strategies, and ongoing collaborations. This report comes at a time of unprecedented investments in critical water projects aimed at addressing drought, improving efficiency, and bolstering the nation’s economy and environment.

Key Infrastructure Investments.

The document details investments in a wide range of initiatives – dams and hydro power facilities play a key role, with projects like the Lower Yellowstone Intake Diversion Dam Fish Passage Project demonstrating both infrastructure improvement and environmental concerns. To bolster the nation’s supply chain, the Army Corps works to improve the resilience of navigable waterways, while Reclamation prioritizes crucial water conveyance structures for agricultural and municipal distribution.

Beyond water delivery, there’s a focus on recreation facilities (important to local economies) and the ongoing challenge of maintaining aging bridges and roads for safe access. Levee and dam safety programs are emphasized, as are environmental restoration projects aimed at protecting ecosystems and water quality.

Key highlights include:

  • Dams and Hydropower: The report emphasizes the crucial role of dams in addressing water resource challenges and the significant contribution of hydropower facilities to the nation’s energy supply. It mentions projects like the Lower Yellowstone Intake Diversion Dam Fish Passage Project and the Isabella Auxiliary Dam Safety Modification Project as examples of infrastructure improvements and environmental considerations.
  • Navigation and Conveyance: The document details the Army Corps’ responsibility in maintaining navigable waterways and the efforts to improve the resilience of the nation’s supply chain through navigation investments. It also discusses Reclamation’s conveyance facilities, which are crucial for distributing water for agricultural and municipal uses.
  • Recreation and Transportation Infrastructure: The importance of recreation facilities to local economies and the challenges of maintaining aging bridges and roads essential for access and safety are highlighted.
  • Levee Safety and Environmental Protection: The report outlines the Army Corps and Reclamation’s initiatives in levee safety, dam safety programs, and environmental restoration projects to protect and enhance ecosystems and water quality.
  • Security and Asset Management: It discusses integrated risk management approaches to facility security, including cyber and physical threats, and implementing asset management strategies to optimize the performance and life-cycle of water infrastructure assets.
  • Water Supply Challenges: The document addresses future water supply needs, emphasizing the importance of effectively managing and enhancing water-related infrastructure to mitigate water shortages and support growing demands.

Security and the Future.

Both agencies address security, including cyber and physical threats. Strategic asset management seeks to optimize the performance of water infrastructure. A critical concern is addressing future water supply needs in the face of increasing demand – effective infrastructure management and enhancement will be essential to mitigate shortages.

Agency Quotes.

“We are at a critical moment in our history with a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s Civil Works infrastructure,” said Director of Civil Works for the Army Corps Edward Belk, Jr.

Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton emphasizes the focus on drought resilience: “This historic funding underscores how proactive efforts from the Biden-Harris administration are helping increase water efficiency and conservation across the West.”

Source: U.S. Bureau of ReclamationOpens in a new tab..


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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