Historic funding announced for aging water infrastructure

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced $520 million to revitalize aging water infrastructure across the West, enhancing water delivery, safety, and climate resilience.
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  • $520 million allocated for 57 water delivery projects in the West.
  • Investments aim to enhance water storage, safety, and hydropower generation.
  • Focus on climate resilience through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act.
  • Five New Mexico projects receiving $14.7 million, with significant funding for Rio Grande channel realignment.

May 17, 2024 — Yesterday, Acting Deputy Secretary of the Interior Laura Daniel-Davis announced over $520 million from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to revitalize aging water delivery systems across the West. This funding will support 57 projects across all six regions the Bureau of Reclamation servesOpens in a new tab., aiming to improve water conveyance and storage, increase safety, enhance hydropower generation, and provide water treatment.

President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is designed to strengthen America’s climate resilience. Over $50 billion has been secured for climate resilience and adaptation through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act. The National Climate Resilience Framework, established under this agenda, advances locally tailored, community-driven climate resilience strategies.

Acting Deputy Secretary Daniel-Davis made the announcement while visiting the Middle Rio Grande in New Mexico, highlighting five projects in the state receiving a total of $14.7 million. Over $10 million of this funding is allocated for a Rio Grande channel realignment project to improve water conveyance, critical habitat, and sedimentation control south of Albuquerque near the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge. To date, $318.8 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and $69.5 million from the Inflation Reduction Act have been announced for projects in New Mexico.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is making historic investments to provide clean, reliable water to families, farmers, and Tribes, and to make western communities more resilient to drought and climate change,” said Acting Deputy Secretary Laura Daniel-DavisOpens in a new tab.. “These investments in our aging water infrastructure will conserve community water supplies and revitalize water delivery systems, building reliability and sustainability for generations to come.”

Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim ToutonOpens in a new tab. emphasized Reclamation’s commitment to ensuring infrastructure readiness for water delivery, hydropower production, and recreation. “We continue to use this historic investment from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to build drought resiliency and improve our projects to ensure continued water delivery across the West,” she said.

Yesterday’s announcement follows Secretary Deb Haaland’s recent declaration of a $60 million investment from the Inflation Reduction Act for water conservation and drought resilience in the Rio Grande Basin. This investment aims to ensure greater climate resiliency and water security for communities below Elephant Butte Reservoir and into West Texas, with projected water savings from these projects reaching tens of thousands of acre-feet per year.

The Investing in America agenda marks the largest investment in climate resilience in U.S. history, providing essential resources to enhance Western communities’ resilience to drought and climate change. Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Reclamation is investing $8.3 billion over five years in water infrastructure projects, including rural water, water storage, conservation, conveyance, nature-based solutions, dam safety, water purification and reuse, and desalination. Since the law’s enactment in November 2021, Reclamation has announced over $3 billion for 530 projects.

FY 2024 Aging Infrastructure Projects in the Colorado River Basin States.

Arizona.

  • Deer Island Backwater Infrastructure Replacement: $1,000,000
  • Glen Canyon Outlet Works: $8,945,000
  • Bypass Drain O&M Access Road Repairs: $2,500,000

California.

  • Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery Permanent Chiller Plant: $4,606,000
  • Pit River Bridge Replacement: $32,500,000
  • Wintu Transformer Replacement: $2,295,000
  • Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery: $25,286,000
  • Shasta Power Plant Distribution Upgrades: $13,265,000
  • Shasta Power Plant Restore Synchronous Condense Mode Capability: $4,034,000
  • Shasta Power Plant Station Service Unit 1 Overhaul: $15,400,000
  • Tracy Fish Facility Louver Replacement: $25,000,000
  • O’Neill Pumping/Generating Plant Upgrades Project: $11,600,000
  • New Melones Power Plant Rewinds: $19,700,000
  • Spring Creek Power Plant Runner Replacements: $4,000,000
  • Delta Mendota Canal Subsidence Correction: $50,000,000
  • Tahoe Dam Extraordinary Maintenance Justification Study: $3,502,000
  • Stony Gorge Spillway Gate Rehabilitation: $1,300,000

Colorado.

  • Collbran Collection System Study: $221,810
  • Pole Hill Afterbay Repair: $4,000,000
  • Flatiron Embedded Pipe Rehabilitation: $1,700,000
  • Cunningham Tunnel Invert Lining Repair: $1,539,000
  • Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel: $34,100,000
Elephant Butte Dam (1917)
Elephant Butte Dam (1917). Library of Congress.

New Mexico.

  • El Vado Main Road Rehabilitation: $2,500,000
  • San Acacia Reach Conveyance Access Roads and Channel Maintenance: $600,000
  • San Acacia Reach Conveyance Upper Bosque Del Apache River Realignment: $10,700,000
  • Elephant Butte Historic District Dam Site Lift Station and Fish Hatchery Septic System Rehab: $650,000
  • Elephant Butte Historic District Energy and Water Conservation Project: $275,000

Nevada.

  • Marble Bluff Spillway and Sluiceway Extraordinary Maintenance Justification Study: $5,520,000

Utah.

  • Deer Creek Intake Project Modify Intake, Construct Bypass, Refurbish Guard Gates: $10,000,000

Wyoming.

  • Fort Laramie Canal Tunnels 1 and 2 Rehabilitation Project: $52,500,000

Deborah

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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