US Announces Over $140 Million for Water Conservation and Efficiency Projects
- April 24, 2023
- Posted by: Sinead Sprigg
- Category: Environmental, Global, Investment and Finance, Water Issues, North America
The US Department of the Interior has announced a $140 million investment for water conservation and efficiency projects across 15 western states. The funding, which is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, will go to irrigation and water districts, states, tribes, and other entities, and is expected to conserve over 230,000 acre-feet of water annually. This is equivalent to 77 billion gallons of water, enough for over 940,000 people.
The projects include updating canal lining and piping to reduce seepage losses, installing advanced metering and automated gates, and implementing water conservation activities in urban areas.
The investment is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to enhance the resilience of the West to drought and climate change. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $8.3 billion for water infrastructure projects over five years to advance drought resilience and expand access to clean water for families, farmers, and wildlife.
The Inflation Reduction Act is investing an additional $4.6 billion to address Western drought. Combined, these laws represent the largest investments in climate resilience in the nation’s history and provide unprecedented resources to support the Administration’s comprehensive, government-wide approach to make Western United States communities more resilient to drought and climate change.
One-third of the selected projects advance the Administration’s Justice40 initiative, which aims to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, and related investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, overburdened, and underserved.
The funding is part of Reclamation’s WaterSMART Program, which focuses on collaborative efforts to plan and implement actions to increase water supply sustainability, including investments to modernize infrastructure. The program’s webpage provides more information on the selected projects.
The announcement comes as the Administration works to prevent the Colorado River System’s reservoirs from falling to critically low elevations that would threaten water deliveries and power production.