The Department of the Interior today announced a $728 million investment to deliver clean, reliable drinking water to rural and Tribal communiti...The Department of the Interior today announced a $728 million investment to deliver clean, reliable drinking water to rural and Tribal communities, support water conservation in the Upper Colorado River Basin, and complete projects to improve water supply reliability.
This historic funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 supplements unprecedented investments to protect the stability and sustainability of the Colorado River System now and into the future.
Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, seven authorized rural water projects under construction in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota will receive $278 million. These investments build on the allocation of $420 million for rural water construction activities in fiscal year 2022. The funding is helping projects complete construction of water treatment plants and intakes, supporting work related to pipeline connections, pump systems, and reservoir construction, and advancing other efforts to provide potable water to rural and Tribal communities.
The Bureau of Reclamation is also making available up to $125 million to support the relaunch of a System Conservation Pilot Program in the Upper Colorado River Basin. The renewed program – funded with an initial allocation through the Inflation Reduction Act – will help support water management and conservation efforts to improve water efficiency and ultimately protect the short-term sustainability of the Colorado River System.
This is in addition to the over $325 million in fiscal year 2023 funding that Reclamation has allocated for ongoing work on drought resilience projects across the country. Separately, this week the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $25 million in WaterSMART funds to help Western farmers and ranchers conserve water through a partnership with Reclamation and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.