Additional FY 2015 Funding of $96.9 Million Available for Bureau of Reclamation

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A majority of funding targeting Western Drought Response and Rural Water Projects

The funding released today will help us meet immediate needs and support long-term infrastructure and environmental needs of key water projects.

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López today released the spending plan for $96.9 million provided to Reclamation in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015. The funds will go toward Western drought response and rural water projects, among other important activities.

"Reclamation and its partners are confronting a growing gap between supply and demand in river basins throughout the West," López said. "The funding released today will help us meet immediate needs and support long-term infrastructure and environmental needs of key water projects."

The funding is divided among six areas:

  •     Western drought response ($50 million),
  •     rural water projects ($31 million),
  •     water conservation and delivery ($8 million),
  •     fish passage and fish screens ($4 million),
  •     facility operation, maintenance and rehabilitation ($2.9 million),
  •     environmental restoration and compliance ($1 million).

Extreme and prolonged drought has gripped major river basins across the West. In many areas, mountain snowpack is far below average for this time of year. The $50 million provided for Western drought response will address seven projects:

  •     Central Valley Project, which includes funding for the Delta Division, Friant Division, Shasta Division and water and power operations, California ($19.9 million);
  •     WaterSMART Grants, Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, and Drought Response and Comprehensive Drought Planning ($14 million);
  •     Lower Colorado River Basin Drought Response Action Plan, California, Arizona and Nevada ($8.6 million);
  •     Native American Programs ($4 million);
  •     Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project, Washington ($2 million);
  •     Lewiston Orchards Project, Idaho ($1 million);
  •     Carlsbad Project, New Mexico ($500,000).

Reclamation based its Western drought funding on a thorough review at national, regional and program levels, to ensure a balanced approach. In some cases the funding allows Reclamation to accelerate selected projects to meet high-priority needs sooner than it would in absence of the new funding. In other cases it allows Reclamation to respond immediately to many of the West’s most critical drought-related needs.

Reclamation is also advancing the completion of its authorized rural water projects with the goal of delivering potable water to tribal and non-tribal residents within the rural water project areas. A total of $31 million will go toward five projects:

  •     Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program - Garrison Diversion Unit, North Dakota ($10.3 million);
  •     Rocky Boy's/North Central Montana Rural Water System, Montana ($6.8 million);
  •     Fort Peck Reservation/Dry Prairie Rural Water System, Montana ($6.6 million);
  •     Lewis and Clark Rural Water System, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota ($6.6 million);
  •     Eastern New Mexico Water Supply, New Mexico ($700,000).

The remaining $15.9 million will go toward nine projects:

  •     fish screen and restoration projects in the Central Valley Project, California ($2.5 million);
  •     Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project at Cle Elum Dam, Washington ($1.5 million);
  •     agricultural water use efficiency projects within the Central Valley Project, California ($5 million);
  •     Endangered Species Recovery Implementation Program on the Platte River, Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming ($2 million);
  •     water conservation projects on Rogue River Basin Project, Oregon ($1 million);
  •     water leasing for supplemental water on the Middle Rio Grande ($1 million);
  •     rehabilitation work at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery and Keswick Dam Powerplant in the Central Valley Project, California ($1.3 million);
  •     renovation of the Olmsted Powerplant, Utah ($1 million);
  •     repairs on the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Project, ($650,000).

Visit http://www.usbr.gov/budget/ to view a summary of all the projects in this spending plan.

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Peter Soeth
Bureau of Reclamation
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