Drought, climate change, and issues of equity and sustainability as well as the continuous need to secure and modernize our nation’s water infrastructure are challenges that Reclamation, partners, and stakeholders all face.
WASHINGTON (PRWEB) May 28, 2021
The Biden-Harris administration today submitted to Congress the President’s budget for fiscal year 2022, which includes a $1.5 billion investment for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation. The budget builds on recent announcements to address water issues and supports the administration’s goals of ensuring reliable and environmentally responsible delivery of water and power for farms, families, communities and industry, while providing tools to confront widening imbalances between supply and demand throughout the West.
“The Interior Department plays an important role in the President’s plan to reinvest in the American people. From bolstering climate resiliency and increasing renewable energy, to supporting Tribal nations and advancing environmental justice, President Biden’s budget will make much-needed investments in communities and projects that will advance our vision for a robust and equitable clean energy future,” said Secretary Deb Haaland.
“Drought, climate change, and issues of equity and sustainability as well as the continuous need to secure and modernize our nation’s water infrastructure are challenges that Reclamation, partners, and stakeholders all face,” said Deputy Commissioner of Reclamation Camille Touton. “Reclamation’s budget for 2022 will provide our team of dedicated professionals a solid operational baseline to develop innovative solutions and support adaptive management of limited resources.”
The budget includes four key components that supports the President's commitment to managing water resources in the West including: water reliability and resilience, racial and economic equity, conservation and climate resilience, and infrastructure modernization. At the Bureau of Reclamation, the budget would:
- Increase Water Reliability and Resilience. The proposed FY 2022 budget includes $1.4 billion for Reclamation’s principal operating account (Water and Related Resources), which funds planning, construction, water conservation, management of Reclamation lands, and efforts to address fish and wildlife habitat needs. The request also supports the operation, maintenance and rehabilitation activities—including dam safety—at Reclamation facilities. Funding of $33 million is proposed to implement the California Bay-Delta Program and help address California’s current water supply and ecological challenges, while $56.5 million is for the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund to protect, restore, and enhance fish, wildlife, and associated habitats in the Central Valley and Trinity River basins. It also provides $64.4 million to develop, evaluate, and directly implement Reclamation-wide policy, rules and regulations, as well as other administrative functions.
- Support Racial and Economic Equity. The budget supports many of the Administration priorities, including those for racial and economic equity in support of underserved communities and tribal areas. A request of $92.9 million advances the construction and continues the operations and maintenance of authorized rural water projects. Additionally, the FY 2022 budget request includes a total of $157.6 million for Indian water rights settlements, supporting the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project; the Crow Tribe Water Rights Settlement; the Aamodt Litigation Settlement; the Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement; the Nez Perce Settlement within Columbia and Snake Rivers Salmon Recovery Project; the San Carlos Apache Tribe Water Settlement Act; the Gila River Indian Community; the Ak-Chin Indian Water Rights Settlement Act; and the Colorado Ute Settlement Act within the Animas La Plata Project. The budget provides $20 million for the Native American Affairs Program, which provides technical support and assistance to tribal governments to develop and manage their water resources.
- Enhance Water Conservation and Climate Resilience. Conservation and climate resilience are mission oriented and critical goals of Reclamation operations. This is emphasized by a $45.2 million request for the Lower Colorado River Operations Program, including $15 million to build on the work of Reclamation, Colorado River partners and stakeholders to implement drought contingency plans; $3.3 million for the Upper Colorado River Operations Program to support Drought Response Operations; $184.7 million to find long-term, comprehensive water supply solutions for farmers, families and communities in California’s Central Valley Project; and $54.1 million for the WaterSMART Program to support Reclamation’s collaboration with non-federal partners to address emerging water demands and water shortage issues in the West. A total of $27.5 million will continue Reclamation’s Research and Development investments in science, technology, and desalination research in support of prize competitions, technology transfers, and pilot testing projects.
- Modernize Infrastructure. Reclamation’s dams and reservoirs, water conveyance systems, and power generating facilities continue to represent a primary focus area of organizational operations. $207.1 million is provided for the Dam Safety Program to effectively manage risks to downstream public, including $182.5 million for modification actions, while $125.3 million is requested for extraordinary maintenance activities across Reclamation—part of a strategy to improve asset management and deal with aging infrastructure to ensure continued reliable delivery of water and power.
Other highlights of Reclamation’s FY 2022 budget proposal include:
- $27.5 million for the Site Security Program that includes physical security upgrades at key facilities, guards and patrols, anti-terrorism program activities, and security risk assessments.
- $24.1 million for the Klamath Project, including funds for studies and initiatives related to improving water supplies and addressing competing demands for agricultural, tribal, wildlife and environmental needs.
- $10.1 million to continue work on the Arkansas Valley Conduit, which will provide an alternate clean drinking water supply to rural communities grappling with groundwater contamination issues.
- $3.4 million for Power Program Services to support renewable energy initiatives through efforts to increase Reclamation hydropower value and capability.
- $1 million for the establishment of the Aging Infrastructure account as authorized in the FY 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act to support its initial implementation.
- $1 million for Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Program to fund fish passage improvements and aquatic habitat enhancements also as authorized in the FY 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
Enacting the Budget policies into law this year would strengthen our Nation’s economy and lay the foundation for shared prosperity, while also improving our Nation’s long-term fiscal health.
For more information on the President’s FY 2022 budget, please visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/. Additional details about Reclamation’s budget request are available at http://www.usbr.gov/budget.