Bureau of Reclamation Provides $260,000 for Two WaterSMART Drought Contingency Planning Projects

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El Dorado County Water Agency in California and Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District in Utah will receive funding to prepare for and respond to drought

Through drought contingency planning, communities can reduce impacts of drought, avoid the likelihood of catastrophic reductions and recover more quickly when drought conditions lessen.

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman announced that the El Dorado County Water Agency and Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District will receive $260,000, combined, to prepare drought contingency plans. The funding provided is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior's WaterSMART initiative.

"Preparing for drought is imperative for communities throughout the Western United States," Commissioner Burman said. "Through drought contingency planning, communities can reduce impacts of drought, avoid the likelihood of catastrophic reductions and recover more quickly when drought conditions lessen."

The El Dorado County Water Agency in California will receive $100,000 to create a regional drought contingency plan for the upper American River and upper Consumnes River watersheds located east of Sacramento, California. These watersheds are an important source of water to meet residential, agricultural, recreation and hydroelectric generation water demands. There are numerous small rural communities and several concentrated populated areas within the planning area. The regional plan will build on existing planning efforts, including the on-going American River Basin Study, and the North American Basin Regional Drought Contingency Plan recently completed downstream under Reclamation’s Drought Response Program.

The Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District in Utah will receive $160,000 to develop a drought contingency plan for its service area in Salt Lake and Utah counties. The district's service area includes 15 cities and is home to nearly 25% of Utah's population and is expecting rapid population growth due to a healthy economy. The district will assemble stakeholders from all sectors to identify projects, actions and partnerships needed to prepare for and reduce water shortages and improve drought resilience for the areas water users.

Drought contingency planning is part of Reclamation's Drought Response Program. It helps communities recognize the next drought in its early stages, learn how droughts will impact them, and protect themselves during the next drought. It is structured to encourage an open and inclusive planning effort to build long-term resiliency to drought. Learn more at https://www.usbr.gov/drought/.

Through WaterSMART, Reclamation works cooperatively with States, Tribes, and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts. Visit https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart for additional information about WaterSMART.

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Peter Soeth
Bureau of Reclamation
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