WASHINGTON, DC, March 7, 2014 -- The Bureau of Reclamation has announced $44.3 million in funding for water infrastructure projects throughout the West that will support a variety of efforts including: providing financial and construction assistance for rural water projects; addressing infrastructure to maintain system reliability and safety; restoring aquatic habitat; continuing the Bureau's focus on water-related activities to support tribal nations; meeting the increasing water demands of the western U.S.; and supporting activities that increase water resiliency in the face of drought consistent with President Obama's Climate Action Plan.
"Water is the lifeblood of our communities, and clean, reliable drinking water is absolutely vital to maintain healthy communities and healthy economies -- especially in some of the West's most rural areas," said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor. "Building the infrastructure our rural and tribal communities need to deliver clean water creates construction jobs and provides lasting benefits for local economies and public health."
A total of $27.1 million will be provided to advance five infrastructure projects in rural communities that will deliver clean, reliable drinking water to remote areas. Additional project categories to be funded across the West include:
- $4 million for fish passage and fish screens to meet the increasing water demands in the West while protecting the environment and restoring aquatic habitat that has been impacted by historic development.
- $8 million for water conservation and delivery studies to promote water conservation and improved water management.
- $1 million for environmental restoration and compliance efforts with an emphasis on species recovery and protection.
- $4.2 million for facility operation, maintenance and rehabilitation to ensure system reliability and safety of infrastructure in support of sustainable water management. Funding has been assigned through criteria that identified projects with the most urgent need.
The five rural water projects, selected by Reclamation as directed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, include:
- $9.3 million for the Garrison Diversion Unit (Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program) in North Dakota. These additional funds combined with funding enacted in FY2014 will bring total construction funding to more than $18 million and will be used to 1) construct a pipeline to provide service to Selfridge, N.D.; 2) construct a conveyance and distribution pipeline to Tokio, N.D., and area rural customers; 3) provide service to 410 rural customers by constructing 211 miles of the Southwest Pipeline Project; 4) continue work in the Turtle Mountain Corridor to provide 250 service connections; 5) provide system upgrades for the Trenton Indian Service Area; and 6) finish construction of the Dunn Center Service Area water storage tank and conduct work on Phase 1 in the Dunn Center Service Area.
- $6 million for the Rocky Boy's/North Central Montana Rural Water System (Montana). These additional funds combined with funding enacted in FY2014 will bring total construction funding to $11.4 million and will be used to continue construction of 7.8 of the remaining 35 miles of core pipeline within tribal areas. It will also provide for construction of half of the interim distribution system -- Conrad to Brady, Mont., construction of the Shelby to Cut Bank pipeline, and continued design of the Hill County pipeline in the non-tribal areas.
- $4.9 million for the Fort Peck Reservation/Dry Prairie Rural Water System (Montana). These additional funds combined with funding enacted in FY2014 will bring total construction funding to $9.2 million and will be used to complete the Frazier-Nashua waterline in tribal areas and to extend pipeline construction on the east and west ends of the project in non-tribal areas.
- $5.2 million for the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System (South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota). These additional funds combined with funding enacted in FY2014 will bring the total construction funding to $8.4 million and will be used to provide service to a population of 4,000 by 1) completing one mile of a 30-inch PVC treated water pipeline; 2) completing a 10-inch Service Line to Rock County Rural Water District, Minn.; 3) constructing a meter building and booster pumps for Rock Rapids/Rock County RWD connection; and 4) continuing construction of a transmission pipeline to connect to the future Rock County Reservoir and then the city of Luverne, Minn.
- $1.7 million for the Eastern New Mexico Water Supply Project (New Mexico): These additional funds combined with funding enacted in FY 2014 will bring total construction funding to more than $2.3 million and will be used to continue work on the Phase I Intake Structure at Ute Reservoir that will supply water to eight municipalities and three counties in eastern New Mexico.
To allocate fiscal year 2014 funding for rural water projects, Reclamation considered the financial resources already committed, a perspective on regional watersheds, and compelling need -- such as water supply and water quality, tribal members served, economic impacts, and water use and energy efficiency.