Reclamation announces FY16 budget of over $36M for western rural water projects

The Bureau of Reclamation has announced its FY16 budget for rural water projects across six western states -- Montana, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and New Mexico -- in an effort to deliver potable water supplies to specific communities.

March 30, 2015 -- The Bureau of Reclamation has announced its FY16 budget for rural water projects across six western states -- Montana, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and New Mexico -- intended to deliver potable water supplies to specific communities.

Reclamation has been working to continue progress on all of its authorized rural water projects consistent with current fiscal and resource constraints with the goal of delivering safe and clean water to tribal and non-tribal residents within these areas.

The FY16 budget provides $36.6 million in funding. There are two components for rural water funding, construction and, where statutorily required, tribal operations and maintenance (O&M). This request includes $18.6 million for ongoing construction on authorized rural water construction projects.

The total amount also includes $18 million for O&M of tribal features for two projects -- the Mni Wiconi Project and Garrison Diversion Unit. Funding in FY16 for the rural water projects is described below:

  • Garrison Diversion Unit, ND: This municipal, rural and industrial water supply program provides benefits statewide, including four Indian reservations. Tribal projects are being constructed on the Standing Rock, Fort Berthold, Spirit Lake, and Turtle Mountain Indian Reservations. Non-tribal projects are being constructed throughout the state, including the Northwest Area Water Supply Project and the Southwest Pipeline Project. FY16 funding for the rural water construction component of this project is $7.4 million. The request also includes $6 million for the O&M of tribal features.
  • Mni Wiconi Rural Water System, SD: This municipal, rural and industrial project provides benefits to both tribal and non-tribal populations. Responsibilities of the secretary under the Act include the O&M of existing water systems and appurtenant facilities on the Pine Ridge, Rosebud and Lower Brule Indian Reservations. The request includes $12 million for the O&M of tribal features as construction of the project is complete.
  • Jicarilla Apache Reservation Rural Water System, NM: This project will replace existing water and wastewater facilities in and around the town of Dulce, N.M., and provide services to the newly developed area of Mundo Ranch. No new funding is requested for this project in FY16.
  • Lewis and Clark Rural Water System, SD, IA, MN: This project is located in the southeast corner of South Dakota, the southwest corner of Minnesota and the northwest corner of Iowa. Raw water is collected from alluvial aquifers near the Missouri River in South Dakota, treated and distributed through a network of pipelines, pump stations and storage reservoirs. The project will deliver water to 20 existing rural water systems and municipalities throughout the region (including the city of Sioux Falls). FY16 funding for construction for this project is $2.8 million.
  • Fort Peck Reservation/Dry Prairie Rural Water System, MT: This project is located in Northeastern Montana. Groundwater from shallow alluvial aquifers is currently the primary water source for the municipal systems. The regional rural water project will provide for a single water treatment plant located on the Missouri River, near Wolf Point, Mont., and will distribute water through 3,200 miles of pipeline. FY16 funding for construction for this project is $3.7 million.
  • Rocky Boys/North Central Montana Rural Water System, MT: This project is a regional water system in coordination with the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation and the North Central Montana Regional Water Authority. A core pipeline will provide potable water from Tiber Reservoir to the Rocky Boy's Reservation, while non-core pipelines will serve 21 surrounding towns and/or rural water districts. The rural water system will provide the necessary infrastructure to ensure existing water systems are in compliance with Federal Safe Drinking Water Act regulations. FY16 funding for construction for this project is $4.6 million.
  • Eastern New Mexico Water Supply, NM: Ute Reservoir, on the Canadian River, was constructed to supply water to communities in the region. The project will construct water supply facilities providing for the use of Ute Reservoir water to serve eight communities in the region and will provide a long-term renewable supply and reduce the dependence of these communities on rapidly diminishing and/or impaired groundwater. The budgeted funding for this project in FY16 is $47,000.

See also:

"Obama Admin releases FY16 budget, requests $1.1B to fund Reclamation water projects"

"Rural Revenue: A Look at Small Water and Wastewater Utility Cost Challenges and Solutions"

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