Following a tour of the Syphon Reservoir Improvement Project at the Irvine Ranch Water District today, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton announced the allocation of $309.8 million in funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and $1 million in appropriated funding for the planning, design and construction of water reuse projects across the country. The selected projects will advance drought resilience and are expected to increase annual capacity by about 213,000 acre-feet of water, enough water to support more than 850,000 people a year.
The announcement caps a two-day swing through central and southern California to highlight how investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help address the worsening drought crisis and expand access to clean drinking water for families, farmers and wildlife. On Wednesday, Secretary Haaland, Commissioner Touton, and federal, state and local leaders visited with farmers and water users in Fresno to discuss water solutions for farmers and highlight investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“Water is essential to everything we do and it will take all of us, working together, to address the significant drought impacts we are seeing across the West. As the climate crisis drives severe drought conditions and historically low water allocations, President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is making historic investments to address water and drought challenges and invest in our nation’s western water and power infrastructure,” said Secretary Haaland.
"Water reuse helps communities diversify their water supply as they are facing an unprecedented drought and a changing climate," said Commissioner Touton. “This has tangible impacts and can help feed families, grow crops, sustain wildlife and the environment and help more families access safe, clean, reliable water. These projects will provide flexibility for communities and help them stretch their current drinking supplies as they will be treating wastewater that continues to be available."
Funding will support local water management agencies with stretching existing drinking water supplies and helping to ensure that growing water needs can be met through the advanced treatment of wastewater and naturally impaired surface and groundwater. Along with non-federal contributions, this investment will support an overall $1.2 billion in infrastructure projects.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates $8.3 billion for Bureau of Reclamation water infrastructure projects to repair aging water delivery systems, secure dams, complete rural water projects, and protect aquatic ecosystems. The funding announced today is part of the $1 billion in WaterSMART Water Recycling and Reuse grants provided by the Law. The Department previously announced $52.2 million this year in WaterSMART grants funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support water and energy efficiency projects and conserve watersheds and restore aquatic habitats.
Click here for the selected projects.