As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s Investing in Rural America Event Series, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton traveled to Clovis, New Mexico to announce $65 million for rural water projects in fiscal year 2024 through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. Investments through Reclamation will support six projects already under construction or in the planning phase in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota, and follows $668 million previously announced for rural water projects from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System, which Secretary Haaland and Commissioner Touton toured today, will receive $7 million in 2024 to continue the Raw Water Pipeline No. 1 that will transport a critical water supply from Ute Reservoir to approximately 70,000 people in the region who are currently impacted by a rapidly declining aquifer. The Jicarilla Apache Rural Water System in New Mexico will receive an additional $10 million to support design and construction of remaining project components as work nears completion.
“Water is life. It is essential for feeding families, growing crops, sustaining wildlife, and powering agriculture businesses. Yet far too many rural communities lack access to adequate clean, reliable water supplies that they need,” said Secretary Haaland. “When President Biden promised to invest in every community in America, he meant it. In the wake of severe drought conditions, the Biden-Harris administration is bringing every tool and every resource to bear, ensuring that we both minimize the impacts of drought and develop a long-term plan to facilitate conservation and economic growth, because no community should be left behind.”
“The Bureau of Reclamation is committed to these projects to bring clean, reliable drinking water to rural communities,” said Reclamation Commissioner Touton. “Thanks to funding from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we will expedite the completion of these projects making these communities more resilient to the impacts of drought and climate change.”
President Biden’s Investing in America agenda represents the largest investment in climate resilience in the nation’s history and is providing much-needed resources to enhance Western communities’ resilience to drought and climate change. Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Reclamation is investing a total of $8.3 billion over five years for resilient water infrastructure projects, including rural water, water storage and conveyance, dam safety, water purification and reuse, and desalination.
In addition to the $17 million in funding for projects in New Mexico, the rural water allocations include:
- $27 million for the Garrison-Diversion Unit of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program in North Dakota to support efforts associated with the expansion of the Fort Berthold, Standing Rock, and Spirit Lake distribution systems, as well as the water treatment for the Northwest Area Water Supply Project.
- $11 million for the Rocky Boys / North Central Montana Rural Water System in Montana to continue construction of core pipeline and begin construction of on-reservation facilities. Funding will also be used to continue construction of non-core segments, such as Hill County Water District.
- $7 million for the Lewis & Clark Rural Water System in South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota to support expansion of the water treatment plant.
- $3 million for the Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System in Montana for planning and design of Phase 5, service to the Hobson community.