Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman announced that Reclamation has selected 54 projects to receive a total of $26.5 million through WaterSMART water and energy efficiency grants. This funding will be leveraged to accomplish approximately $167 million in improvements throughout the West. The projects funded with these grants include canal lining and piping, automated gates and control systems, and installation of advanced metering.
“President Trump is dedicated to better water infrastructure for communities and farmers, and adequate and safe water supplies are fundamental to the health, economy, and security of the country,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “WaterSMART water and energy efficiency grants enable Interior, states, tribes, and local entities to work together to take action to increase water supply through infrastructure investments.”
“Improving water efficiency is an important part of ensuring communities have a reliable water supply in the future,” Commissioner Burman said. “The projects we’ve selected today will help communities throughout the Western United States by providing them with tools they can use to better manage their water needs.”
Water and energy efficiency grants focus on projects that conserve and use water more efficiently. Projects may also lessen the risk of future water conflicts and provide other benefits that contribute to water supply reliability in the western United States. Other projects complement on-farm improvements that can be carried out with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to accomplish coordinated water conservation improvements.
Funding is provided in two groups. Funding Group I projects receive up to $300,000 and can be completed within two years. Funding Group II projects may receive up to $1 million for a phased project up to three years.
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes near Pocatello, Idaho, will receive $888,818 to replace a 1,500-horsepower pump on the Portneuf River and install a new variable frequency drive pump. It will also line one mile of earthen canal to reduce water losses due to seepage. The project is expected to result in a water savings of 5,628 acre-feet per year which will increase tribal water supply and improve drought resiliency.
The Mapleton Irrigation District and Company near Provo, Utah, will replace three miles of existing open canals and a box culvert in Hobble Creek Canyon with a pressurized pipeline that will eliminate water losses due to seepage, evaporation and ditch failure. They will receive $300,000 towards the $1.2 million project. It is expected to result in an annual water savings of 1,685 acre-feet each year.
The City of Bakersfield will receive $743,300 to install monitoring devices with telemetry at 20 locations along the Kern River and a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system to accurately and remotely measure Kern River diversions. The $1.6 million project will result in an annual water savings of 4,592 acre-feet that will be used to replenish the local groundwater and make more water available to users, helping to reduce the potential for water-related conflicts in the area.