Secretary Salazar Announces $12.5 Million Investment in New Mexico Water Infrastructure as Part of Economic Recovery Plan

Salazar to Visit Albuquerque on Friday

Last edited 09/29/2021

Albuquerque, NM – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation will invest $12.5 million in New Mexico water infrastructure projects as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The New Mexico funding will go to the Navajo Nation Municipal Pipeline and to support infrastructure reliability projects at Elephant Butte Dam and levee repair work along the Rio Grande.

“From aging levees and power-generating stations to outdated municipal water systems, New Mexico's water infrastructure needs immediate attention and investment,” said Secretary Salazar, who will visit Albuquerque's Natural History Museum on Friday. “The $12.5 million of stimulus funds we are investing through the President's economic recovery plan will put New Mexicans to work in rebuilding their water infrastructure and tackling the complex and painful water challenges of tomorrow.”

Secretary Salazar unveiled the Recovery Act funding for water infrastructure at a press conference in Sacramento alongside Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Members of Congress.

ARRA funds totaling $7 million will be made available to the Animas-La Plata Project to complete key portions of the Navajo Nation Municipal Pipeline (NNMP). The additional funding will be used by Reclamation to augment an existing highly stressed water supply system for the Navajo Nation tribal residents living between Farmington and Shiprock, New Mexico.

In addition, approximately $5.5 million will fund smaller infrastructure reliability and safety projects along the Rio Grande and power plant improvement efforts at Elephant Butte Dam. Field level work to be completed in New Mexico with the ARRA funds includes: Isletta Reach Habitat Restoration and levee-repair projects, strengthening of the Bosque Del Apache levee, and surveys and inspection activities along the Low Flow Conveyance Channel.

Overall, the Department of the Interior will manage $3 billion in investments as part of the recovery plan signed by the President to jumpstart our economy, create or save jobs and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st Century.

With an array of projects identified by stakeholders as critical, the Bureau of Reclamation worked through a rigorous merit-based process to identify investments that met the criteria put forth in the Recovery Act: namely, that the project addresses the Department's highest priority mission needs; generates the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time; and creates lasting value for the American public.

“President Obama and this Department have ambitious goals to build America's new energy future, to protect and restore our treasured landscapes, to create a 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps,” added Salazar. “These Bureau of Reclamation projects in New Mexico will help us fulfill these goals while helping American families and their communities prosper again.”

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department of the Interior's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on and on Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force. Henderson and the Task Force will work closely with the Department of the Interior's Inspector General to ensure that the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency that President Obama has set.

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