A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Secretary Salazar Announces $134.3 Million in Economic Recovery Investments to Improve Water Reclamation and Reuse in the West
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Bureau of Reclamation has identified 27 water reclamation and reuse projects that will share in a total of $134.3 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
These water projects – known as “Title XVI” projects for the title of Public Law 102-575 that established the program – facilitate the reclamation and reuse of wastewater and naturally impaired ground and surface waters.
The $134.3 million for these projects is part of President Barack Obama's $1 billion investment of ARRA funding provided by the Department of the Interior for water projects across the West. In April, Secretary Salazar announced an additional $260 million in ARRA funding to address California's current drought conditions and to meet the state's long-term water supply infrastructure needs. Today's announcement brings total funding for California water-related activities funding under the Interior portion of ARRA to $381 million.
These 27 projects will team non-federal sponsors with local communities and the federal government to provide growing communities with new sources of clean water while promoting water and energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Federal funding will be leveraged to construct a total of more than $675 million in Title XVI projects.
“The Bureau of Reclamation is known for its forward-looking partnerships with local communities and governments to provide reliable, efficient water across 17 Western states,” Secretary Salazar said. “These ARRA funds will continue that tradition – creating economic opportunities and local jobs while infusing some of the nation's most drought- ravaged areas with expanded water supplies and a brighter outlook for the future.”
In order to fulfill the intent of ARRA to rapidly create jobs and provide stimulus to the economy, the Bureau of Reclamation sent a letter to potentially eligible project sponsors to explain how to request federal funds provided under ARRA and to outline the associated requirements, responsibilities, and criteria. All requests for funds on behalf of Title XVI projects were submitted to Reclamation. Reclamation developed a team to review submittals, score requests and prioritize Title XVI projects for funding.
“President Obama's economic recovery plan is meant to quickly aid Americans by providing jobs, improving infrastructure and paving the way for tomorrow's success,” Secretary Salazar said today. “We CAN do this if we work together—it is a great investment in our future.”
Of the nearly $135 million in funding announced by the Department today, the Bureau of Reclamation will utilize about $4.2 million – or 3 percent – to ensure the projects' compliance with federal regulations and statutes as well as adherence to the Recovery Act goals.
Recipients of the Title XVI funding announced today must meet specific requirements such as demonstrating complete compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and other environmental laws; have an approved determination of financial capability; a feasibility study that meets the established requirements of Title XVI; an approved determination of financial capability; and an executed cooperative agreement for financial assistance.
Secretary Salazar has pledged quick and responsible implementation of the $3 billion in Recovery funds that will be used by the Department of the Interior and its agencies.
“President Obama and this Department have ambitious goals to build America's new energy future, to protect and restore our treasured landscapes and to create a 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps,” added Salazar. “These Bureau of Reclamation projects will help us fulfill these goals while helping American families and their communities prosper again.”
The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery. 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.
[Editor's Note: A state-by-state listing of the 27 projects selected for funding under the Bureau of Reclamation's Title XVI program is attached.]