Funding includes $30 million to help bring safe and reliable water to tribal, non-tribal residents in rural communities
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced $50 million in funding for water infrastructure projects in the West – including $30 million in funding for rural water construction projects. The funding will support a variety of efforts – providing financial assistance and construction support for rural water projects, addressing aging infrastructure to maintain system reliability and safety, restoring aquatic habitat and meeting the increasing water demands of the western United States.
"Water is the lifeblood of our communities, and clean, reliable drinking water is absolutely vital to build healthy people and healthy economies – especially in rural areas in the West,” Secretary Salazar said. “Building the infrastructure we need to deliver clean water to our nation's rural and tribal communities will create construction jobs and, when complete, will provide lasting benefits for local economies and public health.”
The six rural water projects, selected by the Bureau of Reclamation as directed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012, will help advance six infrastructure projects that will deliver clean, reliable drinking water to remote areas. The projects are:
This new funding is in addition to $16.1 million that Reclamation had already identified for construction activity for the Mni Wiconi project in South Dakota that will help build water distribution systems to serve several rural communities, including reservation areas of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
To allocate fiscal year 2012 funding for rural water projects, Reclamation considered the level of time and financial resources already committed by project beneficiaries, a perspective on regional watersheds, and compelling need – such as water quality, tribal members served, economic impacts and water use efficiency.
The remaining $20 million in Reclamation funding supports:
"This funding will allow work on these projects to be accelerated, saving the American taxpayers money," said Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor. "The funding will also stimulate regional and local economies, support the creation of much-needed jobs and provide a stable and reliable water supply to communities throughout the West."
To view a summary of all the projects in this spending plan, please visit: http://www.usbr.gov/budget/2012/spd
Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. To learn more, visit http://www.usbr.gov.