Biden-Harris Administration Delivers $242 Million from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to Expand Western Water Storage and Conveyance and Ensure Clean, Reliable Drinking Water for Western Communities

Historic investments expected to develop over 1.6 million acre-feet of additional water storage capacity, enough water to support 6.4 million people for a year

Last edited 05/30/2024

Date: Thursday, May 30, 2024

WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced a $242 million investment as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda that will bring clean, reliable drinking water to communities across the West through five water storage and conveyance projects. The projects in California, Colorado and Washington are expected to add at least 1.6 million acre-feet of additional water storage capacity, enough water to support 6.4 million people for a year. The funding will also invest in a feasibility study in Arizona that is designed to advance water storage capacity once completed.  

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda represents the largest investment in climate resiliency 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 water infrastructure projects, including rural water, water storage, conservation and conveyance, nature-based solutions, dam safety, water purification and reuse, and desalination. 

“In the wake of severe drought across the West, the Interior Department is putting funding from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to work to provide clean, reliable drinking water to families, farmers and Tribes throughout the West,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Through the investments we’re announcing today, we will expedite essential water storage projects and provide increased water security to Western communities.”

“As drought conditions continue to grip the West, the need for these projects is increasingly evident,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “These investments will advance projects that bring reliable drinking and agricultural water to residents in need, provide ecosystem benefits, and increase overall water storage.”

The projects receiving funding include:


  • Verde Reservoirs Sediment Mitigation Project: $8.5 million to continue a feasibility study that will identify alternatives to address water storage lost due to sediment accumulation at Horseshoe Reservoir, manage future sediment accumulation in Horseshoe and Bartlett Reservoirs, and investigate the potential for operational flexibilities that could be created with increased storage capacity. The study will assist in adapting to the impacts of drought and climate change on water supply availability. This feasibility study was authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  


  • B.F. Sisk Dam Raise and Reservoir Expansion Project: $75 million for the enhancement of off-stream storage capability. The project is in addition to the B.F. Sisk Safety of Dams Modification Project already underway and is in partnership with the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority. While the Safety of Dams Modification project continues, Reclamation continues to coordinate with project partners and other agencies, on environmental permitting and geotechnical investigations required for the technical design. Once completed, the project will develop approximately 130,000 acre-feet of additional storage of water that can be delivered to water contractors and wildlife refuges.  
  • Sites Reservoir Project: $67.5 million for an off-stream storage project that will develop up to 1.5 million acre-feet of new water storage on the Sacramento River system located west of Maxwell, California. The reservoir will deliver multiple benefits including cold water for salmon by using new and existing facilities to move water in and out of the reservoir, with ultimate release to the Sacramento River system via existing canals, a new pipeline near Dunnigan, and the Colusa Basin Drain. 


  • Arkansas Valley Conduit: $90 million to continue construction of a safe, long-term water supply to an estimated 50,000 people in 39 rural communities along the Arkansas River. Once completed, the project will replace current groundwater sources contaminated with radionuclides and help communities comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards. The project consists of more than 103 miles of pipeline to deliver up to 7,500 acre-feet of water per year from Pueblo Reservoir. After decades of planning and preparation, the Arkansas Valley Conduit broke ground last year with the investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These funds have been allocated to planning and design work, regulatory compliance, payment to Pueblo Water for conveyance through the city and construction of Boone Reach 1, which is well underway. 


  • Cle Elum Pool Raise Project: $1 million to continue to increase the reservoir’s capacity an additional 14,600 acre-feet to be managed for instream flows for fish. Reclamation, the Yakama Nation, and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife are partners on the project. 

Today’s announcement builds on $152 million announced for these projects last year and $210 million for these and other storage and conveyance projects announced in 2022. Since the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was signed in November 2021, Reclamation has announced more than $3.5 billion for more than 530 projects.    


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