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Arizona gets $28 million for drought resilience projects

By: - April 6, 2023 10:01 am
Colorado River

The Colorado River as it flows around Horseshoe Bend on June 23, 2021, in Page. Severe drought is causing concern and heartache among those who rely on water from the Colorado River Basin. Photo by Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Arizona is receiving $27.7 million for four projects to increase drought resilience and improve water delivery systems, part of $585 million in funding sent to 11 states as part of last year’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“As we work to address record drought and changing climate conditions throughout the West, these investments in our aging water infrastructure will conserve community water supplies and revitalize water delivery systems,” Deputy Secretary of the Interior Tommy Beaudrea said.

The Arizona projects include three on the Colorado River and one in Yuma County. 

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The Colorado River projects include work on the Colorado River Front Work and Levee System, including road repair, gate rehabilitation and replacement, and dredging support. The Yuma project includes pipe replacement for the drainage system of the Yuma County water users.

The projects selected for funding are found in all the major river basins and regions where the Bureau of Reclamation operates, according to the Department of Interior.

The 83 projects across the nation selected for funding are efforts to increase canal capacity, provide water treatment for tribes, replace equipment for hydropower production and provide the necessary maintenance to aging project buildings. 

The states with projects to be funded include Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington.

“These projects have been identified through a rigorous process and is a testament to the Bureau of Reclamation’s commitment to deliver water to future generations,” Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton said in a press release. 

“As we manage through changing climate, we must look to the safety of our projects to ensure that we can continue to provide clean, reliable water to communities, irrigators, and ecosystems across the west,” Touton said.

The funding is part of Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the projects are working to improve water conveyance and storage, increase safety, improve hydropower generation, and provide water treatment.

“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is making a historic investment to provide clean, reliable water to families, farmers, and Tribes,” Beaudreau said. 

The funding announcement came on Wednesday after Beaudreau, Touton, Senior Advisor to the President and White House Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu’s visit to the Colorado River Basin’s Imperial Dam near Yuma.

Landrieu said the funding delivers much-needed repairs to aging dams and water infrastructures, and it is part of the government’s approach to making communities more resilient to drought.

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Shondiin Silversmith
Shondiin Silversmith

Shondiin Silversmith is an award-winning Native journalist based on the Navajo Nation. Silversmith has covered Indigenous communities for more than 10 years, and covers Arizona's 22 federally recognized sovereign tribal nations, as well as national and international Indigenous issues.

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