West Hills Water Treatment Plant

DOI announces $35 million for water supply projects in western states

April 1, 2024

The Department of the Interior (DOI) announced $35 million to fund six small surface and groundwater storage projects in California and Utah. The projects are funded by the Small Storage Program through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and will help ensure consistent water supply and mitigate the impact of climate change.

“Water is essential to everything we do: feeding families, growing crops, powering agricultural businesses, sustaining wildlife and safeguarding Tribal subsistence practices,” DOI Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement. “As the climate crisis drives severe drought conditions and historically low water allocations, it will take all of us working together to safeguard our communities.”

These awards are part of $8.3 billion over five years that the Bureau of Reclamation is investing in water infrastructure projects. The funding from the BIL will support rural water, water storage, conservation and conveyance, nature-based solutions, dam safety, water purification and reuse, and desalination.

The Small Storage Program allocates funds to projects with a water-storage capacity between 200 acre-feet and 30,000 acre-feet. In 2023, the program supported $20 million for water supply projects.

Some notable projects include:

  • $9.1 Million for Rancho California Water District’s Pauba Valley Groundwater Banking Project to finish the final phase of a groundwater basin expansion program. The grant will fund the construction of recharge basins, conveyance facilities and four recovery wells.
  • $7 million for the Washington County Water Conservancy District’s Ash Creek Project to construct a pipeline. The new reservoir will hold 3,638 acre-feet of water at full capacity.
  • $7 Million for Imperial Irrigation District’s Upstream Reservoir Storage Project to maximize water management efficiency in the area. The storage capacity of the project is 2,100 acre-feet and will conserve a projected 15,000 acre-feet of water per year.
  • $6.7 Million for San Benito County Water District’s Accelerated Drought Response Project to support aquifer storage and recovery wells, expand the West Hills Water Treatment Plant and construct pipelines. This project will inject and store up to 2,700 acre-feet of treated water per year.

Photo courtesy of the San Benito County Water District

Gracie Warhurst

Gracie Warhurst has joined Strategic Partnerships, Inc. as a writer and digital content creator for the new Government Market News portal. With a rich background in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, Warhurst has experience as editor-in-chief of a literary magazine, assistant web editor, and project manager for an AI journalism project. She also contributed as a reporter during the development of SPI's news portal. Warhurst graduated summa cum laude in December 2023 with a Bachelor's in Journalism and a certificate in creative writing, making her a valuable asset to the SPI team.

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