DOI invests $320 million in clean drinking water for Tribal communities

April 4, 2024

The Department of the Interior is making $320 million available to fund projects to help Tribal households and communities gain reliable access to clean drinking water.

The Inflation Reduction Act funds will be distributed through the Bureau of Reclamation to assist federally recognized tribes and tribal organizations with planning and building domestic water infrastructure.

According to a recent study, 48% of Native American households lack access to clean drinking water.

“Investing in water infrastructure projects is crucial to ensuring the health, safety and prosperity of Indigenous communities,” DOI Secretary Deb Haaland said.

Projects may be funded for up to 100% of the cost of planning, design or construction. There is a maximum funding limit of up to $3 million for planning studies, including environmental compliance; up to $5 million for design projects, including environmental compliance; and up to $50 million for construction projects, the DOI said.

The Inflation Reduction Act invests an overall $550 million to expand domestic water supplies in historically disadvantaged communities.

The funding is available to 17 tribes in the 17 western U.S. states served by reclamation, which will implement the program in two phases. Phase 1 funding will be for planning, design or construction in Fiscal Year 2024, and Phase 2 funding will be for construction in FY 2027 and 2028.

At least 80% of a project’s annual average deliveries must be for domestic water purposes.

Receiving Phase 1 funding is not a prerequisite for receiving Phase 2 construction funding, the DOI said, but project proposals for construction must show that the planning and design have been successfully completed, and priority will be given to those funded under Phase 1.

Tribes interested in obtaining assistance under this program must submit a proposal to Reclamation’s Native American Affairs Office.

Proposals will be accepted through Aug. 4, 2024.

Photo by Andres Siimon on Unsplash

Miles Smith

Miles Smith has more than two decades of communications experience in the public and private sectors, including several years of covering local governments for various daily and weekly print publications. His scope of work includes handling public relations for large private-sector corporations and managing public-facing communications for local governments.

Smith has recently joined the team as a content writer for SPI’s news publications, which include Texas Government Insider, Government Contracting Pipeline and its newest digital product, Government Market News, which launched in September 2023. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s in journalism.

Don't Miss

Massive support, funding now available to improve supply-chain networks

New opportunities for multimodal freight, rail, and port projects are
A hospital hallway.

New hospitals greenlit for Amarillo, Wichita Falls

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is searching