The funding will provide for water and energy efficiency programs in 12 Western states, as well as other water reclamation and reuse projects in California and Texas
As part of the Obama administration's continued effort to bring relief to Western communities suffering from the historic drought, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation will invest nearly $50 million to improve water efficiency and conservation in California and 11 other Western states.
"In a time of exceptional drought, it is absolutely critical that states and the federal government leverage our funding resources so that we can make each drop count," Jewell said. "Being 'water smart' means working together to fund sustainable water initiatives that use the best available science to improve water conservation and help water resource managers identify strategies to narrow the gap between supply and demand."
The funding announcement was made today at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys, Calif., where millions of gallons of wastewater are purified each day.
The Bureau of Reclamation is investing more than $24 million in grants for 50 water and energy efficiency projects in 12 western states, more than $23 million for seven water reclamation and reuse projects in California, and nearly $2 million for seven water reclamation and reuse feasibility studies in California and Texas.
The WaterSMART program is providing the funding. The program is the Department of the Interior's sustainable water initiative. Since it was established in 2010, WaterSMART has provided about $250 million in competitively awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities and universities. These investments have conserved enough water to meet the needs of more than 3.8 million people. Every acre-foot of conserved water delivered means that an equivalent amount of existing supplies is available for other uses.