A number of projects designed to improve water infrastructure across the western United States will receive a total of $44.3 million from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The grants will be used to support and finance projects including infrastructure upgrades, maintenance, restoration of aquatic habitats and improving water resiliency, the bureau announced this week.
Five of the infrastructure projects that will receive grants towards completion of their efforts in rural and tribal communities in the West will get a total of $27.1 million in a bid to deliver high quality, reliable drinking water to remote areas. These include two projects in Montana, one in North Dakota, one in New Mexico and one that spans South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota.
Some $8 million will be allocated for water conservation and better water management, while a further $4.2 million will be spent on maintenance and facility rehabilitation that will improve the reliability of water supply. Another $4 million will be devoted to fish screening, which will allow states to find ways to meet the increasing demand for water without putting local fish species at risk, the statement from the bureau explained.
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The remaining $1 million will be used for environmental restoration and compliance efforts to help support the recovery and protection of aquatic species.
Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor commented that reliable delivery of water was vital to sustain communities and economies, particularly in rural areas. Building the infrastructure needed to deliver clean water to rural and tribal communities creates construction jobs and provides lasting benefits for local economies and public health, he added.