U.S. Department of the Interior
Bureau of Reclamation
Office of Public Affairs
1849 C Street NW, Washington DC 20240
Interior Recovery News Release
For Immediate Release
Date: April 15, 2009
Contact: Joan Moody
Secretary Salazar Announces $1 Billion Economic Recovery Investment in America’s Water Infrastructure
$125.2 million will support projects in the Pacific Northwest
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation will invest $1 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to repair America’s water infrastructure and help address the country’s long-term water supply challenges. Of the $1 billion invested through Reclamation $125.2 million will go to the Pacific Northwest Region projects.
“From aging dams to outdated water systems, America’s water infrastructure needs immediate attention and investment,” said Secretary Salazar. “The $1 billion we are investing through the President’s economic recovery plan will put Americans to work rebuilding our water infrastructure and tackling the complex and painful water challenges we are facing. These investments will boost our economy, help farmers, businesses and communities get the water they need to thrive and restore aquatic resources in the West.”
Secretary Salazar unveiled the Recovery Act funding today at a press conference in Sacramento alongside Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and members of Congress.
Overall, the Department of the Interior will manage $3 billion in investments as part of the recovery plan signed by the President to jumpstart our economy, create or save jobs and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st Century.
More than $125.2 million has been designated for major Recovery Act work in Reclamation’s Pacific Northwest Region, which includes Washington, parts of Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Wyoming.
In an effort to upgrade and modernize infrastructure within the Region, $94.6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding will be applied to four Bureau of Reclamation projects in the Pacific Northwest.
- $50 million will go toward construction of Weber Siphon Complex that will eliminate a water delivery bottleneck at the East Low Canal and Interstate 90 near Moses Lake, Wash. The siphons will assist in alleviating declining ground water tables and will reduce well-pump energy costs to farmers and ranchers in the Columbia Basin.
- $18.1 million in Recovery Act funding will be directed to the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Complex in north central Washington State to address critical repairs of the water intake system and hatchery operations. These improvements will benefit spring Chinook salmon, steelhead and Coho salmon.
- $21.5 million will be applied to convert open irrigation ditches to closed pipe conserving and stretching water supplies near Yakima, Wash. The Sunnyside Division Board of Control will convert the Rocky Ford, Ryder and Matheson ditches to pipe, saving approximately 6,253 acre feet of water. Two thirds of the water savings remain in the river and the irrigation district retains one-third.
- $5 million in Recovery Act funds will complete the construction phase of the Potholes Supplemental Feed Route. This project consists of modifying existing facilities to allow Reclamation to route water from Pinto Dam to Potholes Reservoir to ensure the water supply for the south end of the Columbia Basin Project.
- $30.6 million in smaller water infrastructure and related projects across the Pacific Northwest Region.
With an array of projects identified by stakeholders as critical, the Bureau of Reclamation worked through a rigorous merit-based process to identify investments that met the criteria put forth in the Recovery Act: namely, that the project addresses the Department’s highest priority mission needs; generates the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time; and creates lasting value for the American public.
The $1 billion announced today will go to Bureau of Reclamation and the Central Utah Project programs including:
- Meeting Future Water Supply Needs (including Title XVI water recycling projects and rural water projects) - $450 million
- Improving Infrastructure Reliability and Safety – $165 million
- Environmental and Ecosystem Restoration – $235 million
- Water Conservation Initiative (Challenge Grants) – $40 million
- Green Buildings – $14 million
- Emergency drought relief in the West – $40 million
- Delivering water from the Colorado River to users in central Utah under the Central Utah Project – $50 million
“President Obama and this Department have ambitious goals to build America’s new energy future, to protect and restore our treasured landscapes, to create a 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps,” added Salazar. “These Bureau of Reclamation projects will help us fulfill these goals while helping American families and their communities prosper again.”
Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department of the Interior’s economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery. Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force. Henderson and the Task Force will work closely with the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General to ensure that the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency that President Obama has set.