FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Aug. 20, 2009
Contact: Kendra Barkoff
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Bureau of Reclamation has identified eight Challenge Grant projects in California that will share $27.3 million – more than half of the $40 million announced today across the West under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
Through the Challenge Grant Program’s Water Marketing and Efficiency Grants, Reclamation provides 50/50 cost share funding to states and irrigation and water districts for projects focused on water marketing, conservation and efficiency. Projects are selected through a competitive process, based on their ability to meet the goal of improving sustainable water supplies in the western United States. The projects include:
· Antelope Valley Water Bank Initial Recharge and Recovery Facility Improvement Project, Semitropic-Rosamond Water Bank Authority: $5,000,000 for improvements to an existing spreading basin, new pipelines, installation of four groundwater recovery wells, a new recovery basin, new collection and recovery system, and a turnout.
· Calloway Canal to Lerdo Canal Intertie, North Kern Water Storage District: $5,000,000 to construct a bi-directional water conveyance connection to enhance the District’s ability to divert and deliver water.
· Mulholland Highway Recycled Transmission Main, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District: $1,949,474 to create a bank for recycled water and associate pipeline.
· Oro Grande Wash Groundwater Recharge Project, Mojave Water Agency: $4,970,750 for several groundwater recharge ponds, a control facility and outlet structures.
· Pond-Poso Spreading and Recovery Facility, Semitropic Water Storage District: $2,220,659 for the construction of spreading ponds and ditches, inter-basin structures, pumping plant, and 32 groundwater recovery wells.
· Sacramento Regional Water Meter Installation Acceleration Project, Sacramento Suburban Water District: $5,000,000 to install 3,766 water meters.
· Tule River Intertie Project, Lower Tule River Irrigation District: $2,143,533 to improve 1 mile of the existing canal and associated control structures, and to construct 2.5 miles of new canal and associated control structures.
· Turnipseed Groundwater Bank – Phase II, Delano-Earlimart Irrigation District: $1,000,000 to expand an existing 80-acre groundwater bank through the installation of additional recovery wells, deepening of existing recharge basins, and raising basin levees.
The $40 million investment in the water conservation, efficiency, and water marketing projects is part of President Barack Obama’s $1 billion investment of ARRA funding provided by the Department of the Interior for water projects across the West. Including the nearly $27.3 million in funding announced today, total funding for California water-related activities under the Interior portion of ARRA is $391 million to expand water supplies, repair aging water infrastructure and address drought mitigation.
The purposes of the ARRA are, among others, to quickly and prudently commence activities that preserve and create jobs promoting economic recovery and to invest in infrastructure providing long-term economic benefits. ARRA funding must be obligated by Sept. 30, 2010, and the identified projects must meet specific milestones and timetables or their funding could be reconsidered.
Of the nearly $40 million in funding announced by the Department today, the Bureau of Reclamation will utilize about $1.95 million to ensure the projects’ compliance with federal regulations and statutes as well as adherence to the Recovery Act goals.
Recipients of the Challenge Grant funding announced today must meet specific requirements such as demonstrating complete compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and other environmental laws; have an approved determination of financial capability; and an executed cooperative agreement for financial assistance.
Since 2004, 154 Challenge Grant projects have been funded, not including the ARRA-funded projects in this announcement. To date, $34 million in Federal funding combined with local partnerships translates into almost $145 million worth of water management improvements in 16 western states. Those 154 projects create new water banks, promote the use of advanced technology to improve water management, and increase collaboration among Federal, State, tribal and local entities.
Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department’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 to work closely with Interior’s Inspector General and ensure the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility and transparency set by President Obama.
For more information on Reclamation’s Challenge Grant Program, please visit the following:
Challenge Grant Descriptions: http://recovery.doi.gov/press/bureaus/bureau-of-reclamation/arra-challenge-grant-descriptions/