Date: September 23, 2009
Contacts: Joan Moody (202) 208-6416 (OS)
John Redding (208) 378-5212 (BOR)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a water conservation project in Sunnyside, Washington for $21.4 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
The ARRA funds will be used by the Sunnyside Division Board of Control to begin Phase II of their water conservation project, which is a component of the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project. This project will convert three large open laterals and up to four smaller open laterals, that serve approximately 15,500 acres, to an enclosed piping system.
This portion of Phase II will conserve approximately 8,000 acre-feet of water annually, which is currently lost through leakage, on-farm lateral spills, and evaporation. Two-thirds of the water savings will remain in the Yakima River, while the irrigation district retains one-third of the water for irrigation.
More than 5,280 acre-feet of water will be added to the Yakima River annually with the completion of the ARRA work. The completed Sunnyside Division Board of Control Phase II project will add approximately 17,000 acre-feet to the Yakima River for instream flows for fish listed as endangered by the Endangered Species Act.
The ARRA funds are part of a stimulus package that is an important component of the President’s plan to jumpstart the economy and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the Country can thrive in the 21st century. In development of the stimulus package, priority was given to funding relatively large projects that would create lasting value for the public. Funds from ARRA will allow Reclamation to make a significant contribution to the recovery and stabilization of the economy of the United States in a short time.
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.