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Up to $328 million available for water projects in West

To curb climate change’s effects on water, the president’s Investing in America Agenda continues to fund projects
Elements of Dove Creek's water supply. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)

On Sept. 28, The Biden-Harris Administration made up to $328 million available for drought and climate resiliency projects that belong to the Investing in America Agenda.

The new funds help communities to address climate change’s impacts on water through desalination projects, water recycling and water storage.

According to a news release, the funds come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s WaterSMART and Small Storage programs, annual appropriations and the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act.

Historically speaking, the Investing in America agenda is the nation’s largest investment in climate resilience. It provides necessary resources to support the Western communities’ resilience to drought and climate change, including the Colorado River System’s sustainability efforts.

Up to $25 million is available for projects that include a water storage capacity between 200 and 30,000 acre-feet that increase surface water or groundwater storage in the 17 Western states, Hawaii and Alaska.

A total of $239 million is available for water reclamation and reuse projects through Reclamation’s Title XVI Program. It provides financial assistance to local water agencies for the planning, design and construction of water reclamation and reuse projects.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allows Reclamation to invest $8.3 billion throughout five years for water infrastructure projects that include desalination, water storage and conveyance, dam safety and water purification and reuse.

Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act also funds $4.6 billion to address the historic drought.

Overall, $1 billion is invested through Reclamation for WaterSMART grants and $100 million for Small Storage Program grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This supports financial assistance to investigate and develop water marketing strategies, help conserve and use water more efficiently, accomplish other benefits that commits to sustainability in the Western United States, implement renewable energy projects and mitigate conflict risk in regions that have a high risk of future water conflict.