Reclamation Awards Montana Irrigators $262,108

Media Contact: Todd Dixon, (406) 247-7300
Mark Andersen, (406) 247-7610

For Release: October 26, 2004

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner John Keys today recognized the award of a $262,108 Water 2025 Challenge Grant to the Paradise Valley Irrigation District in Chinook, Mont. The grant matches funds already raised by the district and provides financial support for long-term improvements to existing irrigation facilities that will save an estimated 1,000 acre-feet of water annually.

"The Paradise Valley Irrigation District is to be commended for its initiative in developing water saving technologies in Blaine County," said Keys. "Through these challenge grants, we are providing seed money for local, collaborative projects that increase the efficient use of our existing water supplies."

The Water 2025 Challenge Grant will fund the replacement of approximately 9,000 feet of leaking open lateral with 13,470 feet of buried pipe near Chinook. The total estimated cost for the project is $524,215, half of which was funded through the Water 2025 Challenge Grant program.

Randy Reed, Paradise Valley Irrigation District board member, said the Water 2025 Challenge Grant has been vital in helping his organization meet the goals identified in the District's water conservation plan. "This is all part of the bigger picture," he said. "Everything we're doing is pointed toward improved water use, toward improving our position in relation to the beneficial use of water. One of the goals of our water conservation plan is to improve supply through conservation efforts and facility improvements-this program helps us meet that goal."

The Hillside Lateral project will be completed in two phases, with work beginning this fall and wrapping up in the late spring or early summer. The plan includes the removal of 9,000 feet from the lower portion of the existing lateral, the construction of a new route for the underground pipeline, and installation of a pump, flow meters and new pipe.

The Water 2025 Challenge Grants, administered by the Bureau of Reclamation, provide local irrigation districts throughout the West with matching funds to support a variety of projects to make more efficient use of existing water supplies through water conservation, efficiency and water market projects. The Challenge Grant program focuses on meeting the goals identified in Water 2025: Preventing Crises and Conflict in the West. In late June, Interior Secretary Gale Norton approved more than $4 million dollars in water conservation grants under the Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program. President George Bush has requested $21 million for the Water 2025 initiative in Fiscal Year 2005.

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