Secretary Salazar Announces $4.5 Million of Economic Recovery Funding for New Groundwater Wells at the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area and Pixley National Wildlife Refuge Wetlands

Media Contact: Joan Moody, 202 - 208-6416
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For Release: May 26, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $4.5 million contract under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the construction of new groundwater wells at the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area and Pixley National Wildlife Refuge Wetlands in Butte and Tulare Counties, Calif.  

The contract was awarded to Sansone Company, Inc, of San Luis Obispo, Calif.  The project provides for construction of three groundwater wells/pumps at the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area and two wells/pumps at the Pixley National Wildlife Refuge.    

"Groundwater deliveries from these wells will allow Reclamation to further progress towards meeting specific goals under the Central Valley Project Improvement Act," Secretary Salazar said.  "The utilization of groundwater as part of refuge deliveries can reduce the impact on Central Valley Project yield, allowing more supplies to be available to agricultural contractors, especially in dry years."

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 gave a total of $3 billion to the Department of the Interior.

Under the ARRA, Interior is making an investment in fixing water infrastructure and conserving America's timeless treasures - our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage - while helping American families and their communities prosper again. Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, employing youth and promoting community service.

"With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come," Secretary Salazar said.

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 and on 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.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.