Bureau of Reclamation Announces $1.6 Million of Economic Recovery Funding for New Groundwater Wells at the Volta Wildlife Area

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, 916-978-5100 TTY 916-978-5608

For Release: June 28, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Bureau of Reclamation, an agency in the Department of the Interior, announced the award of a $1,650,311 contract under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the construction of new groundwater wells at the Volta Wildlife Area (VWA) in Western Merced County, Calif.  The contract was awarded to Sansone Company, Inc., of San Luis Obispo, Calif. 

Reclamation will use ARRA funds to install two groundwater production wells at the VWA that will produce up to 5,000 acre-feet of groundwater per year.  This project will develop a groundwater supply along the Volta Wasteway that will be used to diversify refuge water supply sources and supplement water supplies for critical spring and summer nesting habitat while improving water supply reliability.  Reclamation staff will also analyze water quality through a monitoring plan.

"This pilot project is designed to increase water supply reliability benefitting both refuges and agricultural contractors," Reclamation's Commissioner Mike Connor said.  "Groundwater deliveries from these wells will allow Reclamation to help meet specific goals under the Central Valley Project Improvement Act."

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 of the Interior Ken Salazar said.

Secretary Salazar 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.

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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 www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

Interior Recovery Website