Bureau of Reclamation Announces $2.35 Million in American Recovery Act Funds for the Southside Non-Potable Water Reuse Project Effluent Distribution Pipeline

Media Contact: Lisa Iams, (801) 524-3673

For Release: July 14, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Albuquerque Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation, an agency of the Department of the Interior, has awarded a contract totaling $2.35 million to the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 for the construction of 20 miles of effluent distribution pipeline.

The effluent distribution pipeline will deliver reclaimed wastewater for irrigating turf areas at 26 parks, fields and other areas. The effluent distribution pipeline is one component of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area Water Reuse and Reclamation Title XVI project's Southside Water Nonpotable Water Reuse Project. ARRA funds are contributing 25 percent of construction costs for the effluent distribution pipeline. Other Title XVI facilities currently under construction include treatment plant upgrades, storage reservoirs, and pump stations.

The ARRA-funded construction is proceeding in two phases, the first will be completed in July and the second in October. Once complete, the project will save an estimated 2,600 acre-feet of water per year, equal to the amount of water used by 7,500 homes.

"This project will decrease the use of high-quality drinking water on public landscapes, reduce reliance on unsustainable groundwater pumping, and protect the aquifer as a future drought reserve," said Michael L. Connor, Reclamation commissioner.

ARRA funds helped accelerate overall project construction, creating and retaining 20 construction-related jobs in the January through March quarter, with that number expected to increase substantially as second phase work begins work.

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

The ARRA funds represent 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. Under the ARRA, Interior is making an investment in 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 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.

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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.