Bureau of Reclamation Announces $434,640 in American Recovery Act Funds for Rehabilitation of Two Artesian Wells to Benefit Migratory Waterfowl

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 $434,640 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 to KD Huey Company LLC, of Capitan, N.M. for the rehabilitation of two artesian wells to produce water for ponds that benefit migratory waterfowl and other wildlife.

The wells are located on Bureau of Reclamation property at Karr Farm, part of the W.S. Huey Waterfowl Area, northeast of Artesia, N.M. This property was originally purchased to meet mitigation requirements associated with the construction of Brantley Dam and Reservoir on the Pecos River. The mitigation lands were obtained to enhance waterfowl habitat through the creation of resting ponds and associated food crops. The wells supply water vital to sustain these ponds which provide approximately 100 acres of roosting and loafing habitat for migratory water fowl and support germination of native grains and grasses, an important food source for birds and other wildlife.

"Restoring the full functionality of these wells is necessary to ensure Reclamation's mitigation obligations are fulfilled," said Michael L. Connor, Reclamation commissioner. "We intend to produce up to 600 gallons of water per minute once the wells are restored."

Brantley Dam and Reservoir were completed in 1989 to replace McMillian Dam which was determined to be unsafe. The primary benefits of Brantley Dam include irrigation storage, flood control and fish and wildlife enhancement.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, enacted in 2009, provided $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.