Bureau of Reclamation Announces $222,103 in Recovery Act Funds for Hydrographic Data Collection along the Middle Rio Grande in New Mexico

Media Contact: Joan Moody, 202.208.6416
Lisa Iams, 801.524.3673

For Release: August 26, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Albuquerque Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation, an agency of the Department of the Interior, has awarded a task order totaling $222,103, under an existing contract with Tetra Tech, Inc. of Albuquerque, N.M. for hydrographic data collection work along the Middle Rio Grande.

The hydrographic surveys being done under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will involve approximately 70 miles along the Rio Grande River and floodplain starting at San Acacia Diversion Dam and ending at the northern portion of Elephant Butte Lake. The hydrographic surveys will provide valuable "as-built" information and documentation on the channel and floodplain in this reach. To date, Reclamation has completed multiple projects involving river restoration and maintenance in the Middle Rio Grande floodplain and river channel, including levee setbacks, pilot channels, levee strengthening, and complete channel restoration and re-alignment of the Low Flow Conveyance Channel.

The LFCC is a water delivery canal that runs alongside the Rio Grande between San Acacia, N.M., and Elephant Butte Reservoir. Reclamation built the low-flow channel as part of the Middle Rio Grande Project to provide more effective water and sediment transport and improve drainage and return flows of irrigation water from contiguous farmland.

"These hydrographic surveys are vital to the operation and maintenance of these two channel systems," Michael L. Connor, Reclamation commissioner said. "The data from these surveys will help to identify and prevent potential problems that might affect areas in the river channel and flood plain where restoration work has already been done."

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act enacted 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 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.