Reclamation announces funding for Rural Water Program Appraisal Investigations and Feasibility Studies

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-910-7473

For Release: September 01, 2010

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor announced today that $2.6 million was awarded to three feasibility studies and ten appraisal investigations under Reclamation's Rural Water Program.

"Many rural communities face the challenge of securing adequate clean water for domestic, municipal, and industrial uses," said Commissioner Connor. "The awards announced today will allow Reclamation to work with the communities selected to help them explore all opportunities to secure usable water supplies."

An appraisal investigation is an analysis of domestic, municipal, and industrial water supply problems, needs, and opportunities primarily using existing data and includes a preliminary assessment of alternatives to determine if there is at least one viable alternative that warrants a more detailed investigation at the feasibility level.

Those projects selected for appraisal investigations are:

  • Mexican Hat to Kayenta Regional Water Project; Navajo Nation (Arizona/Utah)
  • Southwest Navajo Rural Water Project; Navajo Nation (Arizona)
  • Northern Cheyenne Utility Commission Appraisal Investigation; Northern Cheyenne Utility Commission (Montana)
  • Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District Lower Clearwater Exchange Project; Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District (Idaho)
  • Taos Pueblo Rural Water Appraisal Study; Taos Pueblo (New Mexico)
  • Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System; Central Montana Water Resource Authority (Montana)
  • Lower Niobrara Natural Resources District Appraisal Investigation; Lower Niobrara Natural Resources District with Santee Sioux Nation (Nebraska)
  • Jemez Water Supply Study Appraisal Investigation; Jemez Pueblo (New Mexico)
  • Platte Alliance Water Supply Appraisal Investigation; Goshen County with Scotts Bluff County and the cities of Scotts Bluff and Torrington (Wyoming/Nebraska)
  • Langdon County Rural Water District Appraisal Investigation of Water Supply Alternatives; Langdon County, Nebraska

A feasibility study is a detailed investigation requiring the acquisition of primary data, an analysis of a reasonable range of alternatives, and determination of a preferred alternative. The feasibility studies selected for funding under the Rural Water Program will build on the findings of previously approved appraisal investigations.

Those projects selected for feasibility studies are:

  • Coconino Plateau Water Advisory Council - North Central Arizona Water Supply Study; Coconino County, Arizona
  • Dry-Redwater Regional Water System Feasibility Study; Dry-Redwater Regional Water Authority (Montana)
  • Payson Craigin Pipeline Project Feasibility Study; Town of Payson, Arizona

Through the Rural Water Program Reclamation will work with small communities of no more than 50,000 people to investigate opportunities to ensure safe and adequate rural water supply projects for domestic, municipal and industrial use; plan the design and construction of rural water supply projects through the conduct of appraisal investigations and feasibility studies; and oversee, as appropriate, the construction of rural water supply projects that are recommended for construction by Reclamation in a feasibility report developed under the program and subsequently authorized by Congress.

The Rural Water Program was authorized in 2006 in Title I of the Reclamation Rural Water Supply Act, P.L. 109-451. Rulemaking for the program was conducted with public comment in 2008 and an interim final rule was instituted in 2009 that established the programmatic criteria for the program.

To learn more about Reclamation's Rural Water Program please visit

Editor's Note: Project descriptions of selected projects is attached to this release.

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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.

Relevant Link:

Rural Water Project Descriptions