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Pacific Northwest Region
Boise, Idaho
Media Contact:
John Redding
(208) 378-5020
Peter Soeth
(303) 445-3615

Released On: September 02, 2010

Reclamation Announces Funding for Rural Water Program Appraisal Investigations and Feasibility Studies in Idaho
Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor announced today that $199,907 was awarded to one appraisal investigation in Idaho 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. "This award will allow Reclamation to work with the Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District 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.

The project selected for an appraisal investigation is:

Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District, Lower Clearwater Exchange Project Appraisal Investigation - Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District proposed this appraisal investigation of behalf of the District and the Nez Perce Tribe, the City of Lewiston, Idaho, and the County of Nez Perce, Idaho, to permanently resolve issues related to inadequate water supply quantity, quality, and reliability, adverse impacts to ESA-listed fish and critical habitat, and impacts to Tribe's natural resource and cultural uses. Reclamation is providing $199,907 in funding.

This announcement is part of a larger announcement made on September 1, where $2.6 million was awarded to three feasibility studies and ten appraisal investigations under Reclamation's Rural Water Program.

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 www.usbr.gov/ruralwater.

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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.