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Released On: August 13, 2014

Reclamation Provides $779,200 for Two Emergency Drought Projects
Lake Cachuma Pumping Project in California and Alamo Band of the Navajo Nation Chapter Well in New Mexico Receive Funding
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley announced that $779,200 will be made available to fund two emergency drought projects. The Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board in California will receive $300,000 and Alamo Band of the Navajo Nation Chapter Well in New Mexico will receive $479,000.

"Ensuring people have access to water across the 17 western states has been fundamental to Reclamation's mission since 1902," Pimley said. "This emergency funding will help ensure communities, including Native Americans, are able to access water due to the extreme drought that has impacted them."

The Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board will use the funding to pump water from Lake Cachuma into the North Portal Intake Structure and will maintain water flows to the south coast communities of Santa Barbara County. Due to three years of extreme drought conditions, water is expected to drop below the intake structure this fall. Lake Cachuma provides more than 80% of the water supply to more than 200,000 people in Santa Barbara County.

The Alamo Band of the Navajo Nation will drill a new well to augment supply from its existing wells. The existing wells run constantly, resulting in frequent pump failures. The new well is expected to alleviate the situation. The new system is expected to supply water to housing areas, a store and a clinic.

Funding for these projects is provided under Title I of the Reclamation States Drought Relief Act of 1995 (Drought Act), as amended. Title I of the Drought Act allows Reclamation to undertake activities that will minimize or mitigate drought damages or losses within the 17 Reclamation States including tribes within those states, and Hawaii. Pursuant to the Drought Act, construction activities authorized under Title I are limited to temporary facilities, such as hauling drinking water or installing temporary pipes for irrigation.

To learn more about Reclamation's Drought Program, please visit www.usbr.gov/drought.

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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.