Reclamation Presents Water 2025 Grants

Media Contact: Mary Perea, (505) 462-3576

For Release: October 19, 2005

Bureau of Reclamation Deputy Commissioner William E. Rinne presented the City of Las Cruces, Elephant Butte Irrigation District and the City of El Paso Utilities Water Service Board with Water 2025 Challenge Grant awards Wednesday.

The three entities were awarded the checks as part of Interior Secretary Gale Norton's Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program during a ceremony at New Mexico State University's Corbett Center. The grant program is aimed at providing funding for activities that will make more efficient use of existing water supplies through water conservation, efficiency and water market projects.

At the event, Las Cruces City Councilor Steve C. Trowbridge was presented with a Water 2025 Challenge Grant check for $86,350. The city plans to use the funds on a project to install pumps on the Elephant Butte Irrigation District water distribution system to allow use of Burn Lake as a regulating reservoir. The pumps will also allow the city to return water stored in Burn Lake to the district as needed. The total cost of the project is $174,889. It is expected to save 3,750 acre-feet of water per year.

Elephant Butte Irrigation District Manager Gary Esslinger was presented with a check for $300,000. The funds are for a project to install flow control meters that will allow use of telemetry to monitor farm deliveries. The total cost of the project is $615,000. It is estimated to save 8,000 acre-feet of water per year and better manage 75,000 acre-feet.

El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board Strategic Development Manager Michael P. Fahy was presented with a Water 2025 Challenge Grant of $165,000 for a project to install flow gage stations and electrical conductivity measurement stations on the Rio Grande. The stations will provide internet-based access to real-time data on flows and water quality. The total project will cost $357,386. It is estimated to save 7,600 acre-feet of water per year and better manage more than 931,000 acre-feet.

The Challenge Grants Program focuses on meeting the goals identified in Water 2025: Preventing Crises and Conflict in the West. Water 2025 encourages voluntary water banks and other market-based measures as authorized under state law, promotes the use of new technology for water conservation and efficiency, and removes institutional barriers to increase cooperation and collaboration among federal, state, tribal and private organizations.

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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.