WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Reclamation today announced a $8.5 million investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for endangered species recovery and conservation in the Colorado River Basin. Funding will modify the current water intake system at the Lake Mead State Fish Hatchery, which supplies razorback sucker and bonytail subadult fish to the Lower Colorado River Multispecies Conservation Program as part of their fish augmentation program.
Given historically low water levels in Lake Mead, the Lake Mead State Fish Hatchery's current water intake system is unable to deliver water, as it is positioned at a 1050 elevation, above current water levels. As a result, the Hatchery has been forced to cease operations and remove native fish from the hatchery. Grant funding will be provided to the Southern Nevada Water Authority to construct a new water delivery system at the facility that would draw water from a point in Lake Mead below expected lake decline and allow the Lower Colorado Multi-Species Conservation Program to continue operations.
“Investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in this program is a proven, effective way to reduce impacts to the environment and endangered fish species that are caused by operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of water diversion facilities,” said Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “With drought putting more pressure than ever on water projects and the environment, the investment announced today will tackle known facility needs and help assure the continued survival of endangered fish species in the Colorado River Basin."
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates $8.3 billion for Bureau of Reclamation water infrastructure projects to repair aging water delivery systems, secure dams, complete rural water projects, and protect aquatic ecosystems. This funding includes $300 million specifically set aside for the Colorado River Basin Drought Contingency Plan, which will work to reduce the risk of Lake Mead and Lake Powell reaching critically low elevations.
Detailed information on Reclamation programs and funding provided in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is available at https://www.usbr.gov/bil/.