WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Reclamation announced the selection of 31 planning projects to receive $28.97 million in appropriated funding to support potential new water reuse and desalination projects to help create new sources of water supply less vulnerable to drought and climate change. The recipients will use the funding to prepare feasibility studies and undertake other planning efforts like preliminary project design and environmental compliance activities.
"These projects currently under development will supplement existing freshwater supplies in urban and agricultural areas in the Western United States," said Deputy Commissioner David Palumbo. "The funding announced today will provide needed assistance to communities and entities as they undertake the development of feasibility studies and other planning necessary to facilitate project development."
The 31 projects are in California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. The projects also bring a cost-share contribution of $64.7 million, bringing the total investment of $93.7 million.
Funding for these planning and design activities is intended to assist in the development of potential new construction projects that could be carried out under the Desalination Construction Program, the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, and the Large-Scale Water Recycling Program.
The Desalination Construction Program provides a path for ocean or brackish water desalination projects to receive federal funding. The Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program funding is for projects that reclaim or reuse wastewater or impaired ground or surface water and have a total project cost of less than $500 million. Under the Large-Scale Water Recycling Program, Reclamation will provide funding for water recycling projects with total project costs exceeding $500 million.
This funding is part of the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program, which focuses on collaborative efforts to plan and implement actions to increase water supply reliability, including investments to modernize infrastructure.
Today's announcement complements the many historic investments the Biden-Harris administration is implementing as through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which represents the largest investment in climate resilience in the nation’s history and is providing much-needed resources to enhance Western communities’ resilience to drought and climate change. To date, the Bureau of Reclamation has invested $310 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for projects that advance water recycling and reuse.
For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have developed sustainable water and power solutions for the West.
To learn more about the selected projects or get more information on these funding categories, please visit Reclamation's WaterSMART program webpage.