Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments will fund water conservation and renewable energy projects
WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced the availability of up to $50 million for water conservation and efficiency projects as part of the President’s Investing in America agenda to enhance the resilience of the West to drought and climate change.
Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will boost the Bureau of Reclamation’s Water and Energy Efficiency Grants Program, which provides funding for projects that result in quantifiable water savings, implement renewable energy components, and support broader resilience and sustainability benefits. These projects conserve and use water more efficiently; increase the production of renewable energy; mitigate conflict risk in areas at a high risk of future water conflict; and accomplish other benefits that contribute to sustainability.
The announcement today was made following the release of the Fifth National Climate Assessment, an annual report assessing the science of climate change, its impacts, and our options for reducing present and future risk. This is part of an overall $100 million the Bureau of Reclamation is announcing this week for water infrastructure upgrades that advance drought resilience in the West.
“In the wake of severe drought conditions throughout the West, the Department is bringing every tool and resource to bear — including significant investments through President Biden’s Investing America agenda — to help build community resilience to drought and climate change for generations to come,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Through today’s funding announcement, we are working to advance innovative solutions for water conservation and climate resilience.”
“In order to make our communities more drought resilient, we must take actions wherever possible to deliver water more efficiently,” said Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “Under the Biden-Harris administration’s Investing in America agenda, we have a unique opportunity to fund these projects to help our water users adapt to meet future needs.”
Drought conditions across the West impact a wide range of communities and sectors, including agriculture, cities, Tribes, the environment, recreation, hydropower producers, and others. Through the WaterSMART program, Reclamation provides financial assistance for projects that seek to conserve and use water more efficiently and accomplish other benefits that contribute to sustainability in the West.
President Biden’s Investing in America agenda 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. Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Reclamation is investing a total of $8.3 billion over five fiscal years for water infrastructure projects to repair aging water delivery systems, secure dams, complete rural water projects, protect aquatic ecosystems and fulfill Indian Water Rights Settlements.
This is a two-year funding opportunity. The first application period ends in February 2024. For further information on this grant visit Grants.gov. This water and energy efficiency funding builds upon previously announced funding as part of the $140 million designated for Water and Energy Efficiency grants in 2023.