News Release Archive

Reclamation awards $1.1 million to six tribes for water resource technical assistance

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-445-3615,

For Release: April 22, 2020

The Elk Valley Rancheria water tank that they will repair and rehabilitate.
The Elk Valley Rancheria water tank that they will repair and rehabilitate.
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman announced that six tribes will share $1.1 million through the Native American Affairs Technical Assistance to Tribes Program to develop, manage and protect water and related resources.

"Reclamation is committed to working with tribes throughout the West on water management issues," Commissioner Burman said. "This funding will establish cooperative working relationships with Indian tribes and tribal organizations and ensure they can fully participate with Reclamation as they develop, manage and protect their water resources."

The funding will be provided to the tribes as grants or cooperative agreements. The six projects selected are:

Navajo Nation (Arizona/Utah)
Reclamation Funding: $142,964, Total Project Funding: $212,496

This grant is for final design of a new water supply well to serve the community of Bodaway Gap, Arizona. This project will assure that the community has an adequate domestic water supply that meets the quality requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act. The nation will contribute $69,532 towards the project.

Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians (California)
Reclamation Funding: $197,715, Total Project Funding: $197,715

This grant will support preparation of a source water protection plan for the tribe’s only community water supply well and the purchase and installation of a small emergency power generator for use when power is not available in the area.

Elk Valley Rancheria (California)
Reclamation Funding: $200,000, Total Project Funding: $200,000

The Elk Valley Rancheria will partner with the City of Crescent City to repair and rehabilitate the ladders, rails and roof of a steel water storage tank serving the rancheria and the city. The rancheria and city will continue to collaborate to identify funds for additional repairs to the tank to secure a safe and sanitary water storage facility serving both entities.

Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians (California)
Reclamation Funding: $135,621, Total Project Funding: $135,621

The band will drill, develop and test three test wells to assess the potential for groundwater supplies to support future development of housing and economic enterprises. Wells found suitable will be developed to meet the band’s water supply needs.

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (Oregon)
Reclamation Funding: $188,389 Total Project Funding: $282,429

This grant will fund a two-year groundwater recharge study of the reservation and upper Umatilla River Basin in partnership with USGS who will contribute $94,040. The data and study will support the negotiation of a water rights settlement and groundwater co-management agreement with the state.

Oglala Sioux Tribe (South Dakota)
Reclamation Funding: $200,000 Total Project Funding: $200,000

This grant will provide funding to prepare appraisal reports and acquire rights of way on trust and fee land for existing water distribution infrastructure to meet requirements of the Mni Wiconi Rural Water System authorizing legislation. The tribe will also conduct exploratory work to locate and evaluate asbestos-cement pipe in existing infrastructure in the communities of Red Shirt, Sunrise, Martin North, Red Rocks, and Oglala Community. This grant will also allow the tribe to complete the transfer of completed water system facilities in nine communities to Reclamation for operation, maintenance and repair.

The Native American and International Affairs Office in the Commissioner's Office serves as the central coordination point for the Native American Affairs Program and lead for policy guidance for Native American issues in Reclamation. The Technical Assistance Program within this office assists Indian tribes to develop, manage and protect their water and related resources. To learn more, please visit

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