Nevada, Western States Get $700 Million Boost From US For Water Conservation

The federal government has allocated a $700 million investment for water conservation projects in Nevada, California, and Arizona aimed at safeguarding the Colorado River’s water supply amidst persistent drought conditions.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation press release, the $700 million will fund construction of water distribution structures and metering infrastructure, more efficient water infrastructure for farms and improvements like canal lining and turf removal. Projects focused on saving or sourcing water through groundwater banking, desalination, water recycling and water purification can also receive funding.

“Building on our significant efforts to protect the Colorado River System, we are continuing to make smart investments through the President’s Investing in America agenda to strengthen the stability and sustainability of the Colorado River System and support the 40 million people who rely on this basin now and into the future,” U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said.

23 years of continual drought in the western U.S. has worsened conditions along the river, leading to record low water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Along with the more than 40 million people who rely on the river for drinking water, it supports agriculture and hydropower operations throughout seven states; Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Nevada.

The Lower Colorado River Basin states, California, Nevada and Arizona, received some funding for conservation projects through the Lower Colorado River Basin System Conservation and Efficiency Program, which was announced in 2022 as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. The program set aside $4 billion for conservation projects throughout the Colorado River basin.

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