The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of the Interior (Interior) recently announced investments topping $47 million that will allow water districts and private-lands producers to conserve more water.
"By working with communities and producers to more wisely manage the water they have, we help ensure that this and future generations will have sufficient supplies of clean water for drinking, agriculture, economic activities, recreation, and ecosystem health," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "As drought continues across the west, our farmers and ranchers are stepping up to the plate to partner with communities and strengthen efficiency to better conserve our water supply."
The funding — $32.6 million from the Bureau of Reclamation and $15 million from the USDA — will promote water and energy efficiency in 13 western states. This includes 76 projects supported by the Bureau of Reclamation and on-farm water delivery system improvements, which will work in tandem with the 76 projects, funded through the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).
"Water and energy efficiency are intricately linked," Reclamation Commissioner Estevan Lopez said. "When we conserve water, we also conserve the energy it takes to move it. One way we can achieve these efficiencies is to bring federal resources to the table for local projects that focus on saving water. This program represents one more way we're focusing resources on projects to provide resiliency in the face of drought."