The Bureau of Reclamation recently released it 2016 spending plan, which devotes more than half of the $166.3 million appropriated to the bureau in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 to Western drought response.
In devoting $100 million to addressing the prolonged drought conditions in the West, the bureau hopes to accelerate some projects that fulfil high-priority needs and respond quickly to other urgencies. Funding will go toward programs like the Central Valley Project, WaterSMART Grants, the Lower Colorado River Basin Drought Response Action Plan and the Native American Technical Assistance Program, among others.
“Reclamation and its partners have created a spending plan that will help ensure sustainable water supplies across the Western United States,” Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. “The funding will go toward conservation and improving long-term infrastructure and environmental work on key water projects.”
The spending plan also devotes a significant amount of its budget – $47 million – toward furthering rural water projects, which will bring potable waters to tribal and non-tribal communities throughout the country. The remaining funding will go toward water conservation and delivery, fish passage and fish screens, environmental restoration or compliance and facility operation, maintenance and rehabilitation.