Biden-Harris administration allocates $7 million for water pipeline in Utah

By Mary Holcomb, Digital Editor

(UI) — The Biden-Harris Administration has earmarked $35 million from its Investing in America agenda to support six small surface and groundwater storage projects in California and Utah.

Among these initiatives is the Ash Creek Project, located in Toquerville, Utah, which is set to receive approximately $7 million for the construction of a crucial water pipeline linking the Ash Creek Reservoir to the Chief Toquer Reservoir.

The funding announcement was made by Camille Calimlim Touton, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, during a visit to Toquerville. The investment aims to bolster water supply reliability in the face of climate change-induced challenges, particularly in Utah's southern region.

The Ash Creek Project's pipeline, upon completion, will significantly enhance operational flexibility and community resilience. At full capacity, the new Chief Toquer Reservoir is expected to hold 3,638 acre-feet of water, providing approximately 1,760 acre-feet annually. This substantial investment underscores the administration's commitment to building critical infrastructure to safeguard water resources for future generations.

In addition to the Ash Creek Project, other projects receiving funding include:

  • Rancho California Water District’s Pauba Valley Groundwater Banking Project ($9.1 Million)
  • Imperial Irrigation District’s Upstream Reservoir Storage Project ($7 Million)
  • San Benito County Water District's Accelerated Drought Response Project ($6.7 Million)
  • Groundwater Banking Joint Powers Authority’s Phase 1 of the Kern Fan Groundwater Storage Project ($3.9 Million)
  • Del Puerto Water District’s Orestimba Creek Recharge and Recovery Project ($1.3 Million)

President Biden's Investing in America agenda represents the largest investment in climate resilience in U.S. history. Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Bureau of Reclamation is allocating a total of $8.3 billion over five years for water infrastructure projects, including rural water, conservation, and conveyance. Since the law's enactment in November 2021, Reclamation has announced almost $3 billion for 425 projects, furthering the administration's goals of enhancing water supply reliability and resilience nationwide.

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