Colorado River Basin to receive $4B from feds for drought mitigation |

Colorado River Basin to receive $4B from feds for drought mitigation

Katelynn Richardson
The Center Square

The federal government plans to pay farmers that draw water from the Colorado River to take less, one piece of a multi-pronged plan to reduce usage.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced a new program that will draw on $4 billion in Inflation Reduction Act funding approved for water management and drought mitigation in the Colorado River Basin. Called the Lower Colorado River Basin System Conservation and Efficiency Program, it will be run by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Through the program’s three components, it will select conservation proposals from Colorado River water delivery contracts and entitlement holders, typically farmers using the water to grow crops.

The first component emphasizes drought mitigation, water and power reliability, and natural resource conservation efforts that improve Lake Mead’s water level. It will allow applicants to request payback terms of $330 per acre-foot for one year, $365 per acre-foot for two years, or $400 per acre-foot for three years.

Proposals must also include amounts of water expected to be conserved, methods of verification, and an economic justification, the Bureau of Reclamation told potential applicants.

The second component will seek applicant proposals for other water conservation projects at different pricing amounts, and the third component, which will open in early 2023, will deal with long-term efficiency improvement projects.


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