The Biden administration, Washington, D.C., has allocated $63.4 million in new funds as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to support water conservation in the Colorado River basin.
The funds will be managed through the Lower Colorado River Basin System Conservation and Efficiency Program and are provided by the Inflation Reduction Act.
Camille Calimlim Touton, Bureau of Reclamation commissioner, says the agreement will help address the ongoing water crisis taking place in the basin.
“Addressing the drought crisis requires an all-hands-on-deck moment, and close collaboration among federal, state, Tribal and local communities. We are excited to see so many Arizona entities committing to system conservation and partnership,” Touton said in a release. “Together, we can come together to find solutions to meet the challenges of these unprecedented drought conditions.”
The agreements aim to conserve up to 162,710-acre feet of water in Lake Mead through 2026. They are a part of the measures to maintain Colorado River reservoir levels in the face of ongoing drought and climate change impacts.
The seven new agreements supplement eleven others in Arizona, with a total commitment to conserve up to 348,680-acre feet of water in Lake Mead in 2023, reaching potentially 984,429-acre feet through 2026. Further agreements are under discussion as part of the broader conservation goal of 3 million acre-feet in the lower basin states, with 2.3 million acre-feet to be subsidized by the Inflation Reduction Act.