The Biden administration this week announced will allocate $240.4 million in funding to improve water infrastructure as well as up to $684.3 million for port infrastructure development.
The 46 designated water infrastructure projects are funded through the bipartisan infrastructure law and incorporate projects such as canal lining repairs and upgrades and replacements to water pipelines in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming as well as pipeline repairs in Utah, investments in a pumping plant in Montana and dam spillway repairs in Nebraska, according to the Interior Department. Projects in Colorado, Oregon and Washington also are being funded.
The announcement comes on the heels of a U.S. Drought Monitor report that said more than 98 percent of the U.S. southwest is in some stage of drought. California’s two biggest reservoirs are “critically low,” while in Lake Powell (Arizona and Utah) is under 25 percent capacity and Lake Mead (Arizona and Nevada) is at 31 percent of capacity. The Elephant Butte Reservoir in New Mexico is 13 percent full, according to the monitor.
The port program includes projects to “improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of the movement of goods into, out of, around or within a port,” according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. Projects that improve coastal seaports, inland river ports and Great Lakes ports are eligible to receive funding.