LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Desalination projects are going to get a look as the federal government looks for water sources during the drought in the West.
With $250 million in funding available, desalination projects are a big part of a three-pronged effort announced in a Department of the Interior news release on Friday to help Western communities create or expand clean, new water sources.
Water reclamation and reuse projects will be the focus of most of the funding through the $1 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funding still needs approval as part of fiscal year 2022 appropriations.
“Water reuse and desalination are important tools to building resiliency throughout the West, and these funding opportunities support water providers in developing new and clean sources of water to improve their water supply reliability for their communities,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton.
“Through our traditional sources and now funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can bring more resources to support Western communities,” Touton said.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law contains $1 billion over five years for water reclamation and reuse projects, including $550 million for the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program and $250 million for water desalination projects.
Funding for the “ocean and brackish water desalination projects” requires a project to be in the Western United States or U.S. territories and have submitted a feasibility study to Reclamation for review to qualify for eligibility.
All three funding opportunities invite sponsors of eligible projects to apply for up to 25% of the costs of planning, design, and construction scheduled for the next three years.
The funds are intended to help drought-impacted communities as the federal government collaborates with states, tribes and other water users to develop longer-term solutions to climate change.
“Drought, climate change, and less reliable water resources year-after-year give rise to the need to continue to develop new and innovative solutions to address the challenges we face” said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo.
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding available for these funding opportunities provides the resources to expand our efforts and develop lasting solutions across the West,” Trujillo said.
Information on these funding opportunities is available at www.grants.gov. Applications for each funding opportunity are due at 4 p.m. MDT on March 15.