Biden-Harris administration provides $60 million for drought resilience in the Rio Grande Basin

The investment aims to enhance climate resiliency and water security for communities in the Rio Grande Basin.
EDITED BY LUKE REYNOLDS
Closeup of blue bonnets with Santa Elana tributary below

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced a $60 million investment from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to bolster water conservation and drought resilience in the Rio Grande Basin.  

The funding aims to enhance climate resiliency and water security for communities from Elephant Butte Reservoir to West Texas. 

The Bureau of Reclamation will work with local stakeholders to develop projects expected to save tens of thousands of acre-feet of water annually, she says.  

“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to making communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change, including the Rio Grande basin and the people, wildlife and economies that rely on it,” says Haaland. 

The Rio Grande supports agriculture, drinking water, Tribes, wildlife and tourism in New Mexico and Texas. Despite recent improvements, a historic 23-year drought has led to low water levels. This investment, part of the Inflation Reduction Act, builds on nearly $59 million already invested in the basin for infrastructure repairs and water management. 

“The Rio Grande has struggled with the impacts of severe drought for decades,” says Camille Calimlim Touton, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner. “This funding allows us to explore options for stormwater capture and other activities to ease the impacts of climate change.” 

The projects will improve irrigation efficiency, support habitats for endangered species and benefit communities identified as vulnerable to climate change, she says. 

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