Local water user groups share in federal grants — The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

Photo via the State of Idaho.
Photo via the State of Idaho.

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Charles Ashby):

Two Western Slope water users associations will benefit from a federal effort to help mitigate drought issues and combat climate change.

The Grand Valley and Uncompahgre Valley water user associations were among 76 projects chosen nationwide to receive part of a $47 million grant program announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior.

For Grand Valley, that means $300,000 toward an $800,000 project to improve hydraulic efficiency for the top 500 feet of its Canyon Canal.

The association will install a polyvinyl chloride liner and a shotcrete wear surface to minimize water seepage.

For Uncompahgre, it means a $1 million grant for a $6.8 million project to install a 2.4 megawatt hydroelectric facility on one of its existing irrigation canals.

Other grants in Colorado are to go to an irrigation company that operates in Larimer and Weld counties, and a sanitation district in Arapahoe County.

“Water and energy efficiency are intricately linked,” Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan Lopez said. “When we conserve water, we also conserve the energy it takes to move it. One way we can achieve these efficiencies is to bring federal resources to the table for local projects that focus on saving water.”

The money was part of a competitive grant process called the WaterSmart sustainable water initiative.

All together, the 76 projects are expected to save about 123,000 acre-feet of water.

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