Biden-Harris Deal with IID Saves 100K Acre-Feet of Colorado River Water

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TL/DR –

The Biden-Harris administration has announced an agreement with the Imperial Irrigation District to conserve about 100,000 acre-feet of water in Lake Mead in 2023, funded by $77.6 million from the Investing in America agenda. The investments are part of the administration’s approach to improve and protect the Colorado River System. Over the next three years, agreements are expected to achieve up to 800,000 acre-feet of water conservation for the benefit of the Colorado River System and the over 40 million people who rely on it.


Biden-Harris Administration Unveils Agreement with Imperial Irrigation District to Conserve Water

The Biden-Harris administration announced today a collaboration with the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) to conserve approximately 100,000 acre-feet of water in Lake Mead in 2023. The agreement involves approximately $77.6 million in new investments from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which will be used for water conservation, water efficiency, and safeguarding critical environmental resources in the Colorado River System this year.

The investments are part of the administration’s holistic approach to enhance and protect the Colorado River System’s stability and sustainability for the future. The funding comes from the Inflation Reduction Act, the biggest climate investment in history.

Efforts to Improve Water Conservation and Efficiency

Reclamation and IID are also working on an agreement for 2024 – 2026, aiming to achieve up to 800,000 acre-feet of water conservation in Lake Mead to benefit the Colorado River System and the over 40 million people who depend on it.

Emphasizing the administration’s commitment, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Michael Brain said, “The Biden-Harris administration is using every tool at our disposal to continue our sustained, collaborative progress in increasing water conservation across the West.”

The IID’s Leadership

“We are grateful for the Imperial Irrigation District’s leadership and partnership as we worked to execute this agreement,” said Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “IID’s commitment to system conservation is vital as we work to ensure the stability of the entire Colorado River Basin.”

The Investing in America agenda is crucial to the efforts to increase near-term water conservation, build long term system efficiency, and prevent the Colorado River System’s reservoirs from reaching critically low levels.

Additional Agreements and Investments

The IID agreement is in addition to the 18 recently announced agreements in Arizona that aim to conserve up to 348,680-acre feet of water in Lake Mead in 2023 and up to 984,429-acre feet through 2026. These agreements are part of the 3 million acre-feet of system conservation commitments made by the Lower Basin states, 2.3 million acre-feet of which will be compensated through funding from the Inflation Reduction Act.

Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, an additional $8.3 billion will be invested over five years for water infrastructure projects, including water purification and reuse, water storage and conveyance, desalination, and dam safety.

As a result of this commitment, the Interior Department announced in October that the risk of falling below critical levels has been reduced to eight percent at Lake Powell and four percent at Lake Mead through 2026. Lake Mead is currently about 40 feet higher than it was projected to be at this time last year.

Investments for Colorado River Basin States

The Interior Department has announced the following investments for Colorado River Basin states through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, which are expected to yield hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water savings each year once these projects are completed:


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