Jul 01, 2021

Farm Groups Seek $49 Billion for Western Water & Forests

More than 200 groups have been pushing for funding in infrastructure bills to fix aging canals and reservoirs.


More than 200 Western farm and water organizations are pushing for canal and reservoir repairs. 

This includes proposing nearly $49 billion for projects improving water conveyance, dam safety and forest health, reported Western FarmPress.

The organizations crafted a June 9 letter to Chairman Joe Manchin and Ranking Member John Barrasso of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

“This funding will assist in addressing critical safety needs, develop new infrastructure, invest in smart water technology and conservation, and improve forest and water ecosystems," said the coalition's letter, reported Western FarmPress. "Additionally, it will spur economic recovery and prepare us to meet the water needs of the next generation in the face of a changing climate."

The groups asked for the following, according to Western FarmPress:

  • More than $13 billion in Bureau of Reclamation water infrastructure needs over the next 10 years, including storage and conveyance, dam safety, rural water, water-smart technologies, and water recycling and reuse projects;
  • $34 billion for USDA to undertake forest restoration, watershed protection and flood prevention projects;
  • And $1.75 billion for Army Corps of Engineers water storage projects and environmental infrastructure.

In the West, signatories include: the Almond Alliance, the California Walnut Commission, the Arizona Cattle Feeders Association, the Klamath Water Users Association, the Oregon Association of Nurseries, the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, the Western Agricultural Processors Association, and state Farm Bureaus from Arizona, Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Biden convened a White House panel to address drought in the West in April.

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