Washington, D.C. – The Department of the Interior today granted $4.88 million for a total of three groundwater and pipeline improvement projects near Yuma. The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) is awarding the grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The funds break down as follows:
•$2.8 million contract to AZCA Drilling & Pump, Inc., of Ehrenburg, Ariz., to replace 21 existing groundwater wells that have deteriorated with new, high-capacity wells to recover groundwater from several irrigation districts surrounding Yuma. The new wells will provide additional capacity to the large-scale water delivery and drainage return flow system that serves these irrigation districts.
•$1.58 million contract to Rafael Construction, Inc., of Las Vegas to replace an existing diversion structure on a concrete-lined canal known as the Main Outlet Drain that carries saline irrigation drainage near Yuma. The drain is an integral part of the system used to control salinity levels in the lower Colorado River.
•$492,383 contract to BasePoint Design Corp. of Aurora, Colo., to provide the necessary designs, field surveying requirements, and cost estimates for the BOR to use in requesting bids at a later date for the repair and structural upgrading of the 14.6 mile-long Yuma Mesa Conduit near Yuma. The Conduit is operating at reduced capacity and is crucial for draining local irrigated lands and providing water to meet treaty delivery obligations to Mexico.
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva said the grants “provide an important opportunity to upgrade water management, create jobs and efficiently assist municipalities, industrial sites and the agricultural sector. The Recovery Act is making similar projects possible all over the country, and we’ll see the benefits of these kinds of infrastructure upgrades for years to come.”
Grijalva said the projects will allow the BOR and irrigation districts to work together to conserve groundwater, an important goal in the midst of the ongoing regional drought. “Water conserved locally is water that stays in the Lake Mead and Lake Powell Reservoirs for later use,” Grijalva said. “The BOR and irrigation districts should work together to conserve water as much as possible, and these grants will help make that happen.”
For more information, call the BOR Yuma office at (928) 343-8100.