Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited a key eastern New Mexico infrastructure project on Monday that will bring water from Ute Lake to communities like Clovis and Portales, which are facing challenges due to declining levels in the Ogallala Aquifer.
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton joined Haaland in Clovis, where they announced a total of $65 million in federal funding for rural water projects across various states. That includes $7 million for the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System and another $10 million for a water infrastructure project on the Jicarilla Apache Nation in New Mexico.
“Water is life. It is essential for feeding families, growing crops, sustaining wildlife, and powering agriculture businesses,” Haaland said. “Yet far too many rural communities lack access to adequate clean, reliable water supplies that they need.”
The funding comes from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, more commonly known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provided $8.3 billion over five years for water projects.
Touton said the funding allows agencies to “expedite the completion of these projects making these communities more resilient to the impacts of drought and climate change.”