Over the last week, Secretary Salazar has announced the first of various Department projects to be funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009:
* $140 million that will fund 308 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) projects. The funds will be used generally for repair, construction and restoration of facilities, equipment replacement and upgrades, national map activities, and critical deferred maintenance and improvement projects. Specific expenditures include: $15.2 million to modernize equipment in the National Volcano Early Warning System at all USGS volcano observatories; $14.6 million to upgrade to high-data radio technology and upgrade streamgages with new technologies for streamflow measurement; $14.6 million for remediation to remove streamgages, cableways, and ground-water wells that are no longer in use; $29.4 million for projects that address health and safety issues and functional needs, make facilities more energy efficient, and incorporate sustainable design criteria in project implementation; $29.4 million to modernize the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) by doubling the number of ANSS-quality stations and upgrading seismic networks nationwide; $17.8 million for construction of wildlife and environmental research facilities in Maryland, Missouri, and Wisconsin; $14.6 million to improve mapping data; and nearly $500,000 to digitize and make publicly available via the Internet bird banding records, which are useful for disease research.
* $260 million for California water projects, including: $40 million for immediate emergency drought relief; $109.8 million to build a screened pumping plant at the Red Bluff Diversion Dam; $22.3 million to address dam safety concerns at the Folsom Dam; $8.5 million to repair water-related infrastructure at Folsom Dam; $20 million for the Contra Costa Canal to protect water supplies and to build fish screens for Chinook salmon and Delta smelt; $4.5 million to restore the Trinity River; $26 million for Battle Creek Salmon/Steelhead Restoration project; $4 million to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan; $4 million to broaden scientific knowledge of Klamath River sedimentation; and $20.7 million in smaller water infrastructure and related projects.
* $50 million for the Central Utah Project, which delivers water from the Colorado River to users in Central Utah. This funding will include: $41 million to construct portions of the Utah Lake System pipelines for use in conveying an additional 60,000 acre-feet of water to Utah and Salt Lake Counties; and $9 million for construction of a Ute Tribal fish hatchery and other fish and wildlife projects.
* $12.5 million for New Mexico water infrastructure projects, including: $7 million to complete portions of the Navajo Nation Municipal Pipeline; and $5.5 million for smaller infrastructure reliability and safety projects along the Rio Grande and power plant improvement efforts at Elephant Butte Dam.
The Department of the Interior will manage $3 billion in investments as part of the stimulus package. About one-third of that total will be invested in water infrastructure projects. That funding will be allocated across several project areas, including those listed above: meeting future water supply needs ($450 million); improving infrastructure reliability and safety ($165 million); environmental and ecosystem restoration ($235 million); water conservation challenge grants ($40 million); green buildings ($14 million); Central Utah Project Completion Act ($50 million); and emergency drought relief in the west ($40 million).