Smart water projects turn on the tap for Infrastructure Act funding

Smart water projects turn on the tap for Infrastructure Act funding
Small projects like gate modernisation and meters are examples of projects funded by the Small-Scale Water Efficiency Program. Courtesy Bureau of Reclamation.

One of the latest announcement’s coming out of Biden’s infrastructure law is an investment aiming to spur smart water and water efficiency projects in the US.

The announcement come from the US Bureau of Reclamation, which proclaimed $7 million for 82 small-scale water efficiency projects across the west in the US.

These grants will support local community projects, including measuring water flow, automating water delivery or lining canals.

The funding is part of $1 billion provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the WaterSMART programme, which supports states, Tribes and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply through investments to modernise existing infrastructure and avoid potential water conflicts.

“Community-driven projects are at the heart of WaterSMART, and small investments can go a long way to support water supply and reliability,” said Reclamation commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton.

“These water efficiency improvements are small, but when combined throughout the west, the projects play an important role in communities becoming more resilient to drought.”

Have you read:
Squeezing valuable drops out of smart water innovation
SIT and GWF partner to develop residential smart water meters
Energy Transitions Podcast: Smart water at the heart of sustainable cities

Projects in 14 western states were selected to receive funding. The projects range from Idaho’s Island Ward Canal Company receiving $23,890 for their automated headgate installation to the City of Watford in North Dakota receiving $100,000 to add smart transmitters to 636 existing municipal water meters.

Other examples of projects include:

  • The Belle Fouche Irrigation District in South Dakota will receive $99,542 to convert 1,100m of unlined canal into a buried pipeline. It will provide a more efficient and reliable water delivery system. It is part of the district’s ongoing effort to upgrade and improve water storage.
  • The Elephant Butte Irrigation District in New Mexico will install motors on an existing check structure and construct a new metering station on the Leasburg Main Canal. The project will allow them to improve the control of diversion flow rates, upstream water pressure and downstream flow. In addition, it will accomplish priorities identified in the Lower Rio Grande Regional Water Plan and 2017 Regional Water Plan to maximise the benefit of the Rio Grande Project surface water.
  • The Moapa Valley Water District, northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, will receive $100,000 to upgrade 400 domestic meters with new meters and cellular endpoints for improved data analytics and water management. This project meets the district’s goals of its water conservation plan and capital improvement plan.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates $8.3 billion for Reclamation water infrastructure projects over the next five years to advance drought resilience and expand access to clean water for families, farmers and wildlife.

The investment aims to repair aging water delivery systems, secure dams, complete rural water projects and protect aquatic ecosystems.