Lewis & Clark Water Project Receives $9 Million In Funding

The Bureau of Reclamation notified Lewis & Clark Friday the project will be receiving a total of $9 million in funding for FY15. This is an increase of just under $6.6 million from the just over $2.4 million proposed by the Administration in its FY15 Budget.

The increased funding was the result of efforts by the tri-state congressional delegation to increase funding for BoR’s Rural Water Program by an additional $31 million. BoR officials then made the final decision on how to allocate the $31 million among six rural water projects.

“This is really good news and we cannot thank our congressional leaders enough for their hard work and leadership to secure the additional funding. They really went to bat for us. Our thanks and appreciation as well to the Bureau of Reclamation for its support. While the $9 million alone will not result in water being delivered to another member, it will be used to make important progress toward connecting the remaining members,” said Executive Director Troy Larson.

The Administration proposed $16.3 million for rural water construction in its FY15 Budget, with $2.4 million of that for L&C. With the additional $31 million the total FY15 construction funding for the Rural Water Program is $47.3 million. This is close to the $49 million in the FY14 Budget and the $51 million in the FY13 Budget.

The combined remaining federal cost share for the six rural water projects is currently $1.4 billion. According to a 2014 BoR report, if $50 million is appropriated for the rural water construction each year, and assuming four percent annual inflation, the remaining federal cost share for the rural water projects would increase to $1.8 billion by 2065.

On February 2 the Administration released its FY16 Budget, which proposes $18.5 million for rural water construction, with $2.774 million being designated for L&C.