In a combined statement, the two federal departments said they will provide US$47 million to help water districts and energy projects in 13 states in the western US, enhance water and energy conservation.
The USDA will invest US$15 million whilst the Bureau of Reclamation will provide US$32.6 million. Seventy-six projects are set to benefit from the funding.
The partnership falls under the federal government’s efforts to reduce the effects of the ongoing drought in the US. The Bureau of reclamation said it will channel its grants through its WaterSmart Water and Energy efficiency programme.
Tom Vilsack, US Secretary of Agriculture, said: “By working with communities and producers to more wisely manage the water they have, we help ensure that this and future generations will have sufficient supplies of clean water for drinking, agriculture, economic activities, recreation, and ecosystem health.”
Estevan Lopez, Reclamation Commissioner, added: “Water and energy efficiency are intricately linked. [US allocates US$37.5bn for energy and smart water projects].
“When we conserve water, we also conserve the energy it takes to move it. One way we can achieve these efficiencies is to bring federal resources to the table for local projects that focus on saving water,” reiterated Lopez.
Federal funding on energy conservation
The news follows an announcement by the US department of Energy (DOE) that it has launched a US$3 million energy efficiency project to help federal governments to improve their energy conservation measures.
In a press statement, the DoE said the state governments will secure the funding, ranging between US$200,000 to US$1 million, through its Federal Energy Management Programme (FEMP).
FEMP provides assistance in the form of information, tools and funding to help agencies and organizations to meet and track their energy-related requirements and goals.
The grants are aimed at assisting small facilities owned by the federal governments to implement water and energy efficiency projects such as replacing existing lighting, HVAC and water systems with energy efficiency models.
In addition, the FEMP grants will also be used to monitor the deployment and effectiveness of energy efficiency programmes receiving funding from the Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) ENABLE, states the statement.
ENABLE is a US government financing mechanism providing funding to federal governments to reduce consumption in federal buildings.
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