WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Vicente Gonzalez announced $750,000 in grant funding was awarded to the Santa Cruz and United Irrigation Districts as part of the Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants.
The Santa Cruz Irrigation will receive $250,000 and the United Irrigation District will receive $500,000, said the congressman’s news release.
“South Texas is eager and ready for infrastructure and irrigation updates,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “I’m proud to support these projects and their funding to help improve water reliability and efficiency. These projects are expected to help alleviate pressure on water allocations from Mexico and ease international tensions.”
According to the release, through WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants (formerly Challenge Grants), the Bureau of Reclamation provides 50/50 cost-share funding to irrigation and water districts, tribes, states, and other entities with water or power delivery authority.
More information on the projects is available below:
Santa Cruz Irrigation District No. 15, R-6 Canal Piping Project
The Santa Cruz Irrigation District No. 15, located in South Texas, will convert 4,515 feet of the open concrete-lined R-6 Canal to a 36-inch polyvinyl chloride pipeline. The project will reduce seepage losses and eliminate canal blowouts, resulting in an expected annual water savings of 335 acre-feet. Water savings from the project is expected to remain in the Lower Rio Grande Valley Watermaster System, which is currently over-allocated and susceptible to long-term drought. Additional water in the Lower Rio Grande Valley Watermaster System will benefit the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge and ease international conflict over shared water supply with Mexico.
United Irrigation District, Lining of the Mission Main Canal
The United Irrigation District, located near McAllen, Texas, will line 5,900 feet of the currently concrete-lined Mission Main Canal with a geosynthetic composite canal liner covered with shotcrete. Once complete, the project is expected to result in annual water savings of 660 acre-feet, which is currently lost to seepage through the existing concrete liner. The conserved water will remain in the Falcon and Amistad Reservoirs for eventual allocation to other users in the Rio Grande System, including the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, alleviating pressure on the over-allocated water resource shared with Mexico.