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Biden admin. allocates $310M for water reuse projects in western states

The Biden administration announced the allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars for water reuse projects in western states dealing with severe drought conditions. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/c456f151ef79be50e043672b525df229/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The Biden administration announced the allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars for water reuse projects in western states dealing with severe drought conditions. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 19 (UPI) -- The Biden administration announced $310 million in funding for water reuse projects across the country as several western states battle drought conditions.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland with Reclamation Bureau Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton announced the allocation of funds in a joint statement Thursday, stating it will cover 25 water reuse projects in six states.

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The projects selected, they said, are expected to increase capacity by about 213,000 acre-feet of water, which is enough to support more than 850,000 people a year.

"Water is essential to everything we do and it will take all of us, working together, to address the significant drought impacts we are seeing across the West," Haaland said.

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The vast majority of the projects are in California, where officials have been battling a worsening drought for years.

Last week, the California government of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced an action plan to increase water supply and adapt to more extreme weather, stating without action the water supply could drop by up to 10% by 2040.

The U.S. Department of the Interior said $309.8 million for the more than two dozen projects announce Thursday will come from President Joe Biden's more than $1 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law with another $1 million in appropriated funding for planning.

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"Water reuse helps communities diversify their water supply as they are facing an unprecedented drought and a changing climate," Touton said. "These projects will provide flexibility for communities and help them stretch their current drinking supplies as they will be treating wastewater that continues to be available."

The announcement followed a two-day trip by Haaland and Touton through central and southern California to see how the investments could help address the worsening drought conditions and expand access to clean drinking water for families, farmers and wildlife, they said.

RELATED Forecasters say Western states will sizzle this week amid excessive heat watches

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