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Interior Department invests in water recycling for the thirsty West

 A wastewater recycling facility.
Ted Auch, FracTracker Alliance
Flickr Creative Commons
A wastewater recycling facility.

News brief: 

The Interior Department recently announced $180 million in new funding for large-scale water recycling programs. The money is available for local agencies looking to reuse wastewater, which officials say will make a big difference for western communities dealing with drought and other impacts from climate change.

Usable wastewater comes from several sources, including municipal sewage, industrial coolant, or agricultural runoff. Once treated, it can serve entire communities – even as drinking water.

“As we work to address the drought crisis, it’s critical we are advancing innovative, forward-looking solutions that help communities develop local, drought-resistant water supplies,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton in a statement.

The bureau is part of the Interior Department and oversees water resource management for irrigation, hydroelectric power, household consumption, and other uses, mostly in the West.

The money is part of billions in spending for water infrastructure projects across the U.S. Other recent funding will go toward desalination, water storage and purification, and dam safety.

Millions more is expected to fund water recycling in the coming years, and the department will accept grant applications for this round of funding through 2024.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, KUNC in Colorado, and KANW in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Copyright 2023 Wyoming Public Radio.

Will Walkey
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