$4 Billion in Drought Relief Funding in Inflation Reduction Act
The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law by President Biden this week, includes $4 billion for drought relief in the western U.S., including the Colorado River Basin (CRB) where the 23rd consecutive year of drought, fueled by climate change, has accelerated the basin’s water crisis, with the federal government recently calling for a dramatic 17 to 33 percent cut in water usage over the next year.
The drought relief language in the Act is vague, but urban and agricultural water efficiency and conservation projects are listed as eligible expenses. AWE is drafting a letter urging the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to focus funding on projects that can deliver fast and sustained water savings, including water efficiency and conservation. Unfortunately, the bill does not include tax exemption for water conservation rebates as we had hoped it would, but we are optimistic that this will be included in legislation later this year.