AWE Sends Letter Urging Bureau of Reclamation to Prioritize Water Efficiency and Demand Reduction When Spending $4 Billion for Western Drought Relief
Last week, AWE sent a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation signed by 35 organizations that encouraged the prioritization of water efficiency and demand reduction when deciding how to spend $4 billion recently approved by Congress for western drought response as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. There is pressure on Reclamation to focus spending on the temporary fallowing of crops, and the letter explains that water efficiency and conservation can provide rapid and sustained demand reduction to address both the immediate and long-term water crisis. Congress largely deferred to Reclamation to decide how the money is divided between 1) paying agriculture water users not to use water, 2) water efficiency/demand reduction, and 3) ecosystem restoration. The letter also encourages Reclamation to prioritize water efficiency and demand a reduction in spending funds from the Federal Infrastructure Bill passed last year.