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Heinrich Secures Over $28 Million For Local Energy, Water Investments In New Mexico

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, secured over $28 million in funding for local investments in energy and water projects. The funding is included in the Energy and Water Development Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bill that was reported out of Committee on a vote of 25 to 5 on Wednesday. 

“This bill creates better access to water for more families, will help us confront the climate crisis, and produce cleaner, healthier communities across America,” said Heinrich. “The $28 million I secured in this bill will strengthen water infrastructure for acequias, Tribal, and rural communities in New Mexico, and advance climate resilience, workforce development, and renewable energy projects across the state.” 

The full bill totals $53.625 billion in discretionary budget authority, $1.873 billion more than fiscal year 2021 and equal to the President’s request. The bill provides $10.662 billion to improve the nation’s water infrastructure, which includes a record level of funding for the Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program at $8.7 billion, an increase of $906 million over fiscal year 2021. Funding for the Corps will be used to build projects that reduce the risk of flood and storm damage, improve the efficiency of our ports, harbors, and inland waterways, and restores aquatic environments. The bill also includes $1.832 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation, an increase of $310 million over fiscal year 2021, to assist the western states in maintaining water supply for Tribes, rural communities, and parts of the country experiencing drought conditions. A full summary can be found here

Senator Heinrich secured over $28 million in funding for local projects that include:

$9,060,000 for Acequias Environmental Infrastructure

This will provide the Acequia Irrigation System program with critical funding for construction to repair and replace acequia infrastructure. 

$17,400,000 for the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Project

This funding for the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Project will deliver water from Ute Reservoir on the Canadian River to the cities and counties that make up the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority (ENMWUA). The purpose of the project is to provide a regional water system with a reliable and sustainable water supply serving several communities in eastern New Mexico. 

$500,000 for Workforce Development Supporting Blue and Green Hydrogen at the San Juan College School of Energy

This funding will support curriculum development specifically for careers related to hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. 

$50,000 for the Electric Vehicle Technician Training Program at the San Juan College School of Energy

This program provides EV/Hybrid training for technicians out of the manufacturer training loop and include critical safety training in its curriculum. The funding will support specialized tooling, instructor salaries, components, and dedicated teaching space. 

$250,000 for an Updated Renewable Energy Development Feasibility Study for the Pueblo of Zia

The Pueblo of Zia will update their 2013 Renewable Energy Development Feasibility Study with current costs and updated development options to reflect changes in available technologies, business climate and federal government policy. The objectives of the feasibility study continue to be studying options for providing a balanced local renewable power supply for the Pueblo, its members and businesses on Tribal lands, and for providing economic development for the Tribe and its Tribal members. 

$1,000,000 for Off the Grid Solar Projects at the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) received CARES Act funding to complete an unprecedented number of electric connections, water extensions, off-grid residential solar unit placements, and broadband/internet installations work. NTUA continues to advance projects to shovel ready status, identifying and completing feasibility studies on Navajo family homes. As part of this effort, NTUA installed and commissioned 300 solar units using CARES Act funding. These solar units were offered to homes when connecting to the electric grid was not feasible because of location, cost, or other determinations. There is a carryover of 701 completed solar applications from NTUA’s CARES Act projects. NTUA will begin taking new solar unit applications at the end of June 2021.