WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry (NAPI), located in Farmington, New Mexico, was awarded $150,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation's WaterSMART Program for its Irrigation Scheduling Improvement Project.
The funds for NAPI will help improve irrigation scheduling and efficiency by monitoring system equipment and installing a moisture probe. The more efficient system will reduce over-watering, which is expected to result in annual water savings of 2,672 acre-feet. Water conserved by the project will reduce the amount of water diverted from Navajo Reservoir during the irrigation season.
“In New Mexico, water is our most precious resource and we’ve worked diligently to make efficient use of our limited supplies,” said Udall. “This critical funding will help the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry to streamline its irrigation system and boost water conservation efforts. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll keep fighting for strong federal investment to live up to our trust responsibility and to ensure that Native communities can continue to engage in smart, sustainable water management.”
“We must do all we can to conserve and responsibly put our limited water supplies to good use,” said Heinrich. “The Navajo Agricultural Products Industry does this by growing the food we eat and supporting hundreds of jobs on the Navajo Nation. I’m proud to support this funding to modernize NAPI’s irrigation infrastructure, and I will continue working to support smart investments that help us manage our precious water resources.”
The WaterSMART Program allows the Bureau of Reclamation to work cooperatively with states, tribes, and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply reliability through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts.
Forty-five projects will be funded based on two categories. In the first category, 28 projects from 11 states were selected to share $7.5 million with each project receiving up to $300,000 in federal funding and having a completion timeframe of less than two years. The second category consists of 17 projects from seven states, sharing $21.5 million. These projects are receiving up to $1.5 million in federal funding and will be completed within three years.
Learn more about WaterSMART at www.usbr.gov/watersmart.