WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, helped secure a provision in the bipartisan infrastructure package that authorizes $5,000,000,000 for Fiscal Years 2022-2026 for western water programs, including fully funding the federal share of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Project (ENMRWA). Senator Heinrich supported committee passage of the package during last week’s markup.
The project, led by the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority (ENMWUA), is constructing a water pipeline from the Ute Reservoir to Clovis, Portales, Cannon Air Force Base, and additional locations. After working closely with Senator Heinrich, ENMWUA has seen the yearly funding level for this project triple since Fiscal Year 2019. The provision Senator Heinrich helped secure would ensure ENMRWA receives its entire remaining federal share.
“I have worked for more than a decade to increase federal funding for the Ute Pipeline Project to provide cities in eastern New Mexico and Cannon Air Force Base with a sustainable, long-term source of clean water. This is especially critical since these communities have long relied on the rapidly declining Ogallala Aquifer,” said Heinrich. “By fully funding this project, ENMWUA will be able to provide eastern New Mexico a dependable, reliable water supply for generations to come.”
The provision also authorizes $50 million for Colorado River endangered species recovery programs, including the Upper Colorado and San Juan Basin recovery programs that provide Endangered Species Act (ESA) compliance for Colorado River users, including PNM, the Navajo Nation, and the Jicarilla Apache Nation.
Senator Heinrich has long worked to bring a sustainable water supply to eastern New Mexico communities and will continue fighting for additional water infrastructure priorities in the bipartisan infrastructure package and Senate Democrat’s Budget Resolution that expands on the Biden administration’s efforts to build back better.