Udall, Heinrich, Luján, Lujan Grisham Announce an Additional $10.48 Million for NM Water Infrastructure Projects from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Includes funding for rehabilitation of acequia irrigation system, Tribal Partnership Program, and Rio Grande flood control study

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, along with U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham, announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has allocated over $10,478,478 in additional money for water resources projects across New Mexico, including funding to rehabilitate the Turley Acequia in San Juan County, reimburse counties and cities for major water and wastewater infrastructure projects in the Albuquerque region, complete a feasibility study to improve flood control along the Rio Grande, and fully fund the Tribal Partnership Program. The funding comes at the request of Udall, Heinrich, Luján, and Lujan Grisham, who fought to advance New Mexico water infrastructure priorities in the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, Udall worked to secure the highest level of funding ever for the Army Corps of Engineers. “In New Mexico, we live by the saying ‘water is life’ because we know how vital this precious resource is to preserving our environment, economy, and culture,” said Udall. “I’m particularly proud that we secured funding to improve acequia irrigation systems, which are at the heart of our traditional communities, to ensure a secure water supply for farmers along the San Juan River. Strong federal investment in water infrastructure is essential to making sure communities are engaging in smart and efficient water management. This critical funding will help us maximize our water supply, improve flood control, and support local economies. I’ll continue to fight for resources to make sure that all New Mexico communities have access to key Corps programs that will help them engage in smart, collaborative water management so that our economy and environment can thrive.”

“These infrastructure investments are essential in supporting flood control and water conservation efforts that help strengthen the resiliency of local economies across New Mexico,” said Heinrich. “The Army Corps of Engineers has been an important partner in New Mexico, and I will continue to work to ensure these water management projects remain a priority.” 

“Water has sustained our way of life in New Mexico for generations, which is why it’s critically important that this plan provides funding for our acequias, supports collaboration with Tribes for water resource projects, and bolsters flood control work like the Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration,” said Luján. “I’m especially pleased that the Work Plan acknowledges the importance of communities being made whole for the work they completed with the Army Corps. I look forward to continuing to work with the Army Corps of Engineers on these important investments in our local water infrastructure.”

“The water management projects that are funded through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not only help our state meet the challenges of today but also prepare us for the challenges of the future,” said Lujan Grisham. “By investing in our water infrastructure and management systems, improving flood control, and developing innovative and efficient water practices, we can grow our economy, safeguard our drinking water supply, and improve our agriculture industry for years to come. I will continue to fight for similar investments and developing a comprehensive, long-term water management strategy to safeguard our most precious resource for future generations of New Mexicans.”

The 2019 Army Corps of Engineers Work Plan includes funding for the following New Mexico priorities: 

Water Infrastructure Construction 

Acequias Irrigation System: $1.8 million to rehabilitate Turley Acequia, which is located in rural San Juan County and serves landowners growing alfalfa and grass across approximately 270 acres of land. This project will fund maintenance of the existing irrigation system by installing pipe to reduce water loss, and eliminate debris and stormwater runoff from causing damage.

Central New Mexico Projects: $5,208,748 to finish reimbursements to counties and cities under Section 593, benefitting the Town of Bernalillo, Bernalillo County, the City of Rio Rancho, and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, for these projects: 

  • $1,009,638 for the Albuquerque West Levee Project
  • $1,701,704 for the South Valley Drinking Water Project
  • $2,497,406 for the Rio Rancho Water Upgrade II Project

These funds are the final reimbursements for these communities and starting in FY20, new projects can be funded.

Investigations for Future Construction

Tribal Partnership Program: $2.5 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to work collaboratively with Tribes to study the feasibility of water resource projects that will substantially benefit tribal members. Projects may address flood damage reduction, environmental restoration and protection, and preservation of cultural and natural resources.

Rio Grande, Sandia Pueblo to Isleta Pueblo — Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration: $825,000 to complete the feasibility study phase for the Middle Rio Grande Flood Control project. 

Operation and Maintenance 

In addition to the above funding, which was allocated by the Corps of Engineers, the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill championed by Udall, Heinrich, Luján, and Lujan Grisham directed funding for specific projects and provided over $17.9 million for the operations and maintenance of water resources projects across New Mexico, including:

  • Abiquiu Dam: $3,715,000
  • Cochiti Lake: $3,585,000
  • Conchas Lake: $2,726,000
  • Galisteo Dam: $935,000
  • Inspection of Completed Environmental Projects: $27,000
  • Inspection of Completed Works: $561,000
  • Jemez Canyon Dam: $849,000
  • Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Collaborative Program: $2,117,000
  • Santa Rosa Dam and Lake: $1,385,000
  • Scheduling Reservoir Operations: $199,000
  • Two Rivers Dam: $1,056,000
  • Upper Rio Grande Water Operations Model Study: $746,000

The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for designing and building major flood control, water management, and environmental restorations projects throughout the United States.