WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Xochitl Torres Small announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has awarded a grant of $3,629,065 and approved a loan of $1,014,000, totaling $4,643,065, to help the Lower Rio Grande Public Water Works Authority upgrade and modernize the water system in Berino, New Mexico.
The award will be used to drill a new water well, and install an arsenic treatment facility as well as a new storage tank. When complete, the projects will help expand water service, address arsenic concentrations in the groundwater, and provide cleaner water for thousands of Berino water system users.
“In New Mexico, water is a precious resource and the need for clean water is especially pressing in our rural and border communities known as colonias. Access to clean, reliable water is vital to helping communities like Berino grow and flourish,” said Udall. “This major funding from USDA will expand service and provide cleaner water to businesses, families, and residents in Berino. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and a long-time advocate for improving border water infrastructure, I’ll keep fighting for the strong investments our New Mexico communities need to ensure clean water for all.”
“We must do all we can to responsibly provide clean water supplies in regions with limited resources,” said Heinrich. “I’m proud to support this funding to modernize Berino’s water infrastructure and services, and I will continue working to support smart investments that help us manage our precious water resources in New Mexico’s border communities.”
“Access to clean water should never be a luxury, but for some parts of southern New Mexico, outdated systems have jeopardized a precious resource. The grant awarded to Berino will provide much needed funds to upgrade and modernize their community’s water infrastructure, leading to improved health for over 4,500 residents and 150 commercial businesses. I will continue to uplift rural communities and ensure that federal resources are directed to meeting their most urgent needs,” Torres Small said.
The Lower Rio Grande Public Water Works Authority will receive the funding through USDA Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Additional information is available here.