Nevada to get $9M in federal grants for water projects

FILE - A man stands on a hill overlooking a formerly sunken boat standing upright into the air with its stern buried in the mud along the shoreline of Lake Mead at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Jan. 27, 2023, near Boulder City, Nev. A new study Thursday, May 18, 2023, says climate change’s hotter temperatures and society’s diversion of water have been shrinking the world’s lakes, including Lake Mead, by trillions of gallons of water a year since the early 1990s. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

By Casey Harrison

April 4, 2024

The federal grant funding made possible through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law aims to improve drinking water quality and bolster local treatment facilities.

Nevada will receive approximately $9 million in federal grants aimed at improving drinking water quality and other water infrastructure projects, US Rep. Susie Lee’s office announced Wednesday.

The grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will include roughly $4 million through a federal program called the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, or CWSRF, and an additional $4.8 million through a separate program known as the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). The funds are part of a larger $8.5 billion in EPA spending made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Lee and others in Nevada’s congressional delegation voted to pass.

“This investment is another step toward ensuring that our water resources, and the communities that depend on them, are well-supported and prepared for the future,” Lee said in a news release. “Southern Nevada is on the front lines of the climate crisis – from severe drought and extreme weather, our water resources are in danger, as are the millions of families who depend on them.”

Lee is also the vice chair of the Congressional Colorado River Caucus, which lawmakers formed last March to focus on bipartisan solutions in response to the historic drought affecting seven states that depend on the Colorado River for drinking water.

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The CWSRF is a federal-state partnership that provides financing to communities for a range of water quality infrastructure projects, according to the EPA. Grant funding is allowed to be spent on, among other things, improvements to municipal wastewater facilities, decentralized wastewater treatment systems, stormwater runoff mitigation, water reuse, and other projects.

The EPA, meanwhile, states the DWSRF is a series of programs available nationwide that function like infrastructure banks by providing low interest loans for drinking water improvement projects. States taking part in the program must contribute a 20% match to the federal grants, and as money is paid back to the state’s revolving loan fund, the state makes new loans to other recipients. The repayment of the loan principal and interest earnings are then used for future projects allowed by the fund.

Wednesday’s announcement follows a February announcement awarding Nevada $44 million in federal funds for water infrastructure projects. Those funds, in which the CWSRF received $12.3 million and the DWSRF received $31.8 million, were also made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

  • Casey Harrison

    Casey Harrison is political correspondent for The Nevadan. Previously, he covered politics and the Oakland Athletics' relocation to Southern Nevada for the Las Vegas Sun, and before that, was a digital producer at The Detroit News. Casey graduated from Michigan State University in 2019.

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