WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Filemon Vela (D-TX) announced that the Bureau of Reclamation is awarding a total of $1,019,057 in grant funding to support several projects in South Texas. Projects in the Cameron County Irrigation District No. 2, Harlingen Irrigation District Cameron County No. 1 and Santa Cruz Irrigation District No.15 will improve the overall conservation of water and save energy in their communities.

The Cameron County Irrigation District No. 2 will receive $260,103 which will help convert pipeline in an area that experiences significant and frequent drought conditions. An annual of 364 acre-feet in water savings is expected after the project is complete.  They will also receive an additional $208, 954 to help convert an open canal to a buried pipeline, which will result in 330 acre-feet of water savings annually. Both projects are expected to decrease the amount of water pumped from the Rio Grande Valley, which will conserve and retain more water in-stream for habitat and downstream users and improve the drought resiliency in the area. 

The Harlingen Irrigation District Cameron County No. 1 has been awarded $300,000 for infrastructure upgrades that will result in water savings of 68 acre-feet annually, which will benefit all Rio Grande Valley water users in the area. 

The Santa Cruz Irrigation District No. 15 will receive $250,000 to replace a pipeline, which will reduce seepage losses and eliminate canal blowouts. This project is expected to save 335 acre-feet in water savings annually, which will remain in the Lower Rio Grande Valley Watermaster System to help combat long-term drought and will benefit the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

“With over 1,000 acre-feet in water conservation, these projects are expected to have long-term benefits for the communities of South Texas,” said Congressman Vela.  “This federal funding will improve conditions in communities that are susceptible to frequent droughts.  Completion of these projects will also benefit all water users in the Rio Grande Valley and will have lasting positive effects on the environment.  I applaud our local irrigation districts for taking the necessary steps to conserve wastewater. I also thank the Biden Administration for recognizing the importance of these projects and I will continue offering my support on future projects.”