Washington County receives $20.5 million grant from Bureau of Reclamation

Jun 2, 2024, 4:00 PM | Updated: Jun 4, 2024, 11:47 am

Zach Renstrom, Washington County Water Conservancy District general manager, poses for a portrait o...

Zach Renstrom, Washington County Water Conservancy District general manager, poses for a portrait outside of Utah State University Moab in Grand County on Friday, April 26, 2024. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY On May 28, Washington County and the Washington County Water Conservancy District were awarded a multi-million dollar grant from the Bureau of Reclamation

The money is part of a $179 million investment through President Joe Biden‘s Investing in America agenda for innovative water reuse projects that strengthen drought resilience across the West, increasing water security and resilience across western communities.

The $20.5 million grant will be used to support the district’s Regional Reuse System, which is a $1 billion system that includes expanded and new facilities, reservoirs, pipelines and other infrastructure that is needed to provide water to more than 200,000 residents within the county.

“Washington County is at the forefront of water conservation to make sure our residents and economy can continue to thrive,” said Utah Rep. Celeste Maloy in a news release. “The Regional Reuse System is exactly the kind of innovative solution to a dry climate that will help secure Southern Utah’s future. It is great to see these federal dollars going to the right place.”

The funds will help ensure Washington County of much-needed water as the climate is changing.

“We are planning for a hotter and drier climate with increased unpredictability in the availability of fresh water,” said Zach Renstrom, general manager of the Washington County Water Conservancy District in a news release. “Reuse water is critical to providing a reliable supply for our expanding economy and growing population.”

Renstrom further stated that the Regional Reuse System will be put to good use.

“We expect about half of the water our communities need over the next 20 years to come from our Regional Reuse System, a robust $1 billion system that will include new and expanded treatment facilities, four storage reservoirs, 60 miles of pipeline and multiple pump stations,” he said. “The federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be put to good use and will be of great benefit to Utah and Washington County,” Renstrom said. 

Additionally, funding $30 million was also awarded for two separate projects in Southern California.

“These historic investments will add a significant tool to our toolbox to bolster drought resilience in communities across the country,” said Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton in a news release from the U.S. Department of the Interior.


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Washington County receives $20.5 million grant from Bureau of Reclamation