BLM invests $4.8 million to address drought in western states as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda

Inflation Reduction Act funding to be distributed through partnership agreements


Bureau of Land Management

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WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced a $4.8 million investment through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to boost partnerships aimed at improving drought resilience and water availability in the western United States.

This funding, from the Inflation Reduction Act, coupled with previous investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, helps ensure aquatic restoration projects are effective in providing more water in Western landscapes. The funding will also support data collection to improve federal participation in state water rights management processes.

“Roughly 1 in 10 Americans in the West rely on clean water from BLM-managed watersheds, but a warming climate has put these watersheds at risk,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. “The funding announced today will put people to work on our public lands to help reduce the impacts of prolonged droughts on communities and wildlife, better positioning the BLM to safeguard the health of our public lands for current and future generations.”

The Biden-Harris administration announced last December that it would join the Global Freshwater Challenge, an initiative to restore over 186,000 stream miles and 1.3 million square miles of wetlands by 2030. As the largest public land manager in the United States, the BLM uses nature-based solutions to restore streams and wetlands and address the intertwined crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.

BLM’s actions today support the Department’s overall Restoration and Resilience Framework. The restoration potential of aquatic systems on public lands is significant: BLM estimates that on average, only 25% of floodplain acres across its 21 Restoration Landscapes are healthy, active, and connected to rivers or streams. 

The funding from today’s announcement will be invested in agreements with BLM partners, including:

  • $1.9 million for a forthcoming national-level agreement to support assessments of riverscape health; inform restoration project prioritization, design, and effectiveness monitoring; and trainings on the restoration of riverscape health.
  • $975,000 for adjudication of water rights for National Conservation Lands in Arizona.
  • $880,000 to support agreements with multiple partners to quantify streamflow and groundwater levels needed to maintain the outstanding values of the BLM-administered Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River within the Rí­o Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico.
  • $250,000 to support an agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to install and maintain stream gages to support the adjudication of instream flow reservations for BLM-administered Wild and Scenic Rivers in Alaska.
  • $291,000 to improve water rights records management for the Snake River Basin adjudication and to support an agreement with the USGS to monitor streamflow in 16 BLM-administered Wild and Scenic Rivers in Idaho.
  • $303,000 to support an agreement with the Springs Stewardship Institute and to support the adjudication of BLM-administered water rights in the Canyon Country District in Utah.
  • $185,000 for agreements with the USGS to expand groundwater-level, spring discharge, and water quality monitoring in the Shoshone Ponds Area of Critical Environmental Concern and Dixie Meadows in Nevada.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.