December 20, 2021

Cortez Masto Announces $40 Million to Fight Drought in Nevada and Across the West

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced today that funds she worked to secure to fight drought are being delivered to Nevada through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This funding includes $40 million to help implement the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan and keep water in Lake Mead.

“Nevada has endured two decades of drought, and that’s why I worked to secure funds to cope with this ongoing emergency,” said Cortez Masto. “The bipartisan infrastructure law is going to help us keep water in Lake Mead and ensure that Southern Nevada has what our communities need. I’m going to keep working in the Senate to make sure we strengthen our water infrastructure and combat drought.”

Specifically, this funding will help implement measures to conserve more than 500,000 acre-feet of water over the next two years. The grant also includes $26 million to help the Lower Colorado River Operations Program implement the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan and $14 million to protect Tribal communities’ water rights.

Senator Cortez Masto has worked throughout her Senate career to combat drought. She secured support for water infrastructure in the bipartisan infrastructure law, including legislation she drafted to create a $450 million competitive grant program for large-scale water recycling projects across the Western U.S. This new program could help fund a regional water recycling project that will produce enough water to serve more than 500,000 households in Southern Nevada and California. Earlier this year, Senator Cortez Masto pushed for the Senate to protect Nevada’s drinking water through the Senate passage of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure ActAs Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Water and Power during the 116th Congress, Senator Cortez Masto was also instrumental in passing the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act. The legislation was signed into law on April 16, 2019, and requires DOI to carry out the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan signed by the seven Colorado River Basin states, including Nevada.