The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation within the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) announced that El Paso County Water Improvement District 1 will receive a $1 million grant for fiscal year 2020 as part of DOI’s WaterSMART program.
The program focuses on improving water conservation and helping water-resource managers identifying strategies to ensure sufficient supplies of clean water.
The grant funding will allow El Paso County Water Improvement District 1 to install a concrete lining in a section of the Ysla Latera Canal to conserve water that is currently lost to seepage.
It will also facilitate the expansion of an undersized bridge located next to Salvador Sanchez Middle School in Socorro, resulting in a safer walkway for students and other pedestrians.
For his part, U.S. Representative Will Hurd penned a letter of support to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation advocating the impact the grant would have in managing water sources to meet the significant growing water demands on the El Paso region.
“Because of its arid climate, the El Paso region only receives an average rainfall of about 8 inches each year presenting challenges for local leaders when it comes to water management,” said Hurd who represents a portion of El Paso County including Soccoro.
“I’m proud of the Water Improvement District and their continued efforts to better the economic prosperity of the City of Socorro and provide sufficient services to their residents. It’s essential that we ensure future generations will have ample clean water sources for drinking, economic activities, recreation and an overall healthy ecosystem.”