West Texas lawmakers pitch water projects for farmers, colonia residents

Border Report

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Farmers in El Paso’s Lower Valley and residents of low-income communities in the Upper Valley could benefit from funding in a pair of pending House appropriations bills.

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, said $1.1 million for a design and environmental assessment for first-time water and wastewater projects is included in the fiscal year 2022 Interior, Environmental and Related Agencies Subcommittee Appropriations Bill.

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas

“For decades, many colonia residents have lacked potable water and wastewater treatment systems, affecting the health and prosperity of our community,” Escobar said.

The ultimate goal is to provide first-time drinking water hookups to 52 homeowners and an additional 138 wastewater connections to 138 homes that don’t have any.

Meantime, U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, said $798,140 to prevent the loss of irrigation water due to the region’s hot and dry weather is included in the fiscal year 2022 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.

If approved, the money will be used to install 21,240 feet of fiber-reinforced shotcrete on earthen canals to ensure the delivery of water to 9,800 acres of farmland within El Paso Water Improvement District No. 1.

Both bills still require the approval of both chambers of Congress and be signed by President Biden.

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