© 2024 Wyoming Public Media
800-729-5897 | 307-766-4240
Wyoming Public Media is a service of the University of Wyoming
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Transmission & Streaming Disruptions
A regional collaboration of public media stations that serve the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Interior Department invests in water recycling for the thirsty West

A wastewater recycling facility.
Ted Auch, FracTracker Alliance
Flickr Creative Commons
A wastewater recycling facility.

News brief: 

The Interior Department recently announced $180 million in new funding for large-scale water recycling programs. The money is available for local agencies looking to reuse wastewater, which officials say will make a big difference for western communities dealing with drought and other impacts from climate change.

Usable wastewater comes from several sources, including municipal sewage, industrial coolant or agricultural runoff. Once treated, it can serve entire communities – even as drinking water.

“As we work to address the drought crisis, it’s critical we are advancing innovative, forward-looking solutions that help communities develop local, drought resistant water supplies,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton in a statement.

The bureau is part of the Interior Department and oversees water resource management for irrigation, hydroelectric power, household consumption and other uses, mostly in the West.

The money is part of billions in spending for water infrastructure projects across the U.S. Other recent funding will go toward desalination, water storage and purification and dam safety.

Millions more is expected to fund water recycling in the coming years, and the department will accept grants applications for this round of funding through 2024.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, KUNC in Colorado and KANW in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Will Walkey is currently a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. Through 2023, Will was WPR's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. He first arrived in Wyoming in 2020, where he covered Teton County for KHOL 89.1 FM in Jackson. His work has aired on NPR and numerous member stations throughout the Rockies, and his story on elk feedgrounds in Western Wyoming won a regional Murrow award in 2021.
Related Content