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Secretary of agriculture says U.S. should reward farmers who reduce water use

By Alex Hager/KUNC
Published: Friday, November 10, 2023 - 8:16am

Tom Vilsack
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack speaks on Oct. 18, 2023

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says long-term federal spending will be a big part of bringing down water use on farms and ranches in the face of climate change.

Vilsack spoke at a water conference in Colorado, where he announced more than $1 billion in new funding for rural infrastructure projects. He says the USDA has a responsibility to help equip growers with tools and strategies to use water more efficiently.

“They need to be rewarded and acknowledged,” he said, “and as they do, their neighbors will see the benefits and they too will improve and increase their activities as well.”

Vilsack’s announcement is part of the Biden Administration’s Investing in America Agenda. Other federal agencies are spending big on Western Water. The Bureau of Reclamation got $4 billion for Colorado River Projects.

This story is part of ongoing coverage of water in the West, produced by KUNC in Colorado and supported by the Walton Family Foundation. KUNC is solely responsible for its editorial coverage.

Climate Change Water