Media Contact: Knuffke (202) 343-6115
For Immediate Release: January 25, 1978

Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus has asked the Congress to extend the January 31 deadline for completion of projects authorized under the 1977 Emergency Drought Act to keep them eligible for Federal funding.

The Act gave the Secretary temporary emergency authority to make grants and interest free loans to fund water construction, management and conser1ation projects to ease the impact of the severe drought which hit most of the West in 1976 and 1977. To ensure that Federal funds under the Act went only to emergency drought measures Congress imposed a November 30, 1977, deadline for project completions.

When it later became apparent that some otherwise eligible projects would fall short of completion by that date, Congress extended the deadline to January 31.

Andrus said 66 projects in the West for which the Interior Department has authorized grants and loans will not be completed by January 31.

"The states, local governments, irrigation districts, Indian Tribes and other Federal agencies have begun construction and pushed hard to complete these projects," Andrus said.

"But through no fault of their own--because of delays in supply deliver­ies, bad weather or other problems--they will not meet the deadline. The cut-off date in the amended Emergency Drought Act is absolutely clear; Congress made no exceptions and gave me no authority to grant any. I am very much in sympathy with those who have diligently pursued construction work but the only way we can get them past the January 31 deadline is for the Congress to amend the Act once more."

The Secretary said the bill he is proposing to Congress authorizes no new projects or additional funds. It would simply give him discretion to allow a reasonable time for completion of work already underway.

"All 66 projects are in various stages of completion and some of the loan and grant money has been spent on work done to date, 11 Andrus said. “The spon­sors are trying to complete as much work as they can by January 31. We won't know until then exactly how much money these entities stand to lose if the deadline isn't extended."

Except for grants to the States of California, New Mexico, Illinois, and Wisconsin, the Colorado Water Conservancy Board and eight Indian Tribes for fishery projects, the remaining unfinished projects received interest-free loans with repayment periods ranging from 5 to 30 years. The Secretary said California probably has the most at stake in the extension. Fourteen projects there, at a total completed cost of $9.7 million, will miss the cut-off date. In addition, the State of California will be unable to finish weather modification work for which it received a $3.6 million grant.

Andrus also said 29 of the unfinished projects--eight for fisheries and 21 for irrigation--are on Indian lands. Total cost of the 29 on completion will be $10.7 million. While the Indian projects suffered the same delays from weather and contracting backlogs as others, funding delays compounded the problem. Most of the funds available under the Emergency Drought Act had been obligated by August. But the legislation extending the original dead­line also freed an additional $75 million for construction under the Act. As a result, some of the Indian projects were not funded until September.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received $3.3 million to mitigate drought damage to habitat on lands managed by that agency. Some of these projects suffered similar delays.

According to the Bureau of Reclamation, already completed under the Emergency Drought Act are 52 projects funded by $18.1 million in interest-free loans and 68 under grants totaling $13.0 million. The Bureau of Indian Affairs lists 35 Indian irrigation projects completed with $11.6 million in loans and five Indian fishery projects with $440,000 in Federal grants. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has also completed fishery and wildlife projects costing

$2.2 million, with $1.1 million in projects still uncompleted.

Following is a list of the uncompleted projects, their sponsors, a brief description of the work and the total completed cost:



Okanogan Irrigation District. Replace pumping plant. $1.75 million.


Warm Springs Irrigation District. New pump. $50,000.


Band P Irrigation District. Drill new well. $30,000.


Santa Ynez Water Conservancy District. Drill two wells and install pumps $340,000.

Chowchilla Water District. Wells and tailwater return system pipelines. $4.5 million.

Georgetown Divide public utility district. Four diversion structures and pipelines. 184,750.

Merquin County Water District. Twenty wells and pumps. $440,000.

Madera Irrigation District. Pipelines, pumps and meters. $1,193,273.

Placer County Water Association. Pipeline. $201,000

West Side Irrigation District. Replace 10 miles of open ditch with pipelines


Natomas Central Mutual Water Conservancy. Modify pump station, install pumps, dredging and pilings. $250,000.

Jacob Rancho Water Conservancy. Five deep wells. $500,000.

El Nido Irrigation District. New wells and pumps. $1 million.

State of California. Weather modification program. $3.6 million grant.


Truckee Carson Irrigation District. Pumps, meters, line ditches. $268,400.


Muddy Creek Irrigation Company. Repairs to Emery Reservoir. $600,000.

Newton Water Users' Association. Line 13,000 feet of ditch. $65,000.

New Mexico

State Department of Game and Fish. Various water-saving features at hatcheries and wildlife areas. $223,000 grant.


Gering Irrigation District. Line canals. $247,300.

Pathfinder Irrigation District. Line laterals. $534,400

Central Nebraska Powerplant and Irrigation District. Install 13.2 miles of pipeline. $346,400.

Farwell Irrigation District. Install 15 miles of pipeline. $215,000.


Kirwin Irrigation District. Pipelines. $155,000


Amity Mutual Irrigation Conservancy. Repair and line canals. $194,000.

Colorado Water Conservancy Board. Weather modification program. $600,000.


Illinois Department of Conservation. Construct various pumping facilities $500,000.


Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Construct pumping facility. $53,000.



Fort Hall Tribes. Twelve irrigation wells drilled, cased and equipped. $628,500.

New Mexico

Isleta Pueblo. Twenty irrigation wells. $530,000.

Jemez Pueblo. Four irrigation wells. $60,000.

Picuris Pueblo. 4,000 foot concrete canal lining. $48,300

Pojoaque Pueblo. Rehabilitate diversion dam. $23,600.

San Juan Pueblo. 8,800 foot concrete canal lining. $94,500.

Santa Ana Pueblo. Four irrigation wells $60,000.

Santo Domingo Pueblo. Five irrigation wells. $114,000.

Taos Pueblo. Concrete lining. Rehabilitation of 12,500 foot canal and one irrigation well. $402,200.

Zia Pueblo. Enlargement of storage reservoir. $139,200.

Mescalero Apache. 7,000 foot concrete pipeline $137,000.

Navajo. Lining looking siphon. $200,000.


Colville. Two irrigation wells and equipment. $55,000.

Yakima. Develop and equip irrigation wells. $5 million.

Hoh Fishery. One Well. $7,500

Lower Elwa Fishery. New diversion structure and lining of rearing ponds $243,000.

Lummi Fishery. Well drilling and stream diversion. $103,000.

Muckleshoot Fishery. To acquire water source. $36,000.

Nisqually Fishery. Acquisition of water source and develop wells. $230,000.

Skokomish Fishery. Install well and rearing ponds. $155,600.


Gila River (Pima). Drill and equip 15 wells. $1,500,000. Kaibab. Spring development and pipeline. $71,000.

San Carlos Apache. Wells and river p1DDps. $128,100.


Campbell Ranch. Drill and· equip four wells, $148,000. Ft. McDermitt. Drill and equip four wells. $226,000. Pyramid Lake Fishery. Rehabilitate one well. $8,400. Summit Lake Fishery. Drill and equip one well. $44,000 Walker River. Drill and equip four wells. $186,000,

Yomba. Drill and equip three wells. $145,000.



Watonwan. Water control structures. $10,000.


Shiawassee. Pumping station. $90,000.

South Dakota

Lake Andes. New ponds. $60,000.


Hastings. Wells and pump stations. $50,000.


Entiat. Wells and pump system. $124,000.


Sacramento. Wells, $220,000.

Tehama-Colusa. Wells and water chillers. $100,000.

Coleman. Water delivery system. $200,000

Marble Bluff. Silt removal. $30,000.


Eagle Creek. Water reuse system. $185,000.