Wyden, Merkley Announce $5.5 Million to Replace Aging Water Infrastructure in Oregon

Washington DC — U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today that Oregon will receive $5.5 million in federal funds from the Ley de Infraestructura Bipartidista y el Ley de Reducción de la Inflación to replace aging water delivery infrastructure in communities across Oregon.

“Access to reliable and safe water is essential for communities to thrive in rural and urban Oregon,” dijo Wyden. “Updating our water infrastructure not only prevents waste, but keeps communities thriving. This funding is a great example of resources I fought for being directed to the much-needed upgrades, and I will continue to advocate for more projects that will deliver clean water to Oregonians.”

“Reliable access to safe, clean water is essential for the health and safety of people across Oregon. These funds will help update and improve water infrastructure—a top concern I hear from folks in every county of the state, especially in rural communities,” dijo Merkley. “I’ll continue to do all I can to ensure every community has reliable access to safe drinking water and water sanitation by addressing outdated water infrastructure here in Oregon and across the nation.” 

The $5.5 million in federal funds come from the Department of Interior through the Bureau of Reclamation and will be distributed as follows in Oregon:

  • Oregon Recreational Sites Utilities Modernization: $5,030,000
  • Umatilla Project Pumping Plants Pump and Motor Replacement/Refurbishment: $544,000

Wyden has been an advocate for water infrastructure upgrades and conservation in Oregon. Recently Wyden and Senate colleagues introduced the WASH Access Data Collection Act to make sure the United States has the comprehensive data it needs to address the water and sanitation needs of rural, Tribal and other underserved communities. In November of 2023, Wyden and Merkley helped secure $32 million for conservation projects in the Columbia Basin and $4 million for conservation projects for the Crooked River and Deschutes Land Trust. Wyden and Merkley also secured $22 Million in April of 2023 to repair water infrastructure and advance drought resilience in Eastern Oregon.

“Hermiston Irrigation District and Stanfield Irrigation District are appreciative for the funding. The funds will be used to refurbish and replace pumps and motors at the Columbia River Pumping Plant that provides water for both Districts. The Columbia River Exchange Program has been a great benefit to the Umatilla Basin. It allows the Districts to divert water from the Columbia River during summer and fall in order to maintain streamflows in the Umatilla River to support habitat and improve streamflows,“ said Annette Kirkpatrick, District Manager of the Hermiston Irrigation District.