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$5 million to go to Buckeye Water Conservation and Drainage District

A new bipartisan infrastructure deal includes funding for water conservation efforts across the West. More than $11 million will go to five specific projects in Arizona.

$5 million has been set aside for the Buckeye Water Conservation and Drainage District, which has been operating since 1885.

The grant will pay for roughly half of the district’s canal modernization and energy project. Updates will include covering parts of the earthen Main Canal with concrete, and installing a solar- and wind-powered energy system.

The Buckeye Canal is fed by the Gila River and is mainly used for agriculture and irrigation.

The project is expected to save more than 16,000 acre-feet of water annually, which is currently lost due to evaporation, over-deliveries and leakage. One acre foot is equal to more than $320,000 gallons.

The other four projects include allocating funds to: The Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District, The Paloma Irrigation and Drainage District, The Town of Gilbert and the town of Cave Creek.

Rithwik Kalale is an intern for KJZZ. He graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and is currently in his last semester of graduate school.Kalale has worked as a community and culture reporter for the State Press, as a health reporter for Arizona PBS and as an editorial assistant for Zócalo Public Square. He also produced and hosted his own show called "POP48" for Blaze Radio, ASU’s student station. His goal is to cover both digital and audio stories that spotlight underrepresented groups.Kalale is a Bay Area native, but splits his time between the U.S. and India, where his family lives. In his free time, Kalale likes to play video games, binge TV shows and attend concerts.