The Coachella Valley Water District will receive $1.3 million in two Bureau of Reclamation grants for projects aimed at saving water, the Department of the Interior announced this week.

They are part of $32.6 million in grants from the department to improve water and energy efficiency in response to drought or potential drought in California and 12 other Western states, according to an announcement by Reclamation Commissioner Estevan Lopez.

A grant for $1 million will help the district with a $9 million project to replace about 11.2 million square feet (259 acres) of turf with low water-use desert plants. The replacement will save an estimated 1,747 acre feet of water per year and save money by reducing the amount of electricity used in pumping groundwater.

District communications specialist Diane Carmony said the grant could be used on any eligible golf course, commercial or residential area in the Coachella Valley.

A second grant of $300,000 will go toward a $4.02 million project to construct a pipeline and pump station to deliver surface water for irrigation, freeing up 1,040 acre feet of potable groundwater. It is intended to reduce groundwater overdraft, a concern addressed in the district’s overall management plan.

That would be used in Bermuda Dunes, an incorporated area in Riverside County near Palm Desert, Carmony said.

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