Reclamation awards $5.5 million contract for aging infrastructure
The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $5.5 million contract for improvements to the Yuma area's water management and delivery system.
The contract, awarded to Fortis Networks Inc. of Phoenix, includes repairing and replacing several aging groundwater conveyance features, canals, siphons, inlets and diversions, and gates managed by the bureau's Yuma area office. Some of the structures date back to the 1930s.
The contract ensures that Reclamation will be able to continue to deliver Colorado River water that meets salinity requirements for stakeholders and effectively manages groundwater recovery for agriculture, said Christopher Wallis, resource management office chief for Reclamation's Yuma office.
“The work done through this contract supports the needs of many people who live and work in southern Arizona. Improving these water delivery systems, critical to the Yuma area's dynamic agricultural industry, will create and support construction and farm jobs,” Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor said in a news release.
Reclamation's primary mission is to deliver water to the area's agriculture industry, Wallis said, noting that Yuma's irrigation system is one of the most efficient in the world and supports the area's multimillion-dollar agriculture industry.
About 90 percent of all the leafy vegetables grown in the United States from November through March is produced in the area, he said. Yuma also is home to an $18 million lemon industry, produces a premium durum wheat crop and grows a variety of other crops.
Repair workers will conduct inspections and the required maintenance so the water management and delivery systems will continue to operate effectively, Wallis said. This is expected to reduce future maintenance costs.
The work is expected to begin in the near future and be completed in April 2013.
Fortis Networks Inc. is a minority-owned and managed company that provides construction, engineering and technology services.