USBR awards contract for groundwater pumps
As the latest project in its list of updates to its aging water management and delivery system in the Yuma area, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a contract for new groundwater pumps.
The $3.4 million contract was awarded to Phoenix Pumps Inc. to provide turbine pump systems and associated spare parts that are manufactured in the United States. The pumps will be used for the maintenance and operation of the 97 Yuma Area Office wells that pump excess groundwater from agricultural areas.
Reclamation manages the groundwater through a system of drainage ditches and numerous high-capacity production wells integrated with salinity control systems.
Reclamation's Yuma Area Office has prioritized this work item within a list of aging infrastructure projects that USBR is responsible for, said Christopher Wallis, chief of the resources management office. Work on the system began in 2009 under the federal stimulus act.
Recent contract awards represent a maximum over a five-year period, Wallis added. Depending on budget availability, “we will continue to make progress on the system.”
The groundwater wells were developed in the 1960s and 1970s because of high groundwater issues, Wallis said. The work will be completed on all four of Reclamation's well fields in the Yuma area, including South Gila Valley, Yuma Valley, Yuma Mesa and the 242 Well Field.
The groundwater recovery system not only lowers local groundwater levels, he said, but is also an important supply of water in the midst of drought along the Colorado River. Groundwater that is pumped is returned to the Colorado River and delivered to Mexico under the 1944 Water Treaty with that country, Wallis said. The return flow credits are an important supply to all of the lower basin states that depend on the Colorado River as an important source of water.
“The contract ensures Reclamation will continue to meet Colorado River water delivery agreements and effectively manage groundwater levels for agriculture,” said Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor. “The high quality supplies provided through this contract will further modernize the water delivery systems critical to the Yuma-area's dynamic agricultural industry that brings billions of dollars to our economy and creates and supports jobs in several different industries.”
Yuma's irrigation system is one of the most efficient in the world. About 90 percent of all the leafy vegetables grown in the United States from November through March is grown in the area.
Phoenix Pumps is a veteran-owned small business that provides a variety of pumping products and services for many industries across the United States.