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Diplomacy in Action

USIBWC Program Status as of October 7, 2010

October 7, 2010


International Boundary and Water Commission
United States Section

For immediate release
October 7, 2010


The United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) has awarded $220 million in projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), accounting for 100% of Recovery Act funds appropriated to the agency. The funding is being used to construct improvements for 237 miles of aging Rio Grande flood control levees in Texas and New Mexico.

“The USIBWC has worked diligently since last year to award Recovery Act contracts so that we can meet our goals of stimulating the economy and improving our Rio Grande flood control infrastructure,” said U.S. Commissioner Edward Drusina. “I am very proud of the agency’s work on Recovery Act projects and I know the communities where we are spending Recovery Act funds will enjoy the benefits of improved flood protection for decades to come.”

Of the $220 million in projects, the USIBWC has already paid out $67 million. Nearly 600 jobs have already been preserved or created – a number that will increase significantly as levee construction continues to expand based on the contracts already awarded. The USIBWC awarded its final few Recovery Act contracts on September 24, six days in advance of the deadline established by law.

Some of the Recovery Act levee construction in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas has already been completed, ensuring that the levees there were in their best condition in years when flooding occurred over the summer. No major structural problems were identified with the levees despite the highest flood flows in decades.

USIBWC’s Recovery Act funding is being used for projects in El Paso, Hudspeth, Presidio, Hidalgo, Cameron, and Willacy Counties in Texas and in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. In addition to funding levee construction, the Recovery Act is paying for design of an additional 69 miles of levee improvements that will be constructed with future appropriations.

The purpose of the Recovery Act is to create and preserve jobs, promote economic recovery, and invest in infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits. Additional information about USIBWC Recovery Act projects is available at:

For more information:
Sally Spener

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