Federal government announces $50 million to help conserve water in drought-stricken West

The U.S. government will invest nearly $50 million in water conservation and reuse projects in the drought-stricken West.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced funding Wednesday for more than 60 projects in a dozen states.

The idea is to stretch supplies to replenish shrinking groundwater systems and ease the use of expensive imported water.

Jewell spoke at a wastewater purification plant in Los Angeles.

California — in its fourth year of drought — and Texas have the largest water demands and the most funded projects, including the creation of pipelines, eliminating leaky open canals and upgrading existing reclamation and treatment plants.

In one case, federal officials are directing $5 million to build more than 20 miles of pipeline and storage reservoirs to provide recycled water to California's Silicon Valley.