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Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland begins three-day swing through Colorado

US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland is in Colorado for to discuss drought, wildfires and to promote the Biden administration plan on infrastructure.

DENVER — U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland is in Colorado for the next three days to discuss drought, wildfires and to promote the Biden administration plan on infrastructure, which proposes funding to deal with extreme wildfires and the Western drought crisis.

Haaland began her visit by attending a roundtable on drought at Denver Water on Thursday morning. The roundtable included U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver, members of the Polis and Biden administrations and water district representatives. 

The Interior Department is helping lead a Biden-Harris administration’s Drought Relief Interagency Working Group, which is marshaling existing resources and working in partnership with state, local and Tribal governments to address the needs of communities suffering from drought-related impacts, according to a statement from the Interior Department.

That group, launched in April, is a collaboration between Interior and the Department of Agriculture, and is working to "identify and disburse immediate financial and technical assistance for impacted irrigators and Tribes. It is also developing longer-term measures to respond to climate change, including building more resilient communities and protecting the natural environment."

The concerns about drought ramped up last week, when the Bureau of Reclamation announced it would release more water from reservoirs in the Colorado River Basin to support power production at Lake Powell. Those reservoirs include Blue Mesa in Gunnison County and Navajo on the Colorado-New Mexico border. The lake is considered the "bank" for water for four states that make up the Upper Colorado River Basin: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. 

>9NEWS readers can view the full article at Colorado Politics.

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