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Basin Studies

Basin Studies addresses basin-wide efforts to evaluate and address the impacts of climate change. Funding is available for comprehensive water studies that define options for meeting future water demands in river basins in the western United States where imbalances in water supply and demand exist or are projected. Each study includes four key segments:

  • State-of-the-art projections of future supply and demand by river basin.
  • An analysis of how the basin’s existing water and power operations and infrastructure will perform in the face of changing water realities.
  • Development of options to improve operations and infrastructure to supply adequate water in the future.
  • Recommendations on how to optimize operations and infrastructure in a basin to supply adequate water in the future.

Lower Rio Grande Basin Study Shows Shortfall in Future Water Supply (Dec. 17, 2013) - Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor released the Lower Rio Grande Basin Study that evaluated the impacts of climate change on water demand and supply imbalances along the Rio Grande along the United States/Mexico border from Fort Quitman, Tex., to the Gulf of Mexico. More... | Report


Bureau of Reclamation and Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority Complete Santa Ana Watershed Basin Study (Dec. 12, 2013) -  Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor released the Santa Ana River Watershed Basin Study, which addresses water supply and demand projections for the next 50 years and identifies potential climate change impacts to Southern California's Santa Ana River Watershed. This study is a first of its kind for the predominately urban basin. It encompasses approximately 2,600 square miles in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties and is home to more than 6 million residents. More... Report


WaterSMART Basin Study Applicants Sought for 2014 (Nov. 20, 2013) - Reclamation is seeking applications from entities interested in participating in the Basin Studies program for 2014. Basin studies are conducted throughout the West as part of Reclamation’s role in the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART initiative, which helps to provide water managers better information to make decisions about water use. More...


Reclamation, Partners will Study Water Supplies in Five Western River Basins (May 23, 2013) - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor announced $2.1 million will be made available under the WaterSMART Basin Study program to enable Reclamation to partner with local entities to conduct comprehensive studies of river basins in Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Nevada and Oregon. More...


Henrys Fork Basin Special Study Interim Report Outlines Proposed Alternatives for Idaho’s Water Needs (Feb 5, 2013) - After nearly two years of collaboration, technical analysis and public participation, the Bureau of Reclamation and the State of Idaho have released the Henrys Fork Basin Special Study Interim Report that describes potential future water supply alternatives for the basin. More...


Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study Released - (December 12, 2012) Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the release of a study authorized by Congress and jointly funded and prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation and the seven Colorado River Basin states that projects water supply and demand imbalances throughout the Colorado River Basin and adjacent areas over the next 50 years. The Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, the first of its kind, also includes a wide array of adaptation and mitigation strategies proposed by stakeholders and the public to address the projected imbalances. More...

Last updated: 1/13/14