After nearly 78 years as the "Reclamation Service" and the "Bureau of Reclamation," the agency has changed its name. Effective November 6, 1979, the new name is Water and Power Resources Service.
Commissioner R. Keith Higginson announced the new name at the National Water Resources Association Convention in Denver. He said, "I recommend the change of name because times have changed . . . We are responsive to national pressures . . . concerns about energy, a growing awareness of what in the near future will be a water crisis, and changing government roles in resource management . . . We need a name that signifies to all Americans our commitment to the responsible development and use of water resources and energy, of which hydro power plays a significant and up-to-now largely unrecognized role with great future potential . . . The name shows clearly that we are involved in the conservation and wise development of the Nation's water and related power resources."
The name change was accomplished by Secretarial Order. Appropriate legislation for any changes which may be recommended in the scope of the Service's authority will be requested from the Congress. Also the Act of May 26, 1926, which amends the Reclamation Act of 1902 prescribing that the function of reclamation of arid lands in the West be directed by a Commissioner of Reclamation, will need to be amended by the Congress. The new title for the head of the Water and Power Resources Service will be the Commissioner of Water and Power Resources.
Note: The agency name reverted back to Bureau of Reclamation in 1981.
Reclamation ERA magazine, December 1979
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