The Mid-Pacific Region
The Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region has continued to make significant advances in recent years toward easing some of the water supply and management challenges for water and power contractors. Even so, much of the water supply in California, and in the bordering areas of Oregon and Nevada, lack historic reliability and in many areas associated ecological systems are in decline.
The Region has completed, or advanced, some short-term and long-term solutions. Those and other solutions are essential to the health of state and local economies, natural resources and the environment. Reclamation remains committed to working with our partners on long-term water supply improvements and environmental restoration in the Region.
The Region’s management team continued its focus on prioritizing programs and improving organizational efficiency and effectiveness to meet future needs and projects, while dealing with diverse and complex issues of both changing climate and competing public values. Those improvements have been coupled with a focus on priorities of protecting human health and safety, and developing and maintaining relationships essential to accomplishing the Region’s mission.
In successfully obligating the $370 million program for Fiscal Year 2012 (Oct. 1, 2011 to Sept. 30, 2012) the Region provided funds to maintain water supplies, repair water and power infrastructure, address environmental needs associated with project operations, and improve water efficiency, reuse and recycling.
Developments regarding projects and programs during FY 2012 and early FY 2013 are highlighted in this report.
Regional Director Don Glaser
From 2008 through 2012, Don Glaser served as regional director for the Mid-Pacific Region, overseeing management of Reclamation’s 11 water projects in an area encompassing the northern two-thirds of California, most of western Nevada, and part of southern Oregon. The Region includes California’s Central Valley Project, one of the largest and highest-profile, multi-purpose water projects in the nation.
In December 2012, Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor announced that Mr. Glaser would accept a move to Denver to work on high priority projects for the commissioner’s office, including some in the Mid-Pacific Region.
In May 2008, soon after his appointment as regional director, Mr. Glaser established four priorities that he used as the guide for managing the Region: protect human health and safety, facilitate the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization, develop and maintain relationships, and accomplish necessary tasks. He used those as the foundation for what became nationally recognized achievements in the Region.
Mr. Glaser’s service in Reclamation, prior to overseeing the Region, includes 20 years of varied experiences in several positions throughout the West and in Washington, D.C. He served as both deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner for resources management.
Mr. Glaser also spent seven years managing non-profits engaged in water education, open-space preservation, and fish and wildlife conservation and restoration. In addition, he served as the executive director for the Presidential Commission on Western Water Policy and the state director for the Bureau of Land Management in Colorado.
In March 2012, while serving as the Region’s director, Mr. Glaser was awarded the Department of the Interior’s highest recognition, the Distinguished Service Award, for outstanding leadership. He received the award from Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The award stated, in part, that it was in recognition of Mr. Glaser’s “outstanding leadership, professionalism, and contributions to the Department of the Interior in effective water and power management for the Bureau of Reclamation.”
David Murillo Named New Director
In December 2012, Commissioner Connor named Deputy Commissioner of Operations David Murillo as the new regional director for the Region.
Commissioner Connor said in a statement: “Mr. Murillo brings into this new position a long history of working collaboratively with Reclamation’s customers and stakeholders. This change will build upon Reclamation’s commitment to excellence and public service.”
Mr. Murillo has an extensive knowledge of water and related resources policy, water and power system operation and maintenance, and ecosystem recovery. He has held several positions within Reclamation and has varied experience working with Reclamation partners and stakeholders. After joining Reclamation in 2000 as the manager of the Yakima Field Office, Murillo went on to serve as the power manager at Grand Coulee Dam and then as Reclamation’s deputy commissioner of operations.
“I am committed to the challenge of maintaining the balance of competing needs for water in the Region, of fostering the relationships and partnerships essential to cooperation and accomplishments, and of carefully managing the natural resources entrusted to us,” said Mr. Murillo.
Regional Director’s 2012 Report
Throughout 2012, the Region demonstrated its dedication to managing, developing and protecting water and related resources. Primary measures of that commitment show in the quantities of water delivered for agricultural, urban and environmental uses; as well as in the amount of electricity generated by our hydroelectric powerplants.
The Region’s largest water project, the Central Valley Project in California, delivers an annual average of about 5.5 million acre-feet of water to the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, farmland in California’s central coast region, wildlife refuges, and urban areas in the southern and eastern San Francisco Bay Area. Its 11 hydropower plants generate an annual average of about 4.5 billion kilowatt-hours. The Klamath Project in southern Nevada and northern California delivers an annual average of about 860,000 acre-feet of water a year to agriculture and wildlife refuges. The Newlands Project in western Nevada and eastern California delivers about 180,000 acre-feet of water annually to agriculture.
The Region also worked through partnerships to achieve milestones on essential projects and programs addressing short-term and long-term water supply reliability and environmental restoration. The Region completed two major projects, funded by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: the Delta-Mendota Canal and California Aqueduct Intertie, and the Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project. We advanced another major ARRA project, the Battle Creek Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Project, as well as large river restoration projects such as those on the San Joaquin and Trinity rivers.
In July 2012, the Department of the Interior and the state of California jointly proposed new intake and conveyance facilities through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for public consideration and environmental review. Secretary Salazar and California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. said California’s water system is unsustainable environmentally and economically and that the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan, including the proposed Delta conveyance facility, was part of a comprehensive solution to achieve a reliable water supply for California and a healthy Bay-Delta ecosystem.
The Region’s 2012 accomplishments include advancing the restoration and mitigation goals of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act with fisheries, wildlife refuge and land conservation programs; as well as taking steps to address climate change. We also partnered to increase water storage with the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project, to advance a $1 billion project to improve safety at Folsom Dam in central California, to bring additional hydroelectric generation online with a small powerplant on an irrigation canal in southern Oregon, and to continue the state of California’s management of recreation facilities at two central California locations.
Through the WaterSMART program, the Region contributed millions of dollars to dozens of local water recycling and reuse projects.
The Intertie, which links two major federal and state canals in the Central Valley, improves operational flexibility and more efficiently delivers water south of the Delta. Reclamation provided nearly $16 million in ARRA funds, which combined with other funding sources, made it possible to break ground in October 2010 for the $28 million project to construct the Intertie between the federal Delta-Mendota Canal and the state California Aqueduct. The project, located in Alameda County, will potentially increase average annual deliveries to the CVP by as much as 35,000 acre-feet by addressing conveyance conditions in the DMC that restrict use of the nearby C. W. “Bill” Jones Pumping Plant to less than its design capacity.
The Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project in Northern California is a $190 million pumping plant project that includes about $115.5 million in funds from ARRA. The pumping plant, screened to protect fish, conveys water from the Sacramento River to the Tehama-Colusa and Corning canals. The plant replaced the Red Bluff Diversion Dam that created a barrier to migrating fish, some of which are listed under the Endangered Species Act. The diversion dam gates have been placed in the open position for unimpeded migration of fish. The new pumping plant ensures continued water deliveries to farmlands.
The Battle Creek Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Project in Northern California is among the largest cold-water anadromous fish restoration efforts in North America. Facility improvements, and habitat restoration and enhancement, will enable safe passage, growth and recovery for threatened and endangered Chinook salmon and Central Valley steelhead. Restoration along 48 miles of Battle Creek and its tributaries, which is on schedule for completion in 2014, includes construction of fish screens and ladders on three hydropower diversion dams.
February 22, 2013