Robert Johnson takes the helm as Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation

Media Contact: Kip White, (202) 513-0684

For Release: October 17, 2006

Robert Johnson became the 20th person to lead Reclamation when he assumed his position today as Commissioner.

"Bob brings a wealth of experience on western water issues to this job," said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Mark Limbaugh. "His experience and leadership in working with multiple parties to develop consensus solutions to these difficult issues will serve him well as Reclamation's Commissioner."

A career Reclamation employee, Johnson most recently served as Reclamation's Lower Colorado Regional Director, where he oversaw the management of the last 700 miles of the Colorado River, Hoover Dam, and numerous other Reclamation activities in southern Nevada, southern California and Arizona.

As Regional Director, he initiated and directed significant changes in the management of the Colorado River, including the first water sharing agreements between California, Arizona, and Nevada and the first water supply guidelines to put California on a path to reducing its use of Colorado River water.

Johnson played a major role in securing California's Quantification Settlement Agreement which addressed California's over-reliance on Colorado River water. He also helped develop and implement the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, a coordinated, comprehensive, long-term multi-agency effort to conserve and work toward the recovery of endangered species, and protect and maintain wildlife habitat on the lower Colorado River.

Johnson joined Reclamation in 1975, beginning his career in the Mid-Pacific Region in Sacramento, Calif. He has held several other leadership positions since then, including Deputy Regional Director, Chief of Water, Land, and Power Operations Division in the Lower Colorado Region, and a management position in the Commissioner's Office in Washington, D.C.

Johnson was raised in Nevada and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Master's Degree in Agriculture and Resource Economics. He is married and has two grown children.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

Robert W. Johnson's Biography