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Released On: December 10, 2003

Reclamation Commissioner Affirms Hydropower Role
Reclamation Commissioner John Keys III speaking today at the Mid-West Electric Consumers Association Annual Meeting in Denver said, "The Bureau of Reclamation is committed to providing water and power to the West in an environmentally and economically sound manner."

Keys pointed out that Reclamation is responding to a changing industry while remaining committed to increasing efficiency and maintaining reliability while containing costs. Keys stated, "We will continue to work closely with our customers as we develop our operation and maintenance budgets and our replacement programs for hydropower equipment to ensure that we continue the reliability of our system."

"Our customers depend on the reliability and sustainability of our power and water delivery. The reliability of Reclamation powerplants is exemplary," Keys said. "Our forced outage rate is roughly one-half that of industry as a whole and, even in low water years, in most cases we are able to meet our water delivery commitments."

"Reclamation's hydropower provides much of the interconnected grids ability to avoid power outages by providing support and reserve power that can be brought online instantaneously." Keys stated. "Hydropower is more flexible and can respond quicker than other electricity sources, thereby allowing Reclamation to provide system support to the power grid when it is needed."

Keys concluded by reaffirming Reclamation's commitment to deliver water and produce hydropower throughout the West.

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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 www.usbr.gov.