Released On: February 13, 2012
"The President's budget supports Reclamation's continued progress on the key priorities of our water agenda as we work to help address water resource challenges in the American West," Reclamation's Commissioner Michael L. Connor said. "The budget announced today emphasizes our commitment to create and sustain jobs by continuing to promote efficient water deliveries and power generation, while also actively implementing critical river restoration programs that will help ensure certainty and sustainability in western water management."
The proposal for Reclamation's Water and Related Resources account of $818.6 million includes $395.6 million for resource management and development activities. This funding provides for planning, construction, water conservation activities, management of Reclamation lands, including recreation and actions to address the impacts of Reclamation projects on fish and wildlife. The request also emphasizes reliable water delivery and power generation by requesting $423.1 million to fund operation, maintenance and rehabilitation activities at Reclamation facilities, including dam safety.
The budget emphasizes Reclamation's core mission to address the water needs of a growing population in an environmentally responsible and cost-efficient manner; and assist states, tribes and local entities in solving water resource issues. It also emphasizes the operation and maintenance of Reclamation facilities in a safe, efficient, economic and reliable manner - ensuring systems and safety measures are in place to protect the public and Reclamation facilities.
Reclamation's budget addresses Administration, Departmental and Reclamation priorities. These priorities include Ecosystem Restoration, Renewable Energy, Water Conservation and the WaterSMART Program, Strengthening Tribal Nations and Youth activities.
Specifics of the budget request include: Ecosystem Restoration - Reclamation has a responsibility to focus on the protection and restoration of the aquatic and riparian environments affected by its operations. Highlights of Reclamation's Ecosystem Restoration activities, many of which support the President's America's Great Outdoors initiative, are also needed to fulfill Endangered Species Act (ESA) recovery programs and include:
- $128 million for the Central Valley Project (CVP). A significant portion is for ecosystem restoration, including $2.9 million for final work on the Red Bluff Pumping Plant and Fish Screen, which begins operation in 2012, and $14.1 million for the Trinity River Restoration Program, with an additional $2 million in the CVP Restoration Fund.
- $17.8 million for the Multi-Species Conservation Program within the lower Colorado River basin to provide long-term ESA compliance for river operations.
- $18.9 million for ESA recovery implementation programs including $8 million to implement the Platte River Endangered Species Recovery Implementation Program and $8.4 million for the Upper Colorado and San Juan River Basin Endangered Fish Recovery Programs.
- $18.6 million for the Klamath Project, of which a significant portion is for environmental protection and restoration, including endangered species recovery activities; and to continue funding for studies and initiatives related to improving water supplies to meet the competing demands of agricultural, tribal and wildlife refuges.
- $7.1 million for the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement includes restoration activities in the Upper Klamath Basin to reduce conflicts over water that can be accomplished under existing authorities.
- $36 million for the California Bay-Delta Program for categories aligned with the Interim Federal Action Plan: $27.6 million to address degraded Bay-Delta ecosystem activities, $6.5 million for smarter water supply and use, and $1.9 million for a renewed federal-state partnership.
- $39.9 million for the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund to continue funding a variety of activities to restore fish and wildlife habitat and populations in the CVP service area of California.
- $22.5 million for the Middle Rio Grande Project, of which a significant portion is to support environmental activities developed through the ESA Collaborative Program.
- $18 million for the Columbia and Snake River Salmon Recovery Project for implementation of the Biological Opinions for the Federal Columbia River Power System.
Renewable Energy and Cooperative Landscape Conservation - Reclamation is supporting Interior's integrated strategy for responding to landscape-scale stressors:
- Reclamation is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Energy and its Power Marketing Administrations to determine potential climate change effects on hydropower generation.
- $6.5 million will support the continued implementation of Reclamation's West-wide Climate Risk Assessments and co-coordination of two Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, under Reclamation's Basin Study Program; and Reclamation's Science and Technology Program supporting research improving Reclamation's capability to manage, conserve and expand water supplies in response to multiple stresses in the West, including drought and climate change.
Strengthening Tribal Nations - In FY 2013, Reclamation will enhance support of tribal nations, most notably through the establishment of an Indian Water Rights Settlements account. Reclamation is requesting $46.5 million for the account with $21.5 million to implement four settlements authorized in the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 that will help deliver clean drinking water to Indian communities and provide certainty to water users across the West: the White Mountain Apache Tribe in Arizona, the Crow Tribe in Montana, the Taos Pueblo and the Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso and Tesuque Pueblos in New Mexico. The new account includes $25 million for the implementation of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project authorized by P.L. 111-11, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. The Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project is a key element of the Navajo Nation Water Rights Settlement on the San Juan River in New Mexico.
The budget also requests $2.3 million for the Animas-La Plata Project (Colorado, New Mexico) for operation and maintenance costs following the completion of construction in 2012, and $6.4 million for the Native American Affairs Program to continue support of Reclamation activities with Indian tribes. These activities include providing technical support for Indian water-rights settlements; assisting tribal governments to protect, manage and develop water and related resources; and supporting Indian self-governance and self-determination programs.
Additionally, the Columbia/Snake River Salmon Recovery, Klamath and Central Valley Project Trinity River Restoration projects mentioned above under Ecosystem Restoration, the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement project and five of the seven authorized rural water projects (discussed below), also benefit tribal nations.
Other highlights include -
- The President's budget proposes appropriation language to authorize reconsolidation of Central Utah Project activities into Reclamation, in furtherance of good government principles and ensuring consistent treatment of all federal water projects administered by the Department of the Interior. The budget includes $21 million for the Central Utah Project Completion Act, which supports ongoing Utah lake system construction and water conservation and mitigation activities.
- $69.6 million for rural water projects, of which $51.6 million is for ongoing construction on seven rural water projects in Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota and $18 million for operation and maintenance on completed tribal features for two of the projects.
- $87.5 million for the Dam Safety Program to continue dam safety risk management and risk reduction activities throughout Reclamation's inventory of dams. Corrective actions are planned to continue or start at a number of facilities. A major focus continues to be modifications at Folsom Dam in California.
- $26.9 million for site security to continue Reclamation's ongoing program that includes physical security upgrades at key facilities, guards and patrols, anti-terrorism program activities and security risk assessments.
Across 17 western states, the Bureau of Reclamation is committed to helping meet the region's many water challenges. A driving force behind bureau initiatives is resolution of water issues that will benefit future generations.
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