Commissioner's Offce News Releases http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom News Releases from Reclamation's Commissioner's Office http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49329 Secretary Jewell Announces $50 Million to Help Conserve Water in Drought-Stricken West
<strong>LOS ANGELES, CA</strong> -- As part of the Obama Administration's continued effort to bring relief to western communities suffering from the historic drought, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that Interior's Bureau of Reclamation will invest nearly $50 million to improve water efficiency and conservation in California and 11 other western states. <P> "In a time of exceptional drought, it is absolutely critical that states and the federal government leverage our funding resources so that we can make each drop count," said Secretary Jewell. "Being 'water smart' means working together to fund sustainable water initiatives that use the best available science to improve water conservation and help water resource managers identify strategies to narrow the gap between supply and demand." <P> Joined by Nancy Sutley, Chief Sustainability and Economic Development Officer of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the funding announcement was made today at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys, CA, where millions of gallons of wastewater are purified each day. Secretary Jewell, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López and Sutley emphasized the importance of federal-state partnerships to help work toward a more sustainable and resilient water future. <P> "Through the WaterSMART Program, Reclamation is providing funding for water conservation improvements and water reuse projects across the West," Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. "We commend the state of California for all the steps they have already taken to alleviate the impacts of the drought. We hope this federal funding for water reuse and efficiency will help us leverage scarce resources between the state and federal governments to bring much-needed relief for the people and environment of California." <P> "The federal government's support for critical water efficiency and reuse projects is most valuable especially during this historic drought in California," said Sutley. "The investments will help cities like Los Angeles carry out our sustainability objectives, further build our local water supply and reduce our reliance on imported water. We look forward to all these important opportunities ahead of us." <P> "We are honored to host Secretary Jewell at our Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant and Japanese Garden today," said LA Sanitation Director Enrique C. Zaldivar, P.E. "We look forward to learning more about the environmental partnership opportunities she will announce during her visit." <P> Reclamation is investing more than $24 million in grants for 50 water and energy efficiency projects in 12 western states, more than $23 million for seven water reclamation and reuse projects in California, and nearly $2 million for seven water reclamation and reuse feasibility studies in California and Texas. <P> WaterSMART is the U.S. Department of the Interior's sustainable water initiative. Since it was established in 2010, WaterSMART has provided about $250 million in competitively-awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities and universities. These investments have conserved enough water to meet the needs of more than 3.8 million people. Every acre-foot of conserved water delivered means that an equivalent amount of existing supplies is available for other uses. <P> WaterSMART water and energy efficiency grants can be used for projects that conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, benefit endangered and threatened species, facilitate water markets, carry out activities to address climate-related impacts on water or prevent any water-related crisis or conflict. The 50 projects announced today will be leveraged with at least 50 percent non-federal funding for a total of $133 million in improvements over the next two to three years. For a complete description of the 50 projects, please visit the <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/weeg/" target="_blank">WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant website</a>. <P> Through Title XVI of the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act, Reclamation provides funding for projects that reclaim and reuse municipal, industrial, domestic or agricultural wastewater and naturally impaired ground or surface waters. Title XVI provides up to 25 percent of project costs. Project sponsors provide the remaining 75 percent of the funding necessary to carry out projects, thereby leveraging limited federal funding to implement as many water reuse projects as possible. Seven projects in California will receive $23.2 million. For a complete description of these seven water reuse projects, please visit the <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/title" target="_blank">WaterSMART Title XVI website</a>. <P> Also under the Title XVI Act, Reclamation is providing $1.6 million for communities to study whether water reuse projects would help them to meet their future water needs. Four feasibility studies in California and three studies in Texas were selected this year. Feasibility studies are funded jointly by Reclamation and project sponsors. A cost-share of at least 50 percent of study is required. For a complete description of the seven new studies selected for funding, please visit the <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/title" target="_blank">WaterSMART Title XVI website</a>. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49290 Bureau of Reclamation Releases Two Funding Opportunity Announcements to Promote Drought Contingency Planning and Resiliency Projects
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation released two funding opportunity announcements today under its new Drought Response Program, to help water users develop drought contingency plans and build long-term drought resiliency. Funding opportunities are allocated through a competitive process. <P> "Drought contingency plans help communities prepare for a drought before its onset and help mitigate drought risks," Commissioner Estevan López said. "This is why Reclamation provides assistance to water users. We want water users to consider drought contingency planning before an actual drought takes place. It is better to take a proactive approach to managing drought risk, instead of a reactive one." <P> Drought contingency plans help communities recognize drought in its early stages, identify the effects of drought and protect themselves in the future. Reclamation provides financial assistance to develop or update drought contingency plans through cooperative agreements on a 50/50 cost-share basis. Applicants may also request technical assistance from Reclamation to help develop this plan. Plans must include the input and participation of multiple stakeholders, consider climate change impacts to drought conditions and identify potential drought mitigation and response actions to build resilience to drought as exacerbated by climate change. To view this Funding Opportunity Announcement, please visit www.grants.gov and search for funding opportunity number R15AS00047. Applications are due on June 25, 2015. <P> Drought resiliency projects, also referred to as "mitigation actions," help communities prepare for and respond to drought. To be eligible, projects must be supported by an existing drought contingency plan. Reclamation will provide funding on a 50/50 cost-share basis. Projects identified must result in long-term benefits that will build resiliency in the future and meet one of the following goals: increase the reliability of water supply and sustainability; improve water management; implement systems to facilitate voluntary sale, transfer or exchange water; and provide benefits for fish, wildlife and the environment. To view this Funding Opportunity Announcement, please visit www.grants.gov and search for funding opportunity number R15AS00046. Applications are due on June 25, 2015. <P> For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have worked to develop a sustainable water and power future for the West. This program is part of the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program, which focuses on improving water conservation and sustainability, while helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. <P> To find out more information about Reclamation's WaterSMART program, visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/watersmart" target="_blank">www.usbr.gov/watersmart</a>, or visit the Drought Response Program at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/drought" target="_blank">www.usbr.gov/drought</a>. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49269 Mid-Pacific Regional Director Receives Highest Honor during Public Service Recognition Week
<div class="floatRight"><img src="http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/images/2015/murillodoi.jpg" width="200px" align="right" alt="David Murillo with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell"><br /><span class="caption">David Murillo with Secretary Sally Jewell</span></div>WASHINGTON - Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today awarded Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo with the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor of the Department of the Interior, for his leadership on water, power and environmental issues. <P> Murillo oversees the Mid-Pacific Region's 11 water projects, including the Central Valley Project, in an area encompassing the northern two-thirds of California, most of western Nevada and part of southern Oregon. <P> "David's role managing water in Reclamation's drought-stricken Mid-Pacific Region has made him a key figure in California's economy and the nation's food production," Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. "It is our honor to recognize him for his leadership and dedication to public service." <P> In 2013, Murillo worked with key stakeholders to organize outreach meetings that would explore options for managing limited water supplies. These meetings helped formulate the 2014 Central Valley Project Water Plan, a document that served as the cornerstone for Reclamation's response to one of the worst droughts on record in California. <P> In spring 2014, Murillo made difficult decisions as the region's drought conditions worsened. He worked closely with water users, environmental interests, tribes and federal and state agencies to develop and implement a Drought Operations Plan that would make the best use of available water supplies, while balancing environmental needs and preparing for continued drought conditions. <P> Murillo joined Reclamation in 2000 as the manager of the field office in Yakima, Washington, where he was responsible for the operation and maintenance of storage reservoirs, fish facilities, diversion dams and hydropower plants. In 2006, Murillo became the power manager for the Grand Coulee Power Office, the nation's largest hydroelectric facility. There he managed the Grand Coulee and Hungry Horse dams and power plants. <P> Murillo also served as Reclamation's deputy commissioner for operations for two years, overseeing operations in five regions across the 17 western states, the Native American and International Affairs Office and Technical Resources. <P> He is originally from Yakima and graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1984. Murillo and his wife, Terri, have three adult children. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49252 Ann Adler Named Reclamation's Chief, Congressional and Legislative Affairs
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan L&oacute;pez has appointed Ann Adler to serve as Reclamation's Chief, Congressional and Legislative Affairs. She will oversee Reclamation's congressional and legislative affairs activities and serve as Reclamation's primary liaison with Congress. <P> "Ann brings a wealth of knowledge to Reclamation, as she has worked for both the Senate and the House of Representatives," Commissioner L&oacute;pez said. "She has a real understanding of issues and how they affect the districts. Our water and energy concerns are her specialty." <P> Adler started her career working for U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd. From the very beginning she knew she wanted to work for the government. She recalls how her father was always involved in local issues and how much he cared about people's needs. <P> "I watched my father work with Senators Byrd and Randolph to bring flood protection to our hometown," she said. "Through that effort, seeing how the government could improve people's lives, inspired me to get into public service." <P> In 1989, Adler started her government career working as a Press Assistant and then as a Press Secretary/Communications Director in Senator Byrd's office. It was there where she learned the "ins and outs" of the government. She says the senator acted as a mentor and educated his staff on the government. <P> In 2000, Adler became Chief of Staff at Senator's Byrd's office. She formulated legislative policy and provided counsel on the White House and Congressional agendas, collaborated with professional staff of Appropriations, Armed Services and Budget Committees, and directed daily operations of the Senator's personal office. <P> In 2004, she moved on to become the Senior Policy Advisor for the House of Representatives' Natural Resources Committee, Democratic staff, where she oversaw the work of the Committee press office and coordinated policy initiatives with the six subcommittees. Then in 2011, she became the Deputy Chief of Staff for the House's Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, where she helped to direct operations of the Committee Minority. <P> "I look forward to building on my years of Congressional service and bringing the lessons I have learned to assist Reclamation and support the Administration's initiatives," she said. "I value this chance to continue learning and helping the communities Reclamation serves." <P> Adler has a Bachelor's of Science in Journalism from West Virginia University. She is originally from Weston, West Virginia. She lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband, Ron, who works for the Department of the Navy, and her two children, Morgan and Reilly. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49201 Three Teams Take Top Honors in Desal Prize At the Bureau of Reclamation's Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. - The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Agency for International Development have announced the April 9 to 11 Desal Prize winners—Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)/Jain Irrigation Systems, University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Center for Inland Desalination System, and Green Desal. <P> Five finalist innovator teams had competed for $200,000 in prize funds in head-to-head demonstrations at Reclamation’s Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo. However, only the top three teams will receive grant funds totaling $400,000 to implement pilot projects in late summer or early fall with small-holder rural farmers in a USAID mission region. <P> “The Bureau of Reclamation was proud to host this international competition at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility, which included 68 applications from 29 countries,” Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. “Providing a sustainable water supply is important for the west, the country and the world. The knowledge gained from this competition will not only assist in the goals of the prize competition, it will inform brackish groundwater treatment technologies here in the United States.” <P> The Desal Prize is a three-phase, incentivized competition that challenged worldwide innovators to create cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable desalination technologies that can provide potable water for humans and water for crops in developing countries. After rigorous testing and evaluation by a panel of expert judges, the following are the Desal Prize top winners: <P> First Place: MIT and Jain Irrigation Systems designed a photovoltaic-powered electrodialysis reversal (EDR) system that desalinates water-using electricity to pull charged particles out of the water and further disinfects using ultraviolet rays. The system was designed for low energy consumption, limiting costs especially in off-grid areas. <P> Second Place: University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Center for Inland Desalination System designed a Zero Discharge Desalination (ZDD) technology that reduces water waste in the desalination of groundwater by conventional processes. Electrodialysis uses voltage to remove undesirable ions from water. <P> Honorable Mention: Green Desal, a team comprised of the Asian Institute of Technology & Management, National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension, State University of Ponta Grossa, Technion-Israel University of Technology, and University of North Texas, developed a high-percent recovery system that integrates proven technologies in reverse osmosis, ion exchange, nano-filtration, re-mineralization and disinfection. <P> The Desal Prize, launched in partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, is the second “call” under the Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge for Development. The “first” call focused on innovation in later stages of the innovation lifecycle (market-driven product/business development and scaling/commercial growth). <P> To learn more about Securing Water for Food or the Desal Prize, visit www.securingwaterforfood.org and follow @SecuringWater on Twitter. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49121 Interior Department Announces Plans to Partner with Crow Tribe on Yellowtail Afterbay Hydropower
<b>WASHINGTON, D.C.</b> - The Department of the Interior, in partnership with the Crow Tribe, will enter into an agreement for hydropower development on the Yellowtail Afterbay Dam, downstream of Yellowtail Dam and Powerplant, on the Bighorn River near Fort Smith, Montana. <P> The agreement is part of the Crow Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act of 2010. Under the settlement, the Tribe holds the exclusive right to develop and market power generation on the Yellowtail Afterbay Dam. <P> "The Crow Tribe is excited to embark on the Tribe's exclusive right under our water settlement to develop hydropower at Yellowtail Afterbay Dam and to begin the critical work to bring the benefits of hydropower to the Reservation and our tribal membership," said Crow Chairman Darrin Old Coyote. <P> "This is an excellent opportunity for development of new hydropower capacity on existing infrastructure," said Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor. "Working through the Bureau of Reclamation, Interior is pleased to assist the Crow Tribe on its Yellowtail Afterbay hydro development, resulting in clean, renewable energy, and creating vital jobs in the process." <P> The Tribe is responsible for overall management of the hydropower project and for coordination of activities associated with the project. The Bureau of Reclamation will provide technical assistance in reviewing designs and making sure the new hydro coexists with the existing Yellowtail Afterbay Dam in a safe and reliable manner. <P> The next steps include completion of design data collection, followed by design and implementation of Reclamation's dam safety processes for the proposed modifications to the existing structure. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49111 Brent Rhees Named Regional Director for Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Region
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López today announced the selection of Brent Rhees, P.E., as Upper Colorado Regional Director. Rhees has served as the Salt Lake City-based region’s deputy regional director since October 2007. <P> “Brent Rhees has extensive knowledge and more than three decades of experience with the complex challenges in this important region,” Commissioner López said today. "Through his strong leadership and his ability to build solid partnerships, Brent is more than prepared to lead the Upper Colorado Region into the future." <P> In his new role, Rhees will oversee all Reclamation operations in most of Utah, New Mexico and western Colorado, as well as northern Arizona, a portion of west Texas, the southeast corner of Idaho and southwestern Wyoming. The responsibility includes oversight of Reclamation programs, projects, and facilities and encompasses 62 dams with a reservoir capacity of more than 32 million acre feet, 28 hydroelectric powerplants that meet electricity needs of more than 1.3 million people, and multiple recreation opportunities for about 12 million annual visitors. <P> As deputy regional director, Rhees managed several complex and high profile issues, including the Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Collaborative Program, dam safety modifications, implementation of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, the Colorado River Salinity Control Program and completion of the Animas La-Plata Project. Rhees has 35 years of federal service. He started in Reclamation's Denver Office in 1980 as a rotation engineer, moved to the Upper Colorado Regional Office in 1981 to serve as Engineering Services Office supervisor and construction liaison. He transferred to the Provo Area Office in March 1993 to serve in several key management positions including three division manager positions and as the deputy area manager from June 2004 to October 2007. <P> Rhees is a recipient of the DOI's Superior Service Award in recognition of his significant contributions and leadership in Western water issues. He holds a bachelor's degree in civil and environmental engineering from Utah State University and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Utah. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49006 Bridges Buckle at 48th Annual Colorado High School Bridge Building Competition
High school students from across Colorado joined the Bureau of Reclamation to test homemade, small-scale bridges for the 48th Annual Colorado High School Bridge Building Competition in Denver. Winners took home scholarships and the opportunity to represent Colorado at the International Bridge Building Competition in Portland, Oregon. <P> In Region One, Dade Lindley of Lindley Home School took first place with a bridge that weighed 26.75 grams and supported a max load of 104.42 kilograms (230.21 pounds), giving it an efficiency value of 3,903. Connor Roberts of Cherry Creek High School won second place with a bridge weighing 21.47 g, which supported 69.28 kg (152.74 lbs). Jalissa DeHaan of Front Range Christian School took third with a bridge weighing 13.54 g, which supported 33.27 kg (73.35 lbs). <P> In Region Two, Benjamin Jakeman of Cheyenne Mountain High School won first place with a bridge weighing 22.71 and supported 100.71 kg (222.03 lbs), giving it an overall efficiency value of 4,434. In second place, Blake Evans, also of Cheyenne Mountain High School, brought a bridge weighing 34.96 g that held 128.32 kg (282.9 lbs). Nikolas Provost of Rampart High School took third, with a bridge weighing 34.32 g that supported 99.23 kg (218.76 lbs). Other schools that competed in Region Two include Coal Ridge High School, Buena Vista High School and Manzanola High School. <P> Every year, students from across the state gather at the Bureau of Reclamation?s Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory to test out their homemade, small-scale bridges. These bridges, made of only a few, basic materials, are then tested to determine how much weight they can support. The winning models are determined by the structural efficiency ratio, or the amount of weight the bridge can hold divided by the weight of the bridge. The winning bridges have the highest structural efficiency ratios. <P> The state is split into two regions: northern (Region One) and southern (Region Two). The first and second place winners from each region are invited to compete at the International Bridge Building Contest, where prizes have included college scholarships. Winners from this year's competition were awarded college scholarships to go toward science and engineering education. <P> The High School Bridge Building Competition aims to encourage participation in the fields of science, math, engineering and technology. In addition to the competition, attendees and their families will explore Reclamation's laboratories and facilities with professional engineers, getting a chance to see research and science in action. Students can visit the humidity room, where working models of structures and dam construction materials are cured for optimum strength and will witness a 2,000 pound concrete cylinder crushed by a machine capable of 5-million pounds of compression. <P> Reclamation, the National Society of Professional Engineers of Colorado and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado sponsor the competition. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48966 Reclamation Names 2015 Engineer of the Year
<div class="floatRight"><img src="http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/images/2015/Hilldale.jpg" width="200px" align="right" alt="Robert Hilldale with Bob Quint"><br /><span class="caption">L-R, Bob Quint and Robert Hilldale</span></div><b>WASHINGTON</b> - Robert Hilldale, a civil engineer at Reclamation's Technical Service Center in Denver, is Reclamation's Engineer of the Year for 2015. His achievements earned him a chance to compete as Reclamation's nominee for the 2015 Federal Engineer of the Year Award, sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers. Hilldale will represent Reclamation at the Society's awards luncheon held in Washington, D.C. today as part of activities commemorating National Engineers Week, February 22 through 28. <P> Reclamation recognizes Hilldale for his significant research contributions toward measuring the natural transport of gravel in rivers, which is a key component of sediment transport. He also led important research efforts for the Elwha River Restoration Project, near Port Angeles, Washington, the world's largest dam removal project. <P> "Effective management of sediment is an important part of river restoration activities, including projects such as the successful dam removal project on the Elwha River," Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. "Through his important work and research, Robert has helped expand our knowledge of sediment movement. This is an important contribution to river restoration work across the West." <P> Among his many assigned duties, Hilldale has led a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency effort researching the use of hydrophones (underwater microphones) to measure moving particles in water and also led river restoration projects to improve aquatic habitat for endangered fish. As chair and member of the Federal Interagency Sedimentation Project, he promoted interagency research activities to develop indirect methods to measure sediment transport. <P> Hilldale also continues to distinguish himself academically. He earned an undergraduate scholarship to Washington State University, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and is a recipient of the John Roberson Thesis/Dissertation Award, which he received while pursuing his Master of Science in civil engineering. His journal publications about the Elwha River Restoration Project, installation of impact plates and gradual channel transition were featured in <em>Geomorphology, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering and Journal of Engineering Mechanics</em>. <P> Reclamation also would like to recognize its 2015 Engineer of the Year regional winners: <P> <ul> <li>James H. Bussell, supervisory electrical engineer at Grand Coulee, Washington (Pacific Northwest)</li> <li>Rufino Gonzalez, civil engineer, California (Mid-Pacific)</li> <li>William G. Jones, electrical engineer, Montana (Great Plains)</li> <li>Thomas Nichols, supervisory civil engineer, Nevada (Lower Colorado)</li> <li>Scott Winterton, supervisory engineer, Utah (Upper Colorado)</li> </ul> <P> Each of the five regions and the Denver Office nominate one candidate for consideration as Reclamation's Engineer of the Year. The final selection represents Reclamation's nominee for the annual Federal Engineer of the Year Award. <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48929 Colorado High School Students Test Science Skills at 48th Annual Bridge Building Competition
<div class="floatRight"><img src="http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/images/2015/2015-02-24-bridge-building.jpg" alt="A student setting up their bridge to be tested at a previous bridge building event." width="200"></div><b>DENVER</b> - High school students from across Colorado will put their engineering skills to the test at the 48th Annual Colorado High School Bridge Building Competition on Saturday, Feb. 28. Prizes include scholarships and the opportunity to compete at the international contest in Portland, Oregon. <P> "Reclamation's science and engineering expertise is known throughout the world and provides a unique career opportunity for young professionals," said Westin Joy, Westin Joy, P.E., Civil Engineer with the Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory. "This long-established event gives students a chance to explore science, technology, engineering and math through a fun, practical application." <P> The event will take place at 8:00 a.m. in the Bureau of Reclamation's Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory at the Denver Federal Center. The bridges, made out of basswood, glue and other basic materials, are judged on the amount of weight they can hold versus their size. <P> In addition to the competition, attendees and their families will explore Reclamation's laboratories and facilities with professional engineers, getting a chance to see research and science in action. Students can visit the humidity room, where working models of structures and dam construction materials are cured for optimum strength and will witness a 2,000 pound concrete cylinder crushed by a machine capable of 5 million pounds of compression. <P> To attend this annual event, please enter the Denver Federal Center through Gate 1 on Kipling Ave. Signs will direct visitors to Building 56, where the competition is held. <P> The competition is sponsored by the Bureau of Reclamation, the Professional Engineers of Colorado and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48928 Karen Knight Named as Chief of the Dam Safety Office for the Bureau of Reclamation
<div class="floatRight"><img src="http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/images/2015/knight.jpg" width="200px" alt-"Karen Knight"></div><b>DENVER</b> - Bureau of Reclamation Security, Safety and Law Enforcement Director Bruce C. Muller named Karen Knight, P.E., as the Chief of the Dam Safety Office. Knight will oversee the Dam Safety Program, which evaluates safety deficiencies and implements proactive solutions at dams across Reclamation. <P> "Reclamation and its partners work to assure sustainable water supplies across 17 western states, with the Dam Safety Program playing a lead role in ensuring the safe delivery of water resources," said Muller. "Karen brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to lead one of our highest priority programs." <P> The Dam Safety Program is composed of two components, The Safety Evaluation of Existing Dams and Safety of Dams Program. The Safety Evaluation of Existing Dams program is responsible for performing site evaluations and to identify dams that pose an increased risk to the public and to complete the related analyses needed to expedite corrective action decisions and safeguard the public and associated resources. The Safety of Dams program focuses on evaluating and implementing actions to resolve safety concerns at Reclamation dams. <P> Knight joined Reclamation in 1999 as the team leader and lead designer for embankment and foundation safety modifications at Pineview Dam, Utah. Her engineering experience spans almost 30 years, with roles on Reclamation's Technical Service Center Dam Safety Advisory Team, as the manager of Geotechnical Engineering and as Chief of the Geotechnical Services Division. Knight also recently completed Interior's Senior Executive Service Career Development Program, where she worked with the National Park Service in Washington, District of Columbia. <P> Knight has a Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla and a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She is a registered professional engineer in Colorado, a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, and the U.S. Society on Dams, where she has served for the past six years on its Board of Directors. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48886 Dionne E. Thompson Named Bureau of Reclamation's Deputy Commissioner for External and Intergovernmental Affairs
<div class="floatRight"><img src="http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/presskit/images/thompson72.jpg"></div><b>WASHINGTON</b> - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López announced today Dionne E. Thompson has been appointed Deputy Commissioner for External and Intergovernmental Affairs. Thompson will oversee congressional, legislative and public affairs activities and represent Reclamation's relationships with federal, state and local governments. <P> "Communication between Reclamation and its customers, stakeholders, public and other governmental entities is extremely important in carrying out Reclamation's mission of delivering water and generating hydropower," López said. "Dionne's extensive experience working in the federal government and with Congress will be a great asset in this position." <P> Thompson joined Reclamation in 2009 as the Chief, Congressional and Legislative Affairs. In this position, she served as Reclamation?s primary liaison with Congress. <P> She began her career in Washington, District of Columbia, in 1993 as staff counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. In 1995 and 1996, she provided counsel to Sen. J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana, covering a wide range of issues including appropriations, environmental and natural resource issues. She also worked as a senior energy and environmental aide to Sen. Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana from 1997 to 1999 and again as legislative director in 2008. <P> In addition to her work in the public sector as an attorney with the Department of the Interior?s Office of the Solicitor and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Thompson also was a lawyer in the private sector, focusing on energy issues at the firm Troutman Sanders LLP. <P> Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, Thompson has lived in the Washington, District of Columbia, area for more than 20 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia. <P> <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48746 Reclamation’s Proposed Drought Response Program Evaluation Criteria is Open for Public Comment
<b>WASHINGTON</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public comment on its draft Drought Response Program evaluation criteria. This new program, based on its existing drought authorities, will provide funding for: <P> <blockquote> <b>Drought contingency planning</b>: Reclamation will provide financial assistance through cooperative agreements that include a 50/50 cost-share to develop or update drought contingency plans. Plans must include input and participation by multiple stakeholders and must consider climate change impacts to drought conditions and identify potential drought mitigation and response actions to build long-term resilience to drought. <P> <b>Implementation of projects to build long-term resiliency to drought</b>: Reclamation will provide financial assistance through a funding opportunity announcement on a 50/50 cost-share basis to implement projects that build long-term resiliency to drought. Proposed drought resiliency projects must be supported by an existing drought contingency plan to be eligible. <P> <b>Implementation of emergency response actions</b>: Reclamation will continue to fund emergency drought response actions to address ongoing drought emergencies contingent on available funding. To be eligible, the applicant needs an existing drought contingency plan on file or a state governor or tribal leader drought declaration. Assistance must be requested in writing. </blockquote> <P> Program funding is allocated through a competitive process. The evaluation criteria that Reclamation will use to implement each program element is available for review at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/drought">www.usbr.gov/drought</a>. Comments are due to Avra Morgan at aomorgan@usbr.gov by March 12, 2015. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48727 Additional FY 2015 Funding of $96.9 Million Available
<b>WASHINGTON</b> - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López today released the spending plan for $96.9 million provided to Reclamation in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015. The funds will go toward Western drought response and rural water projects, among other important activities. <P> "Reclamation and its partners are confronting a growing gap between supply and demand in river basins throughout the West," López said. "The funding released today will help us meet immediate needs and support long-term infrastructure and environmental needs of key water projects." <P> The funding is divided among six areas: <P> <ul> <li>Western drought response ($50 million),</li> <li>rural water projects ($31 million),</li> <li>water conservation and delivery ($8 million),</li> <li>fish passage and fish screens ($4 million),</li> <li>facility operation, maintenance and rehabilitation ($2.9 million),</li> <li>environmental restoration and compliance ($1 million).</li> </ul> <P> Extreme and prolonged drought has gripped major river basins across the West. In many areas, mountain snowpack is far below average for this time of year. The $50 million provided for Western drought response will address seven projects: <P> <ul> <li>Central Valley Project, which includes funding for the Delta Division, Friant Division, Shasta Division and water and power operations, California ($19.9 million);</li> <li>WaterSMART Grants, Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, and Drought Response and Comprehensive Drought Planning ($14 million);</li> <li>Lower Colorado River Basin Drought Response Action Plan, California, Arizona and Nevada ($8.6 million);</li> <li>Native American Programs ($4 million);</li> <li>Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project, Washington ($2 million);</li> <li>Lewiston Orchards Project, Idaho ($1 million);</li> <li>Carlsbad Project, New Mexico ($500,000).</li> </ul> <P> Reclamation based its Western drought funding on a thorough review at national, regional and program levels, to ensure a balanced approach. In some cases the funding allows Reclamation to accelerate selected projects to meet high-priority needs sooner than it would in absence of the new funding. In other cases it allows Reclamation to respond immediately to many of the West’s most critical drought-related needs. <P> Reclamation is also advancing the completion of its authorized rural water projects with the goal of delivering potable water to tribal and non-tribal residents within the rural water project areas. A total of $31 million will go toward five projects: <P> <ul> <li>Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program - Garrison Diversion Unit, North Dakota ($10.3 million);</li> <li>Rocky Boy's/North Central Montana Rural Water System, Montana ($6.8 million);</li> <li>Fort Peck Reservation/Dry Prairie Rural Water System, Montana ($6.6 million);</li> <li>Lewis and Clark Rural Water System, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota ($6.6 million);</li> <li>Eastern New Mexico Water Supply, New Mexico ($700,000).</li> </ul> <P> The remaining $15.9 million will go toward nine projects: <P> <ul> <li>fish screen and restoration projects in the Central Valley Project, California ($2.5 million);</li> <li>Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project at Cle Elum Dam, Washington ($1.5 million);</li> <li>agricultural water use efficiency projects within the Central Valley Project, California ($5 million);</li> <li>Endangered Species Recovery Implementation Program on the Platte River, Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming ($2 million);</li> <li>water conservation projects on Rogue River Basin Project, Oregon ($1 million);</li> <li>water leasing for supplemental water on the Middle Rio Grande ($1 million);</li> <li>rehabilitation work at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery and Keswick Dam Powerplant in the Central Valley Project, California ($1.3 million);</li> <li>renovation of the Olmsted Powerplant, Utah ($1 million);</li> <li>repairs on the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Project, ($650,000).</li> </ul> <P> Visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/budget/">http://www.usbr.gov/budget/</a> to view a summary of all the projects in this spending plan. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48726 Study Reveals Climate Change Impacts on Irrigation Demand and Reservoir Evaporation in the West
<b>WASHINGTON</b> - Reflecting current climate projections for the western United States, a <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/wcra">new report</a> issued by the Bureau of Reclamation reveals a projected shift in demand for crop irrigation across eight major river basins. The study evaluated irrigation water requirements for the second half of the 20th century and, as compared to projected demand for the second half of the 21st century, found that net irrigation water requirements in the West may be six percent higher. Another area of study revealed in the report - based on a projected temperature increase of approximately 5 degrees Fahrenheit in the region - estimates that annual evaporation at most of the 12 reservoirs modeled by the study could increase 2 to 6 inches by 2080. <P> The report on irrigation demand and reservoir evaporation projections is the latest in a series of West-Wide Climate Risk Assessments - analyses of overall impacts from climate change on water resources in the West through the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program. <P> In announcing the report, Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said the study was an important piece of information about climate change imposing stresses on water resources and will ultimately help inform water planners and stakeholders in confronting future climate-related supply and demand challenges. <P> "Reclamation and its partners are engaged in critical work to confront a future with increasing disparity between water supply and demand in basins throughout the West," Commissioner López said. "Understanding how climate change will impact crop irrigation demand and reservoir evaporation provides vital information for the development of alternatives and solutions to meet those challenges and support the nation's economy." <P> Projected future irrigation demands are only estimates and provide a starting point for further analyses and discussions with customers and stakeholders. The results do not account for changing crop patterns and other socioeconomic considerations that are best addressed with stakeholder input within a <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/bsp/index.html">basin study</a> or other process. <P> Using climate projections for temperature and precipitation, scientists considered projected irrigation demand in eight major river basins: Colorado, Rio Grande, Sacramento-San Joaquin, Truckee, Columbia, Missouri and Klamath. The water evaporation model was applied to 12 reservoirs in many of those major Reclamation river basins: Lake Powell, Lake Mead, American Falls Reservoir, Lake Roosevelt, Upper Klamath Lake, Canyon Ferry Reservoir, Boysen Reservoir, Elephant Butte Reservoir, Lake Shasta, Millerton Lake, Lake Tahoe and Lahontan Reservoir. This table provides one set of projections of irrigation demand by basin and potential changes in evaporation for the twelve reservoirs when compared to actual figures from 1950 to 1999: <P> <table border="0" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="600"> <tr> <td width="348" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"></td> <td width="174" colspan="3" valign="top" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p><strong>Net Irrigation Water Demand </strong> <br /> <strong>(Change % vs. 1950-1999)</strong><strong> </strong></p></td> <td width="157" colspan="2" valign="top" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p><strong>Net Reservoir Evaporation </strong> <br /> <strong>(Change % vs. 1950-1999)</strong></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="90" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p><strong>2080</strong></p></td> <td width="84" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p><strong> </strong></p></td> <td width="157" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p><strong>2080</strong></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p><strong>Colorado River Basin </strong><em>(AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, UT, WY)</em><strong> </strong></p></td> <td width="90" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> <td width="84" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p><strong>     Upper Colorado</strong></p></td> <td width="90" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p>22.86</p></td> <td width="84" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p> </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap"><p>                        Lake Powell</p></td> <td width="90" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap"><p> </p></td> <td width="84" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap"><p>7.1   (4.1 inches)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p><strong>     Lower Colorado</strong></p></td> <td width="90" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p>8.31</p></td> <td width="84" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p> </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p>                        Lake Mead</p></td> <td width="90" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="84" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p>10.1 (6.1 inches)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p><strong>     Imperial Valley</strong></p></td> <td width="90" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p>1.39</p></td> <td width="84" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p> </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p><strong>Columbia River Basin </strong><em>(ID, MT, OR, WA)</em><strong> </strong></p></td> <td width="90" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p>6.34</p></td> <td width="84" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p>                        American Falls Reservoir</p></td> <td width="90" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="84" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p>6.0   (2.0 inches)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p>                        Lake Roosevelt</p></td> <td width="90" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="84" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p>5.4   (1.3 inches)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p><strong>Klamath River Basin </strong><em>(OR, CA)</em><strong> </strong></p></td> <td width="90" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p>14</p></td> <td width="84" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p>                        Upper Klamath Lake</p></td> <td width="90" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"></td> <td width="84" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p>8.2   (2.4 inches)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p><strong>Missouri River Basin  </strong><br /> <em>(CO, IA, KS, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, SD, WY)</em><strong> </strong></p></td> <td width="129" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p><strong>     Western Missouri </strong></p></td> <td width="90" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p>13.55</p></td> <td width="84" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p> </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p>                        Boysen Reservoir</p></td> <td width="90" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="84" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p>4.3   (1.3 inches)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p><strong>     Northern Missouri </strong></p></td> <td width="90" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p>3.61</p></td> <td width="84" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p> </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p>                        Canyon Ferry Reservoir </p></td> <td width="90" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="84" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p>6.9   (1.7 inches)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p><strong>     Southeastern Missouri</strong></p></td> <td width="90" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p>-0.98</p></td> <td width="84" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#EAD7B5"><p> </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p><strong>Rio Grande River Basin </strong><em>(CO, NM, TX)</em><strong> </strong></p></td> <td width="90" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p>18.66</p></td> <td width="84" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p>                        Elephant Butte Reservoir</p></td> <td width="90" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="84" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p>9.5   (4.2 inches)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p><strong>Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins </strong><em>(CA)</em><strong> </strong></p></td> <td width="90" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p>6.81</p></td> <td width="84" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p>                        Lake Shasta</p></td> <td width="90" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="84" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p>14.7 (2.5 inches)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p>                        Millerton Lake</p></td> <td width="90" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="84" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p>12.3 (5.0 inches)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p><strong>Truckee and Carson River Basins </strong><em>(CA, NV)</em><strong> </strong></p></td> <td width="90" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p>14.59</p></td> <td width="84" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" colspan="2" valign="top" nowrap="nowrap" bgcolor="#A3ABD2"><p> </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p>                        Lake Tahoe</p></td> <td width="90" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"></td> <td width="84" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p>14.4 (1.9 inches)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="348" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p>                        Lahontan Reservoir</p></td> <td width="90" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="84" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><p> </p></td> <td width="157" nowrap="nowrap" colspan="2" valign="top"><p>7.1   (3.2 inches)</p></td> </tr> </table> <P> Scientists utilized climate change data to project alterations in precipitation and temperature and to assess evaporation for 12 reservoirs within those river basins, when considering observed and projected climate change impacts. Precipitation projections are highly variable and basin dependent, and they can vary significantly within individual basins as well. <P> "Through these studies, Reclamation is highlighting climate change impacts and encouraging a collaborative dialogue on the effective management of our water and power resources," López said. "Facing the challenge in meeting future irrigation demands is one way we are working to underscore our commitment to a strong agricultural economy and national food security." <P> Reclamation's West-Wide Climate Risk Assessment is part of the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program, which focuses on improving water conservation and sustainability, while helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. The report may be found at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/wcra">http://www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/wcra</a>. <P> <P> <P> <P>