Commissioner's Offce News Releases News Releases from Reclamation's Commissioner's Office Reclamation Seeks Applied Science Project Applicants for Desert and Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
<img align="right" alt="DLCC FOA Applied Science Grants" height="259" hspace="2" src="" style=" border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 2px;" vspace="2" width="200" /><b>WASHINGTON</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking applicants for applied science projects for the Desert and Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. Proposed projects are expected to deliver new capabilities that address priority resources identified and shared by Reclamation and partners involved in the Desert and Southern Rockies LCC. <P> The Desert LCC funding opportunity is seeking applicants to study wildfire impacts on riparian areas and study environmental flow impacts on the Colorado River Delta. This funding opportunity may be found at <a href=""></a> by searching funding opportunity number R14AS00031. Applications are due May 13, 2014 at 4 p.m. MDT. <P> The Southern Rockies LCC funding opportunity targets projecting future water availability and quality, projecting the resiliency and vulnerability of natural or cultural resources, and assessing and evaluating natural or cultural resources management practices and adaptation opportunities. The funding opportunity is available at <a href=""></a> by searching funding opportunity number R14AS00032. Applications are due May 13, 2014 at 4 p.m. MDT. <P> Approximately $700,000 will be available for Desert and Southern Rockies LCC projects combined. Up to $100,000 in federal funding will be available for each project award. Reclamation's share of each proposed project shall not exceed 50 percent of the total project cost. <P> The Desert LCC encompasses portions of five states: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas, as well as a substantial portion of Northern Mexico. The area is topographically complex, including three different deserts (Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan), grasslands and valley bottoms and the isolated mountain ranges in the southern portion of the LCC (Apache Highlands and the New Mexico-Texas Highlands, also known as the Sky Islands). There are several large river systems, including the lower Colorado, Gila, Rio Grande, San Pedro and Verde Rivers. <P> <img align="right" alt="Southern Rockies LCC FOA Report Header" height="259" hspace="2" src="" style=" border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 2px;" vspace="2" width="200" />The Southern Rockies LCC encompasses large portions of four states: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, as well as smaller parts of Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming. The area is geographically complex, including wide elevation and topographic variation, from 14,000 foot peaks to the Grand Canyon and cold desert basins. This topographically complex region includes the headwaters of the Colorado River and Rio Grande, the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains to the west and the Southern Rocky Mountains to the east, separated by the rugged tableland of the Colorado Plateau. <P> LCCs are partnerships of governmental (federal, state, tribal and local) and non-governmental entities. The primary goal of the LCCs is to bring together science and resource management to inform climate adaptation strategies to address climate change and other stressors within an ecological region, or "landscape." There are 22 different LCCs across the United States, territories and other countries. To learn more about Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, visit <a href=""></a>. <P> To learn more about these funding opportunities visit <a href=""></a>. To learn more about the Desert LCC, please visit <a href=""></a>. To learn more about the Southern Rockies LCC, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> Bureau of Reclamation Seeks Proposals through Desalination and Water Purification Research Funding Opportunity Announcement
<img align="right" alt="DWPR FOA cover image" height="258" hspace="3" src="" style=" margin: 3px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" vspace="3" width="200" /><b>WASHINGTON</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking proposals from universities, water utilities, private industry and others to address a broad range of desalting and water purification needs. Reclamation is interested in research that will have national significance and where the benefits of the technology will be widespread. <P> Proposals that support Reclamation's research priorities will receive additional credit during the rating process. Those research priorities are: <P> <ol> <li>Research and pilot studies conducted at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility</li> <li>Development and evaluation of flexible use systems for treating waters of significantly varying salinities</li> <li>Pilot studies treating agricultural return flows containing elevated levels of total dissolved solids and selenium</li> </ol> <P> Funding will be provided for laboratory studies and pilot scale projects. Laboratory studies lasts up to 13 months and are typically bench scale studies involving small flow rates (less than 2 gallons per minute). Pilot scale studies typically follow research studies to demonstrate the technology works at a larger scale. They usually involve flow rates between 1 and 20 gallons per minute and are tested using natural water sources rather than synthetic or laboratory-made feedwater. <P> Reclamation will provide up to $1.5 million in total funding this year. Up to $150,000 will be available for each laboratory study. Up to $200,000 per year for each pilot scale project will be available, for a total of up to $400,000 for two years. <P> Institutions of higher education are encouraged to provide cost-share for research projects, but it is not required. Other applicants must provide a cost-share of 75 percent of the cost of the project. It may be reduced to 50 percent if it is determined that the project is not feasible without such increased federal contribution. <P> The Desalination and Water Purification Program is helping Reclamation and its partners confront widening imbalances between supply and demand in basins throughout the west through testing and development of new advanced water treatment technologies. It focuses on three main goals: (1) augment the supply of usable water in the United States; (2) understand the environmental impacts of desalination and develop approaches to minimize these impacts relative to other water supply alternatives; (3) develop approaches to lower the financial costs of desalination so that it is an attractive option relative to other alternatives in locations where traditional sources of water are inadequate. <P> The funding opportunity announcement is available at <a href=""></a> by searching for announcement number R14AS00036. Proposals must be submitted through <a href=""></a> by May 14, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. MDT. <P> To learn more about Reclamation's Advanced Water Treatment activities, please visit: <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> Reclamation Partners with USAID to Highlight Innovation in Desalination Science
<b>WASHINGTON</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation is partnering with the U.S. Agency for International Development to launch the Desal Prize – a worldwide effort to identify and promote innovation in brackish groundwater desalination. <P> Reclamation – a leader in advancing desalination technology in the western United States – is providing technical guidance to the project and will host Desal Prize semi-finalists at its Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, N.M., in the spring of 2015 where entrants will compete in the first demonstration competitions for the prize. Finalists from this stage will go on to compete in a rigorous field demonstration at one of the USAID mission locations. <P> "For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have confronted a widening imbalance between supply and demand in basins throughout the West," said acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley. "This partnership continues that commitment and will help identify potential solutions to treat brackish water in rural, tribal or remote settings. This partnership underscores Reclamation’s leadership and support of all kinds of desalination projects throughout the West." <P> The USAID Desal Prize will be awarded to cost effective, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable working prototypes that can be used for multi-use desalination in developing countries. Ten to 12 semifinalists will receive $5,000 as seed money to test or further develop their device. From this group, select finalists will receive an additional $5,000 to continue their project in the field before a judging panel selects the awardee(s) of the $500,000 grand prize. <P> "Water scarcity is one of today's most pressing development challenges, and the impact of water scarcity on all aspects of development is undeniable," said USAID Global Water Coordinator Christian Holmes at an event at the U.S. Department of State marking World Water Day. "We must augment traditional water supplies to satisfy future demand – we urgently need solutions to fulfill the growing need for potable water." <P> The Desal Prize is part of the $32 million Securing Water for Food: Grand Challenge for Development launched at the 2013 World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. The initiative is a partnership between USAID, the Swedish International Development Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and aims to source, incubate and accelerate innovative solutions to reduce water scarcity around the world. Projections are that by 2025, two-thirds of the world's population could be living in severe water stress conditions. <P> To learn more about the Desal Prize or to submit suggestions, please visit <a href=""></a> or follow on Twitter <a href="">@SecuringWater</a> #DesalPrize. <P> Reclamation Announces 2014 C.A.S.T. for Kids/Let’s Move Outside Event Schedule
The Bureau of Reclamation announces its spring/summer 2014 Catch A Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) for Kids/Let’s Move Outside event schedule. <P> The C.A.S.T. for Kids Program is designed to create an environment where special needs children can enjoy a day of boating and fishing. Each participant is teamed up with an expert angler who will help them learn and appreciate the sport of fishing. <P> C.A.S.T. events tie into the Department of the Interior’s Let’s Move Outside initiative, which encourages children and their families to enjoy outdoor activities in their own town and community. <P> Reclamation C.A.S.T/LMO Event Schedule (dates are subject to change): April 2014: April 9th -Lake Pleasant, Phoenix, Ariz. <P> May 2014: May 3rd - Lake Bastrop, Texas; May 10th - Navajo Reservoir, Farmington, N.M. <P> June 2014: June 7th - Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins, Colo.; June 14th - Sarg Hubbard, Yakima, Wash.; June 21st - Shasta Lake, Calif. <P> July 2014: July 12th - Prineville Reservoir, Prineville, Ore.; July 19th - Walcott State Park, Burley, Idaho <P> August 2014: Aug. 2nd - Potholes Reservoir, Ephrata, Wash.; Aug. 9th - Strawberry Reservoir, Heber City, Utah; Aug. 16th - Black Canyon Reservoir, Emmett, Idaho; TBD - Belle Fourche Reservoir, Belle Fourche, S.D. <P> September 2014: Sept. 13th - Lake Berryessa, Napa, Calif.; Sept. 13th - Elephant Butte Reservoir, Truth or Consequences, N.M.; Sept. 20th - Lake Thunderbird, Norman, Okla. <P> October 2014: Oct. 4th - Lake Mead, Boulder City, Nev.; Oct. 11th - New Melones Lake, Angel’s Camp, Calif.; Oct. 18th - Lake Powell, Page, Ariz. <P> For more information about C.A.S.T. for Kids, visit the CAST for Kids Foundation website <P> Reclamation Visits the Washington International School
Are you smarter than a fifth grader? Reclamation Public Affairs Specialist Lauren Lambert may have asked herself this question while on her way to visit fifth graders at the Washington International School in the D.C. neighborhood of Georgetown on March 21. <P> Reclamation had the opportunity to go to the Washington International School and sit down with four students to discuss one of the most important topics of our time - water scarcity in the southwest. The students began their six week water scarcity study in February, collecting data, interviewing subject matter experts and collaborating among one another under the overall topic related to How We Share the Planet. <P> On April 4, findings are presented at an exhibition, which is the culminating event in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program for fifth grade students. This event is very similar to a science fair, where students are able to apply the scientific method to conduct independent research and later display findings in an exhibit and submit a written report. <P> Lambert, with the help of Deputy Chief of Public Affairs Pete Lucero, fielded questions on ways Reclamation determines who gets water, how water scarcity problems change over time, how people who live in eastern United States can help those in the southwest, how Reclamation finds solutions to water supply and demand gaps and several other water related questions. <P> On March 20, Secretary Sally Jewell issued a Secretarial Order illustrating the goals of the Department of the Interior's Youth Initiative, encouraging young Americans to play, learn, serve and work in the outdoors. Visiting the Washington International School and providing students with information that meets their educational goals was just one example of how Reclamation plans to implement the youth initiative. Students were not only able to get answers to complex questions in order to fulfill their project requirements, but also learned first hand factual information about the largest wholesaler of water in the country. <P> The Washington International School is located in in Northwest, Washington, D.C. and was founded in 1966 to meet the educational needs of Washington's International community and American families seeking a rigorous international education. <P> <P> Bureau of Reclamation Releases Funding Opportunity Announcement of WaterSMART Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Feasibility Studies
<img align="right" alt="Title XVI FOA Cover Page" height="323" hspace="3" src="" style="margin: 3px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" vspace="3" width="250" /><b>WASHINGTON</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a WaterSMART Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Feasibility Study Funding Opportunity Announcement for non-federal government entities, Indian tribes, water districts, wastewater districts or rural water districts in the 17 western states. <P> Funding is available for two funding groups. Entities may submit applications for funding in amounts up to $150,000 for feasibility studies that can be completed within 18 months or up to $450,000 for feasibility studies that can be completed within 36 months. Applicants must provide at least 50 percent non-federal cost-shared funding for the feasibility study. A total of about $1.5 million is expected to be available this year. <P> This announcement is available at <a href=""></a> by searching for funding opportunity number R14AS00030. Proposals must be submitted as indicated on <a href=""></a> by May 6, 2014, 4:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time. It is anticipated that awards will be announced this summer. <P> The Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program focuses on identifying and investigating opportunities to reclaim and reuse wastewater and naturally impaired ground and surface water in the 17 Western States and Hawaii. It has the potential to provide communities with a new source of clean water while promoting water and energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. <P> Since its establishment in 2010, WaterSMART has provided more than $161 million in competitively-awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities and universities through WaterSMART Grants and the Title XVI Program. <P> To learn more about WaterSMART, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> <P> Reclamation Veteran Jennifer Gimbel to Serve as Deputy Commissioner for External and Intergovernmental Affairs
<img align="right" style="padding-left:5" src="" width="275" height="315" alt="Photo of Jennifer Gimbel, deputy commissioner for external and intergovernmental affairs." /><b>WASHINGTON</b> - Bureau of Reclamation acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley announced Jennifer Gimbel has been named Reclamation’s Deputy Commissioner for External and Intergovernmental Affairs. “An important component of carrying out Reclamation’s mission is working with its customers, stakeholders and the public,” said Acting Commissioner Pimley. “Jennifer’s experience working in the water community at the state, regional and federal level will be a valuable asset as we continue to work alongside our partners in the West to confront widening imbalances between water supply and demand.” <P> As Deputy Commissioner, Gimbel will oversee Reclamation’s congressional, legislative and public affairs activities. She will also be the executive responsible for Reclamation’s national relationships with federal, state and local governments, as well as citizen organizations and other nongovernmental groups. <P> Gimbel returns to Reclamation after serving as Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of the Interior where she focused on legislative and legal matters, concentrating on issues regarding the Rio Grande, Salton Sea, California Bay Delta, and the Clean Water Act. <P> She came to Interior in 2013 after serving five years as Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board which is the water policy agency for the State of Colorado. As Director, she carried out policies and directives of a citizen board and the administration relating to the conservation, development and utilization of the state’s water resources. She represented Colorado in several interstate activities, including being the Governor's representative on the Colorado River and as one of his appointees to the Western States Water Council. <P> Gimbel previously worked at Reclamation from 2001 until 2008 on a variety of policy and program issues including serving as Chair of the Secretary’s Indian Water Rights Working Group. Program areas included operation and maintenance, deferred maintenance, the Water Conservation Field Services Program, drought, hazardous waste, invasive species, water management and planning, and other issues. <P> Gimbel’s career also includes experience with the Colorado Attorney General’s office and the Wyoming Attorney General office, where she advised and represented the Attorney General and other state officials regarding interstate water matters, water law and administrative law. <P> She has a Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Science from the University of Delaware. <P> Lowell Pimley Named Acting Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner
<img align="right" src=""> <b>WASHINGTON</b> – Newly confirmed Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor has praised Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell’s decision to appoint Lowell Pimley to serve as acting Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation until a new Commissioner is selected by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate. <P> “Lowell has the depth of knowledge and breadth of experience to manage through the complex issues facing Reclamation,” said Connor. “The collaborative relationships he has built during his tenure as Deputy Commissioner have prepared him to step into the responsibilities of this position.” <P> Pimley has served as Deputy Commissioner for Operations since January 2013 with oversight of Reclamation's five regions, the Native American and International Affairs Office, and Technical Resources, which includes the Technical Service Center, Research and Development Office, Power Liaison and Dam Safety Officer/Design, Estimating, Construction. <P> “It is a great honor to take on this responsibility during the transition to a new Commissioner,” Pimley said. “I look forward to leading Reclamation through what will be a very interesting and challenging time for water managers in the West. Mike Connor has left some big shoes to fill but I will do my best to step into them.” <P> Prior to being named Deputy Commissioner, Pimley was the Director of the Technical Service Center in Denver, conducting and coordinating planning studies, design and construction support on a variety of water resource and related projects. <P> He joined Reclamation in 1980 as a civil engineer where he developed and directed designs on varied project features ranging from tunnels to bridges to large pipeline systems. Over the years Pimley’s responsibilities expanded to include project reviews for domestic and international civil works projects as well as policy development for Reclamation's planning, design, cost estimating and construction programs. <P> Pimley has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from Montana State University. He has been a Registered Professional Engineer in Colorado since 1985. <P> <P> President’s $1 Billion Reclamation Budget for FY 2015 Underscores Water & Power as Economic Drivers in the West
WASHINGTON - President Obama's fiscal year 2015 budget request released today identifies a total of $1 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation, continuing the President's commitment to be prudent with taxpayer dollars while setting consistent spending priorities for Reclamation. As the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second-largest producer of hydroelectric power, Reclamation's projects and programs are critical to driving and maintaining economic growth in the western states. <P> "This budget reflects not only the President's vision of opportunity and growth but also his strong commitment to meet water delivery requirements in the West in the face of dry conditions and a changing climate," said acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley. "With this request, we are reinforcing our commitment to promote efficient water deliveries and power generation, implement critical river and environmental restoration programs, continue our focus on water-related activities to support tribal nations, and stretch water supplies through recycling and conservation." <P> The proposal for Reclamation's Water and Related Resources account of $760.7 million includes $343.5 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 $417.2 million to fund operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation activities at Reclamation facilities, including dam safety initiatives. <P> 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 to 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. <P> Reclamation's funding request addresses administration, departmental and bureau priorities, including opportunities to enhance America's Great Outdoors through ecosystem restoration, renewable energy, water conservation through the WaterSMART Program, to strengthen tribal nations, and engage the next generation of Americans in resource-related issues. <P> <b>WaterSMART Program</b> – The FY 2015 budget for Reclamation proposes $52.1 million for the WaterSMART Program (Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow) to assist communities in stretching water supplies and improving water management. WaterSMART components include: WaterSMART Grants funded at $19 million; the Basin Studies Program funded at $3.9 million; the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program funded at $21.5 million; the Water Conservation Field Service program funded at $4.5 million; the Cooperative Watershed Management program funded at $250,000; the new Drought Response program funded at $1.5 million; and the new Resilient Infrastructure program funded at $1.5 million. <P> <b>Strengthening Tribal Nations</b> – The FY 2015 Budget proposes $90 million for Indian Water Rights Settlements, in a new account of the same name to ensure continuity in the construction of four of the authorized projects and to highlight and enhance transparency in handling these funds. The budget includes $81 million for the ongoing Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project (Title X of Public Law 111-11). The budget also includes $9 million to continue implementation of three settlements authorized in the Claims Resolution Act of 2010. These settlements will deliver clean water to the Taos Pueblo of New Mexico, the Pueblos of New Mexico named in the Aamodt case, and the Crow Tribe of Montana. <P> The budget request proposes to transition the Central Utah Project Completion Act Program into the Bureau of Reclamation as part of broader administration efforts to implement good government solutions, ensure consistent treatment of federal water projects, consolidate activities when possible and reduce duplication and overlap. The FY 2015 CUPCA budget is $7.3 million. <P> Specifics of the budget request include: <P> <b>America's Great Outdoors Initiative</b> – Reclamation has a responsibility to focus on the protection and restoration of the aquatic and riparian environments affected by its operations. The America’s Great Outdoors Initiative includes $116 million for Reclamation river restoration projects. Highlights of Reclamation's ecosystem restoration activities, many of which support Endangered Species Act recovery programs, include: <P> <ul> <li>$118.6 million to operate, manage and improve <b>California's Central Valley Project</b>. More than half of the funding provides for operation and maintenance of project facilities, including $16.4 million for the Replacements, Additions and Extraordinary Maintenance program – which is used for modernization, upgrade and refurbishment of facilities throughout the Central Valley. Within the CVP total, $11.9 million and an additional $2 million in the CVP Restoration Fund are for the Trinity River Restoration Program.</li> <li>$28.3 million for the <b>Lower Colorado River Operations Program</b>, of which $16.2 million is for the Multi-Species Conservation Program to provide long-term ESA compliance for river operations.</li> <li>$32 million for activities consistent with the settlement of Natural Resources Defense Council v. Rodgers as authorized by the <b>San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act</b> to restore and maintain fish populations, and avoid adverse water impacts.</li> <li>$22.7 million for <b>ESA recovery implementation programs</b>, including $15.1 million to implement the Platte River Endangered Species Recovery Implementation Program and $5.1 million for the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program.</li> <li>$18 million for the <b>Klamath Project</b>, which supports studies and initiatives to improve water supplies to meet the competing demands of agricultural, tribal, wildlife refuge and environmental needs along with facilities operations and maintenance activities.</li> <li>$37 million for <b>California Bay-Delta Restoration</b>. The account focuses on the health of the Bay-Delta ecosystem and improving water management and supplies. The budget will support the coequal goals of environmental restoration and improved water supply reliability under the following program activities: $1.7 million for a Renewed Federal State Partnership, $8 million for Smarter Water Supply and Use, and $27.4 million for Habitat Restoration. These program activities are based on the Interim Federal Action Plan for the California Bay-Delta issued December 22, 2009.</li> <li>$57 million for the <b>Central Valley Project Restoration Fund</b> to continue funding a variety of activities to restore fish and wildlife habitat and populations within the CVP service area of California.</li> <li>$22.7 million for the <b>Middle Rio Grande Project</b>, of which $7.9 million is targeted to support environmental activities developed through the Endangered Species Act Collaborative Program.</li> <li>$17 million for the <b>Columbia and Snake River Salmon Recovery Project</b> for implementation of the biological opinions for the Federal Columbia River Power System.</li> </ul> <P> Other Budget Highlights Include: <P> <ul> <li>$34.1 million for <b>rural water projects</b> to undertake the design and construction of five projects and operation and maintenance of tribal features for two projects intended to deliver potable water supplies to specific rural communities and tribes located primarily in Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota.</li> <li>A total of $11 million for the <b>Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project</b>, which will continue funding grants to implement conservation measures and monitor the effects of those measures on the river diversions.</li> <li>$82.9 million for the <b>Dam Safety Program</b> to continue dam safety risk management and risk reduction activities throughout Reclamation's inventory of dams. Corrective actions are planned to start or continue at a number of facilities. A major focus continues to be modifications at Folsom Dam in California.</li> <li>$26.2 million for Reclamation's ongoing <b>site-security program</b> that includes physical security upgrades at key facilities, guards and patrols, anti-terrorism program activities and security risk assessments.</li> </ul> <P> The Bureau of Reclamation, throughout the 17 western states, is committed to helping meet the many water challenges of the West. A driving force behind bureau initiatives is resolution of water issues that will benefit future generations and providing leadership on the path to sustainable water supplies. <P> $44.3 Million in Additional Funds Made Available to Bureau of Reclamation
<b>WASHINGTON</b> – Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor announced $44.3 million in funding for water infrastructure projects in the West. The funding will support a variety of efforts – providing financial assistance and construction support for rural water projects, addressing infrastructure to maintain system reliability and safety, restoring aquatic habitat, continuing Reclamation's focus on water-related activities to support tribal nations, meeting the increasing water demands of the western United States, and supporting activities that increase water resiliency in the face of drought consistent with President Obama's Climate Action Plan. <P> "Water is the lifeblood of our communities, and clean, reliable drinking water is absolutely vital to maintain healthy communities and healthy economies – especially in some of the West's most rural areas," said Connor. "Building the infrastructure our rural and tribal communities need to deliver clean water creates construction jobs and provides lasting benefits for local economies and public health." <P> A total of $27.1 million will be provided to advance five infrastructure projects in rural communities that will deliver clean, reliable drinking water to remote areas. Additional project categories to be funded across the West include: <P> <ul> <li>$4 million for fish passage and fish screens to meet the increasing water demands in the West while protecting the environment and restoring aquatic habitat that has been impacted by historic development.</li> <li>$8 million for water conservation and delivery studies to promote water conservation and improved water management.</li> <li>$1 million for environmental restoration and compliance efforts with an emphasis on species recovery and protection.</li> <li>$4.2 million for facility operation, maintenance and rehabilitation to ensure system reliability and safety of infrastructure in support of sustainable water management. Funding has been assigned through criteria that identified projects with the most urgent need.</li> </ul> <P> The five rural water projects, selected by Reclamation as directed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, include: <P> <ul> <li>$9.3 million for the Garrison Diversion Unit (Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program) in North Dakota. These additional funds combined with funding enacted in FY 2014 will bring total construction funding to more than $18 million and will be used to 1) construct a pipeline to provide service to Selfridge, N.D.; 2) construct a conveyance and distribution pipeline to Tokio, N.D., and area rural customers; 3) provide service to 410 rural customers by constructing 211 miles of the Southwest Pipeline Project; 4) continue work in the Turtle Mountain Corridor to provide 250 service connections; 5) provide system upgrades for the Trenton Indian Service Area; and 6) finish construction of the Dunn Center Service Area water storage tank and conduct work on Phase 1 in the Dunn Center Service Area.</li> <li>$6 million for the Rocky Boy's/North Central Montana Rural Water System (Montana). These additional funds combined with funding enacted in FY 2014 will bring total construction funding to $11.4 million and will be used to continue construction of 7.8 of the remaining 35 miles of core pipeline within tribal areas. It will also provide for construction of half of the interim distribution system – Conrad to Brady, Mont., construction of the Shelby to Cut Bank pipeline, and continued design of the Hill County pipeline in the non-tribal areas.</li> <li>$4.9 million for the Fort Peck Reservation/Dry Prairie Rural Water System (Montana). These additional funds combined with funding enacted in FY 2014 will bring total construction funding to $9.2 million and will be used to complete the Frazier-Nashua waterline in tribal areas and to extend pipeline construction on the east and west ends of the project in non-tribal areas.</li> <li>$5.2 million for the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System (South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota). These additional funds combined with funding enacted in FY 2014 will bring the total construction funding to $8.4 million and will be used to provide service to a population of 4,000 by 1) completing one mile of a 30-inch PVC treated water pipeline; 2) completing a 10-inch Service Line to Rock County Rural Water District, Minn.; 3) constructing a meter building and booster pumps for Rock Rapids/Rock County RWD connection; and 4) continuing construction of a transmission pipeline to connect to the future Rock County Reservoir and then the city of Luverne, Minn.</li> <li>$1.7 million for the Eastern New Mexico Water Supply Project (New Mexico): These additional funds combined with funding enacted in FY 2014 will bring total construction funding to more than $2.3 million and will be used to continue work on the Phase I Intake Structure at Ute Reservoir that will supply water to eight municipalities and three counties in eastern New Mexico.</li> </ul> <P> To allocate fiscal year 2014 funding for rural water projects, Reclamation considered the financial resources already committed, a perspective on regional watersheds, and compelling need – such as water supply and water quality, tribal members served, economic impacts, and water use and energy efficiency. <P> To view a summary of all the projects in this spending plan, visit: <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> Department of the Interior and Salton Sea Authority Sign Joint Memorandum of Understanding
<b>WASHINGTON</b> – Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Salton Sea Authority to improve collaboration between federal, tribal and local entities on natural resource issues involving the Salton Sea. The MOU is a key step in cementing each party's commitment to find collaborative solutions to resource challenges, to share available technical and scientific information and expertise, and to prioritize partnerships to improve resource conditions in and around the Sea. <P> "We support the push for practical and implementable projects to protect the resources of the Salton Sea and surrounding communities," said Castle. "The Department has a key role to play – ensuring that these efforts are prioritized and based on the best available technical and scientific information." <P> Joining Assistant Secretary Castle in Washington, D.C., for the signing were Salton Sea Authority President James Hanks and officials from the Imperial Irrigation District, Imperial County, and the California Natural Resources Agency. <P> "The decline of the Salton Sea's size, water quality and habitat will reach a tipping point after 2017, when mitigation flows to the Salton Sea cease and the local impacts of the largest agriculture-to-urban water conservation and transfer program rapidly materialize," Hanks said. "It's important that we do all we can now. By helping the sea, we protect the Imperial Valley and the region." <P> The Salton Sea Authority is a joint powers agency created under California law in 1993 for the purpose of ensuring the beneficial uses of the Salton Sea. The Authority is comprised of the following cooperating agencies: Coachella Valley Water District, Imperial Irrigation District, Imperial and Riverside counties, and the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians. <P> The Department of the Interior has diverse interests and roles at the Salton Sea involving many agencies within the Department including the Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Geological Survey. Ongoing pilot projects administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Red Hill Bay project are the type of projects that can protect the environmental resources of the Sea as well as improve conditions for local communities. <P> The Salton Sea is located in Southern California in Imperial and Riverside counties. With an average area of approximately 375 square miles, it is the largest lake in California. The Salton Sea is a terminal body of water affected by a number of natural and anthropogenic processes, such as increasing salinity concentration. Rainfall in the region averages less than three inches per year and inflow is comprised primarily of agricultural runoff with smaller contributions from the New, Alamo, and Whitewater rivers. The Salton Sea provides critical habitat and is a key stopover point for migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway. <P> Students spar, bridges buckle at 47th Annual Colorado High School Bridge Building Competition
DENVER - Expressions of excitement and anguish were rampant at the 47th Annual High School Bridge Building Competition Saturday, Feb. 22 in Denver. Top winners from across the state took home prizes, scholarships and the opportunity to represent Colorado at the International Bridge Building Competition in Chicago. <P> In Region One, Ancil Lindley of Lindley Home School took first place for the third year in a row with a bridge that weighed 22 grams (.78 ounces) and supported 151.33 kilograms (333.63 pounds), giving it an efficiency value of 6,878. Dade Lindley, also of Lindley Home School, won second place with a bridge weighing 15.68 grams (0.55 ounces), which supported 77.94 kg (171.83 lbs). Andrew Yang of Cherry Creek High School took third with a bridge weighing 17.60 grams (0.62 ounces), which supported 86.98 kg (191.76 lbs). Other schools that competed in Region One include Front Range Christian School, Fort Morgan High School, Denver School of Science and Technology, East High School and Littleton High School. <P> In Region Two, Nicholas Lewis of Cheyenne Mountain High School won first place with a bridge weighing 21.09 grams (0.74 ounces) that supported 121.50 kg (267.86 lbs), giving it an overall efficiency value of 5,769. In second place, Katrina Rachwitz of Rampart High School brought a bridge weighing 13.25 grams (0.47 ounces) that held 65.69 kg (144.82 lbs). Nikolas Provost of Rampart High School took third, with a bridge weighing 15.60 grams (0.55 ounces) that supported 73.61 kg (162.28 lbs). Other schools that competed in Region Two include Coal Ridge High School, Buena Vista High School, Rifle High School, Manzanola High School, Manitou Middle School and Grand Junction High School. <P> Every year, students with an interest in science and engineering gather at the Bureau of Reclamation's Materials, Engineering and Research Laboratory to test out their homemade, small-scale bridges. These bridges, made only from basswood and common adhesive, are then tested to determine how much weight they can support. The winning models are determined by the structural efficiency ratio, which is the amount of weight the bridge can hold divided by the weight of the bridge. The winners have the highest 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 math and science, giving students an opportunity to try their hand at constructing model bridges and glimpse into the world of professional engineering. In addition to the competition, attendees can take tours through Reclamation's laboratories and facilities. Students are given the opportunity to view current research being conducted, how cement is made for dams and see a professional press put thousands of pounds of pressure onto concrete cylinders until they explode. <P> The competition is a collaboration between the Reclamation, the National Society of Professional Engineers of Colorado and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado. <P> Competition Results: <P> <a href="">Region 1 Individual Results</a> <P> <a href="">Region 1 School Results</a> <P> <a href="">Region 2 Individual Results</a> <P> <a href="">Region 2 School Results</a> <P> <P> Reclamation Names 2014 Engineer of the Year
<img src="" alt="Subrehndu Gangopadhyay with Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor" width="300" height="200" align="right" /><b>WASHINGTON</b> — Subhrendu Gangopadhyay, Ph.D., hydrologic engineer in Reclamation's Technical Service Center in Denver, is the Bureau of Reclamation’s Engineer of the Year for 2014. He represented Reclamation at the Federal Engineer of the Year Awards Luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington. <P> "Reclamation's engineering expertise is known throughout the world and this expertise is now developing tools to guide a sustainable water and power future for the West," said Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor. "Subhrendu's leadership in developing the 'West-wide Climate Risk Assessmen' lead to an understanding of climate change risks of eight basins in the Western United States." <P> Gangopadhyay is Reclamation's lead engineer in assessing climate change and its impact on water delivery and consumptive use. In 2011, he developed the process and methodology to complete the “West-wide Climate Risk Assessment.” The report covers eight major Reclamation river basins and assesses specific risks to the water supply of each river basin, including risk relating to a change in snowpack, timing and quantity of runoff, groundwater recharge and discharge and increase in the demand for water as a result of increasing temperatures and rate of reservoir evaporation. He is currently leading the team for a follow up report focusing on estimating agricultural demands with changes in consumptive use and reservoir evaporation in the same eight river basins. <P> He has also published several papers. Examples of his work include: "Statistical modeling of daily and subdaily stream temperatures: Application to the Methow River Basin, Washington;" "Predicting regime shifts in flow of the Gunnison River under changing climate conditions" and "The impact of subsurface conceptualization on land energy fluxes." <P> Gangopadhyay is the Technical Service Center Engineer of the Year and is a registered Professional Engineer in Colorado. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union and has a Doctor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand. He also completed post-doctoral research at the University of Colorado in Hydroclimatology. <P> Regional engineers of the year are: <P> <blockquote>Pacific Northwest Region: Scott Ross<br /> Mid-Pacific Region: Todd Hill<br /> Upper Colorado Region: Ed Vidmar<br /> Great Plains Region: David Scanson</blockquote> <P> <P> Students Experience Career Insight During National Job Shadow Day
February is a month of various observances. Among them is National Job Shadow Day, which strives to give students a new perspective on their studies through hands-on learning and a one-day mentoring experience. This year 30 students from East Career and Technical Academy in Las Vegas visited Reclamation's Lower Colorado Regional Office to participate in this observance, "shadow" Regional employees and learn about some aspects of their jobs. <P> The event provided an opportunity for potential job applicants to learn about the region, its work, and how employees, with job interests similar to those of the students, apply their expertise and knowledge to their work and goals of the region. <P> "Shadowing" someone on the job can be an academically motivating activity that gives students the unique opportunity for an up-close look at the world of work and provides the answer to the commonly asked question, "Why do I have to learn this?" This is exactly what Regional Office volunteers had in mind for their students. <P> As the students returned to the Training Center for lunch and a brief discussion period, EEO Manager Linda Rivera asked if the students had a good time and all responded with a strong "yes." <P> "What stood out for me was Hoover Dam and how it was built," said Justin Windsor. “It was spectacular. I had never been to the dam." <P> "The construction around Hoover Dam impressed me," said Avery Woofter. <P> "What impressed me was the variety of things Reclamation does with water, with fish," said Ansell Caberra. <P> "I was amazed with the demonstration at the lab, and [Amy Stephenson] using evaporation so only the minerals were left, and how she showed the difference between table salt and natural salt," said Ruben Padilla. <P> "I liked the hands-on stuff in the lab," Sarah Nunez said. "To get to use the samples and the beakers, we don't really do that at school, so that was a good experience." <P> "I had fun learning about different geological things," said Luis Bacardo. <P> "I really learning about everything we did related to NEPA – laws and history," Catlene Smith. "It was very interesting. I had a good time." <P> Reclamation Issues Temporary Manual Release for Lease of Power Privilege Requirements, Seeks Public Comments on Updated Directive and Standard
<b>WASHINGTON</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation has issued and is seeking public comment on a temporary Reclamation manual release directive and standard, Lease of Power Privilege Processes, Responsibilities, Timelines and Charges (FAC TRMR-61). It supersedes FAC 04-08. <P> This directive and standard has been revised to incorporate new process requirements established by Public Law 113-24, Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act. New process requirements updated in the document include: LOPPs being offered first to irrigation districts or water user associations operating or receiving water from Reclamation transferred or reserved works and establishing timeframes for irrigation districts or water users associations to accept or reject the LOPP offer. <P> A LOPP is used when Reclamation chooses to lease its right to develop hydropower at one of its facilities when that power development doesn't interfere with other authorized project purposes. For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have developed the tools to guide a sustainable water and power future for the West. <P> The draft directive and standard is available for detailed review at: <a href=""></a>. <P> Comments or questions may be directed to Michael Pulskamp at Comments must be received by Reclamation by 5 p.m. on March 28, 2014. <P> <P>