Commissioner's Offce News Releases News Releases from Reclamation's Commissioner's Office Department of the Interior and New Mexico Central Arizona Project Entity Sign Agreement to Further Evaluate a Gila River Water Project
PHOENIX – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water & Science Jennifer Gimbel today signed an agreement with the New Mexico Central Arizona Project Entity (CAP Entity) that initiates a process to thoroughly evaluate the full range of proposed water management alternatives for the upper region of the Gila River and examine their impacts and costs. Today's agreement is the result of a decision by the State of New Mexico to move forward in evaluating a potential diversion project. It does not constitute a green light for the proposed project or any other water management alternative. Rather it is a procedural step that lays the framework for further evaluation. <P> "No final decision has been made on the construction of a dam along the upper region of the Gila River nor has any decision been made about any non-diversion alternative to a dam," said Gimbel, who oversees the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Department of the Interior agency that will lead the evaluation of alternatives for the New Mexico Central Arizona Project Unit. "Interior is ensuring that a robust review process will be completed under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and other environmental laws before a final decision is made. This review process will include early development of a full-range of alternatives to meet water supply needs in southwestern New Mexico, which will inform the CAP Entity, Interior, and the public as analysis proceeds and will provide ample opportunities for public participation," said Gimbel. <P> By statute, the Gila River Water Project is a mechanism to make water available for use in New Mexico and is one of a number of projects in the Colorado River Basin that are part of Reclamation's Central Arizona Project. Under the Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004 (2004 AWSA), the Secretary of the Interior does not have the discretion to deny signing the agreement to further evaluate the Gila River Water Project. The discretion to approve or not approve a project occurs during the environmental review process pursuant to applicable laws and policies. <P> As authorized by the 2004 AWSA, the State of New Mexico was given the ability to decide whether or not to further consider the construction of a diversion unit along the Gila River. On November 24, 2014, the State notified the Secretary of the Interior that it intended to pursue this option. This notification triggered a one-year statutory timeline to execute an agreement between Interior and the New Mexico Central Arizona Project Entity. <P> Although many of the terms in the agreement are prescribed by and required under federal law, Interior and the CAP Entity negotiated supplemental terms that specify activities that the CAP Entity and the Bureau of Reclamation will undertake during evaluation of the water management proposal, including activities related to analysis, planning, and potential contracting as well as the environmental review. <P> Through the National Environmental Policy Act process, the Bureau of Reclamation, working with the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, as co-lead under the 2004 AWSA, Tribes, and other federal and non-federal cooperating agencies, will assess possible impacts and necessary mitigation efforts for each alternative identified.  The process will include extensive dialogue with and input from stakeholders and the general public.  Topics for analysis in the review process will be addressed during public scoping, but will include impacts to fish and wildlife, hydrology, land use, economics, cultural resources, recreation, and ecosystem services. The agreement also calls for cost-benefit analysis of all alternatives in accordance with Federal Principles, Requirements, and Guidelines for Water and Land Related Resources Implementation Studies. The comprehensive analysis will assess economic feasibility and financial capability as part of the Federal decision-making process. Once the evaluation process concludes, as required under law, the Secretary of the Interior will issue a Record of Decision regarding a final alternative for the project as soon as before December 2019 but no later than December 2030.   <P> BACKGROUND <P> The Colorado River Basin Project Act of 1968 authorized the Secretary of the Interior to enter into contracts with New Mexico water users for the consumptive use of Gila River water based upon the delivery of an equivalent amount of CAP water to downstream users in Arizona. The 2004 AWSA modified terms of the 1968 act, reducing the amount of Gila River water that can be diverted, and provided funding for construction of a New Mexico Unit or other water utilization alternatives. <P> The Central Arizona Project is a multipurpose water resource development and management project that provides irrigation, municipal and industrial water, power, flood control, outdoor recreation, and environmental enhancement. The project also provides delivery of Tribal homeland water, partial settlement of Indian water rights claims, and economic benefits accruing from the leasing of Indian agricultural water rights to municipal entities. <P> <a href="" target="_blank">View Signed Agreement</a> <P> <P> Interior Department Delivers Gold King Mine Technical Assessment to Environmental Protection Agency
WASHINGTON - The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation delivered a report on its Gold King Mine technical evaluation to the Environmental Protection Agency today. EPA requested an independent review to assess the cause of the August 2015 Gold King Mine Blowout near Silverton, Colo. and provide recommendations to prevent future incidents from occurring. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation’s Technical Service Center in Lakewood, Colo. conducted the independent assessment on behalf of Interior. The TSC provides water resources management-related scientific, applied research, and engineering services. The report was peer reviewed by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and produced in accord with Interior’s scientific integrity policy. <P> The report, entitled ‘Technical Evaluation of the Gold King Mine Incident,’ is available for viewing at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. <P> <P> <P> WaterSMART Funding Opportunity Now Available for Title XVI Authorized Projects
The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking applications from congressionally authorized sponsors of Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse projects for cost-shared funding to plan, design or construct their projects. The funding opportunity is part of Reclamation's activity under the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART initiative, which focuses on improving water conservation, sustainability and helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. <P> This year, Reclamation anticipates providing funding for 5-10 projects. The funding opportunity is available at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> by searching funding opportunity number R16-FOA-DO-003. Proposals must be submitted as indicated in the application packet by 4 p.m., Mountain Standard Time, Dec. 10, 2015. It is anticipated that awards will be made this spring. <P> Reclamation provides funding through the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program for projects that reclaim and reuse municipal, industrial, domestic or agricultural wastewater and naturally impaired ground or surface waters. Reclaimed water can be used for a variety of purposes, such as environmental restoration, fish and wildlife, groundwater recharge, municipal, domestic, industrial, agricultural, power generation or recreation. Water reuse is a drought resistant water supply and is an essential tool for stretching limited water supplies in the Western United States. <P> Title XVI projects provide communities with a new source of clean water while promoting water and energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Title XVI also is an important part of the Department of the Interior's implementation of the President’s June 2013 Climate Action Plan and the Nov. 1, 2013 Executive Order, Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change. <P> Since 1992, approximately $629 million in federal funding through the Title XVI program has been leveraged with non-Federal funding to implement more than $3 billion in water reuse improvements. The president's FY 2016 budget request included a $20 million request for the Title XVI program. <P> To learn more about WaterSMART and the Title XVI program, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> <P> <P> Reclamation Invests in Science and Technology Development Research Projects to Address Water and Power Challenges
The ability to deliver water and generate power from Bureau of Reclamation facilities is becoming more challenging and complex. To ensure a sustainable and reliable supply of water for irrigation, municipal, hydropower generation and other uses, Reclamation is investing $9.17 million for 157 science and technology development projects across Reclamation. <P> "For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have developed the tools to guide a sustainable water and power for the future of the Western United States," Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. "By leveraging our funding and expertise with other entities, we can apply innovative solutions to Reclamation facilities that will benefit our customers, stakeholders and the public." <P> Research proposals were sought in nine subject areas: <P> <ul> <li>water operations and support</li> <li>environmental issues in water delivery and management</li> <li>conserving and expanding water supplies</li> <li>advanced water treatment</li> <li>climate change and variability</li> <li>sustainable water infrastructure and safety</li> <li>renewable energy and energy conservation</li> <li>invasive zebra and quagga mussels</li> <li>open water data</li> </ul> <P> Research projects are identified using solicited research and brokered research. In solicited research, Reclamation hosts an internal competition where employees propose their research ideas. Once received, the proposals are reviewed and ranked according to Reclamation’s mission and technical validity. Through the second methodology, brokered research, the Research and Development Office identifies specialized research teams from a mix of federal and nonfederal experts and organizations to solve Reclamation’s high priority issues and needs. <P> An example of solicited research is the study, "Development and Commercialization of Chlorine Resistant Membranes." Chlorine is one of the most effective pretreatment strategies of water, but chlorine will oxidize the filtration membranes, reducing their effectiveness, so the water must be dechlorinated before membrane treatment, adding an additional step to the treatment process. The development of membranes that are resistant to chlorine will reduce the steps and costs associated with treating water, make alternative water treatment technologies more affordable, and expand Reclamation’s capabilities to expand water supplies through treatment of various non-traditional sources including inland brackish groundwater, seawater, municipal wastewater and produced waters. <P> An example of brokered research is occurring under a new cooperative agreement with the University of California, San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where researchers will study the "Seasonal and Extended-range Predictability of Atmospheric Rivers and their associated Precipitation." Atmospheric rivers, which are narrow regions in the atmosphere that are responsible for most of the horizontal transport of water vapor outside of the tropics, are an important source for water supplies in the Western United States. In California, just a few atmospheric river events each year contribute a significant percentage of the total annual precipitation a watershed may receive. A better understanding of the seasonal predictability of atmospheric river activity will support improved water supply forecasts and management for local and regional water resources managers. <P> When developing proposals, Reclamation employees are invited to partner with their coworkers and other organizations to develop more robust and comprehensive research projects. Through these partnership collaborations, Reclamation's Research Office was able to leverage its $9.17 million with $9.14 million from other Reclamation, federal, and nonfederal sources for a total investment of $18.3 million in research projects to manage water and generate hydropower. <P> To see a complete list of selected projects or to learn more about Reclamation's Research Program, please visit <P> <div class="fluid-video"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> <P> Bureau of Reclamation Seeking Ways to Measure Food for Threatened and Endangered Fish
WASHINGTON, DC - The Bureau of Reclamation is launching a $30,000 prize competition seeking improved methods to measure the food resources available for threatened and endangered fish. Advancing technology for monitoring how food is available for fish species can lower the cost and improve the effectiveness of fish recovery efforts. <P> "Protecting and restoring river systems are vital to ensuring that watersheds are healthy and can continue to meet the West's water needs," said Commissioner Estevan L&oacute;pez. "Encouraging innovation and collaboration between the federal government and the private sector allows us all to do our jobs better." <P> Millions of dollars are spent annually on restoration activities like changing flow regimes, reconstructing wetlands and adding natural structural elements. These efforts to improve and restore habitats are key to the recovery of salmon, trout and other critical fish species. A critical way to learn the effectiveness of habitat recovery is to measure the food resources available to fish species targeted for recovery and protection. Despite its importance, measuring food resources has proven difficult. <P> The top one to three submissions will receive $10,000 to $15,000 in prize money, totaling no more than $30,000. The winning solutions will help fish recovery managers evaluate the food available to impacted fish species under various habitat restoration strategies. <P> Reclamation is collaborating with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to lead this competition. <P> The prize competition closes on November 16, and winners will be announced by January 29, 2016. To submit your ideas, please visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Learn more about the prize challenges at <a href=""></a>. <P> On October 7 and 8, the Obama administration is celebrating the five-year anniversary of <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, a historic effort by the federal government to collaborate with members of the public through incentive prizes to address our most pressing local, national, and global challenges. True to the spirit of the President’s charge from his first day in office, federal agencies have collaborated with more than 200,000 citizen solvers—entrepreneurs, citizen scientists, students, and more—in more than 440 challenges, on topics ranging from accelerating the deployment of solar energy, to combating breast cancer, to increasing resilience after Hurricane Sandy. Read more <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>. <P> David Palumbo Named Bureau of Reclamation's Deputy Commissioner for Operations
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López announced today that David Palumbo is the new Deputy Commissioner for Operations. He will oversee operations in Reclamation's five regions, the Native American and International Affairs Office, the Technical Service Center, Hydropower Office and Dam Safety Officer/Design, Estimating, Construction office. <P> "Water delivery and power generation are fundamental to what the Bureau of Reclamation does," López said. "Dave's federal government and private industry experience working on water, power and environmental projects are great assets as we work to meet future water and power demands in the western United States." <P> Palumbo moves to Washington, D.C., from Reclamation's Lower Colorado Region, where he became the deputy regional director in 2012. In this position, he oversaw complex water and power programs in the region, including Hoover Dam operations. He also managed and led Native American activities, including those related to Navajo Generating Station and implementing Indian water rights settlements. He has built strong, collaborative relationships with customers and stakeholders throughout the Colorado River basin, including those in the country of Mexico. <P> He joined Reclamation in 2005 as a project manager where he led the construction project of the Brock Reservoir Project in Southern California's Imperial Valley. This $172 million project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. The facility provides enhanced storage capacity to improve management and conservation of Colorado River water. <P> In addition to his work for Reclamation in the Southwest, Palumbo worked in the private sector for Kerr-McGee Corporation for ten years. For four of those years he partnered with Canada's Hydro-Quebec, managing engineering and operations for manufacturing, water, energy, and research and development programs. <P> Palumbo holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Notre Dame. He also has master's degrees in both Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from Columbia University and in English Literature from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is a licensed civil engineer in California and certified project manager. <P> He was awarded the Superior Service Award in 2011 and Meritorious Service Award in 2014 from the Department of the Interior. Palumbo was also named Reclamation's Engineer of the Year in 2008. <P> Palumbo fills the spot vacated by Lowell Pimley, who retires this week after a 35-year career with the Bureau of Reclamation. <P> New Teachers Guide Highlights Minidoka Dam and Powerplant in Idaho
Educators have a new tool to help teach children how harnessing the power of water transformed the West. “The Electric Project”: The Minidoka Dam and Powerplant, is a new Teaching with Historic Places online lesson plan developed by the National Park Service and the Bureau of Reclamation. The curriculum provides information about how the Bureau of Reclamation harnessed the raw power of rivers to provide water and electricity to thousands of Western homesteads and towns in the early 1900s. The lesson plan is available at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. <P> In the lesson, students will learn how the Bureau of Reclamation built dams and powerplants to irrigate the arid West for settlers in the early 1900s, eventually providing them with a luxury of the era — electric power. This lesson provides information about settlement along the Snake River in Idaho and how irrigation allowed people to farm “reclaimed” land. Students will also investigate how hydroelectric power is generated and how technological advances, like electricity, changed and continues to change Americans’ lives and lifestyles. <P> “The Electric Project” is the 160th Teaching with Historic Places online lesson plan. This National Park Service series uses places listed in the National Register of Historic Places to enrich traditional classroom instruction and other educational programming in history, social studies, civics, and other subjects. The Teaching with Historic Places website indexes the lessons by states, historic themes, time periods, learning skills, and history and social studies standards to help teachers incorporate them into curriculum. <P> <strong>About the National Park Service</strong> <br /> <small>About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 408 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook </small> <P> Reclamation Seeks Partners to Develop Youth Programs
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking interested non-profit organizations and conservation corps to enter into master cooperative agreements for its youth conservation and youth intern partnership programs. <P> Although these agreements are not attached to any funding and no amount of funding is guaranteed, the agreements cover five years and expedite the process for awarding funding for youth programs when projects becomes available. <P> Since 2010, under previous five-year agreements, Reclamation has entered into more than 15 cooperative agreements with several youth organizations in its 17 western state jurisdiction. Reclamation has leveraged $1.5 million in federal funding with $1.4 million in partner cost-share to support almost $3 million in projects or about 800 youth opportunities. <P> Youth Partnerships represent an important part of Reclamation's efforts to engage the next generation under the Department of the Interior and Obama Administration's efforts to re-connect youth to the outdoors. <P> Reclamation is seeking to award multiple agreements under the following two new funding opportunity announcements: <P> 1. Youth Conservation Master Cooperative Agreements<br /> Reclamation is seeking non-profit organizations and conservation corps who have the capability to involve young people between 15 and 25. The individuals will perform conservation projects on Reclamation lands and also assist Reclamation in performing research and public education tasks associated with natural and cultural resources. <P> You can learn more about this funding opportunity announcement at <a href="" target="_blank"> and search for opportunity number R16-FOA-DO-002</a>. Applications are due Nov. 6, 2015 by 4:00 p.m. MST. <P> 2. Youth Intern Master Cooperative Agreements<br /> Reclamation is seeking non-profit organizations to leverage federal resources by cost-sharing the recruitment and placement of youth interns, in an effort to build understanding and appreciation of natural and cultural resources; further the development and maintenance of these resources; prepare the next generation for the responsibility of maintaining and managing these resources; and provide relevant work experiences in Reclamation's operations. <P> You can learn more about this funding opportunity announcement at <a href="" target="_blank"> and search for opportunity number R16-FOA-DO-001</a>. Applications are due Nov. 6, 2015 by 4:00 p.m. MST. <P> Master cooperative agreements are not attached to funding and do not guarantee funding for task agreements. Master cooperative agreements may be awarded to all qualified and eligible entities that apply. The master cooperative agreements would streamline the process for Reclamation working with the partner. <P> Partnering entities must provide a minimum of 25 percent of the total project costs in funding or in-kind support. Reclamation will collaborate with recipients to create and manage individual projects. <P> To learn more about the Reclamation's youth program, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> Basin Study Projects Shortfall in Future Water Supply for Santa Fe Basin in New Mexico
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation today released a study of the Santa Fe Basin that found that the water supply for Santa Fe, absent implementation of new strategies, is not adequate to meet future demands even without the influence of climate change. <P> "Basin Studies provide important information on projected water supplies and demands so water managers can develop strategies to meet the water needs of their residents," Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. "Working collaboratively is the most effective way to manage water resources and the city and county of Santa Fe will benefit from the results of this study." <P> The Santa Fe Basin Study identifies shortages in the water supply and potential adaptation strategies to meet the water needs described in the basin’s 40-year water demand projections. The area’s population is expected to increase about 80 percent by 2055 and, unless action is taken, would be expected to result in a shortfall of about 5,155 acre-feet of water per year, the amount of water that provides for more than 20,000 people. When different climate change scenarios were incorporated into the study, water shortfalls of between 6,342 acre-feet to 9,323 acre-feet per year were projected. <P> Reliability of the San Juan-Chama Project was also studied under various climate change scenarios. The study found that projected flows within the project would decrease by 25 percent overall. Flows would decrease in the summer but would increase in the spring. Storage in Heron Reservoir is projected to be reduced and sufficient water for a full allocation to contractors will be available less frequently. <P> Developing strategies to adapt to expected changes in water supplies is another important component of the Santa Fe Basin Study and included input from the public, the city of Santa Fe and the county of Santa Fe. The portfolio of items selected to study further include the use of reclaimed water, water conservation, direct injection and infiltration for aquifer storage and recovery, and obtaining additional water rights. <P> Reclamation, the city of Santa Fe and the county of Santa Fe, which co-funded the study, developed the Santa Fe Basin Study. The basin includes the upper Rio Grande watershed, tributaries within the San Juan River watershed, a portion of water delivered to Santa Fe through Reclamation's San Juan-Chama Project, and groundwater aquifers of the Santa Fe area. The basin includes the city of Santa Fe, the main municipality in the watershed, and the northern portion of Santa Fe County. <P> The Basin Study Program is part of the WaterSMART Program. WaterSMART is the Department of the Interior's sustainable water initiative that uses the best available science to improve water conservation and help water resource managers identify strategies to narrow the gap between supply and demand. To learn more about WaterSMART, please visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. <P> <P> New Melones Launches Every Kid in a Park Pass
Sonora, Calif. – New Melones Lake is proud to help launch the Every Kid in a Park program, as part of President Obama’s commitment to protect our nation’s unique outdoor spaces and ensure that every American has the opportunity to visit and enjoy them. <P> Fourth graders nationwide can now visit the new <a href="">Every Kid in a Park website</a> to obtain a pass that provides free access to students and their families to all federally managed lands and waters – including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries. The pass is valid for the 2015-2016 school year and grants free entry for fourth graders and three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in parks) at more than 2,000 federally-managed sites. <P> “Our facilities provide numerous opportunities for the public to enjoy our 6.5 million acres of land and water. The Bureau of Reclamation plays a major role in meeting the increasing public demands for water-based outdoor recreation facilities. Our sites also include important natural and cultural resources and provide unique educational and interpretive opportunities,” said Commissioner Estevan López. “The Every Kid in the Park Initiative is a great way for students to spend time in the great outdoors while developing critical skills and sharing the outdoor experience with their families.” <P> Leading up to the <a href="">100th birthday of the National Park Service in 2016</a>, President Obama launched the <a href="">Every Kid in a Park initiative</a> earlier this year as a call to action to get all children to experience America’s unparalleled outdoors, rich history and culture. Today, more than 80 percent of American families live in urban areas, and many lack easy access to safe outdoor spaces. At the same time, youth spend more hours than ever in front of screens instead of outside. <P> Fourth graders can log onto the website at <a href=""></a> and complete a fun educational activity in order to obtain and print their pass. Students can also trade in their paper pass for a more durable pass at participating federal sites nationwide. <P> Educators and community leaders can access educational activities, field trip options, and the ability to print passes for their classrooms. Parents visiting the new website can find additional links for more information on planning trips to nearby public lands. <P> By introducing fourth graders to public lands in their backyards and beyond at an early age, Every Kid in a Park is a crucial component of a multi-pronged approach to inspire the next generation to discover all that our nation’s public lands and waters have to offer, including opportunities to be active, spend time with friends and family, and serve as living classrooms to build critical skills. <P> The Every Kid in a Park program is an Administration-wide effort administered in partnership with the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Education, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. <P> The Every Kid in a Park program is designed to continue each year with the then-current group of fourth graders. After twelve years, every school-age child in America will have had an opportunity to visit their public land and waters for free, inspiring the next generation to be stewards of our nation’s shared natural and cultural heritage. <P> The New Melones Lake Visitor Center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, please call the New Melones Lake Administration Office at 209-536-9094, ext. 0. <P> In addition to New Melones Lake, Lake Berryessa in Napa, California, and the American River Water Education Center at Folsom Dam are participating in the Every Kid in a Park program. Please contact Lake Berryessa at 707-966-2111, ext. 0, and the American River Water Education Center at 916-989-7132 or 916-989-7100 to learn more. <P> For more information, please visit <a href=""></a>, and follow the program on Twitter @everykidinapark, on <a href="">Facebook</a>, on <a href="">Instagram</a> and <a href="">Youtube</a>. For additional information on New Melones Lake, please visit our <a href="">website</a> and participate in the conversation on Reclamation’s <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">Instagram</a> and <a href="">Twitter</a>. <P> Reclamation Summer Interns Share Work With Colleagues
As the school season starts back up in full swing, college students worldwide will go back to their respected learning institutions to discuss their summer internships. However, Reclamation’s interns took their experiences to a whole new level by participating in the “Second Annual Reclamation Intern Poster Contest,” which showcased the work done by the 23 student interns at Reclamation. <P> Reclamation employees judged the students’ posters and then awarded the students with the best poster presentation and best printed poster. Student interns also took part in the voting process for the student choice award. <P> The winners of this year’s poster contest were: <P> <blockquote>Best Poster Presentation: Juan Vela (California State University, Northridge) for his poster on Whiskeytown Dam Intake Structure Bulkhead <P> Best Printed Poster: Zach Jordan (Purdue University) for Passivation of Zinc Anodes in Natural Freshwaters <P> Student Choice Award: Prospero Gonzalez (California State University, Fresno) for Arkansas Valley Conduit</blockquote> <P> Topics for the posters ranged from laboratory materials testing to security requirements and invasive mussels to all aspects of Reclamation project engineering work and more. <P> A description of each poster is listed below. <P> <strong>Abstracts</strong> <P> <strong>Riley Bair, Oklahoma State University - Freeze/ Thaw Testing</strong> <br /> The Corps of Engineers is adding on to a section of Isabella Lake Dam and needed the Bureau’s facilities to help test different aggregates. Aggregate testing is a crucial part of concrete design. Due to an extremely wide variety of aggregate choices, it is usual to test several different kinds to find which one will work best for the application. Durability is a large factor in determining what to use and freeze/thaw testing as defined by ASTM C666 is one of the best methods to use. This poster will cover procedure and results. <P> <strong>Matthew Becker, Colorado School of Mines - Underwater Concrete Repair: Testing and Results</strong> <br /> A major problem with concrete structures such as canals and dams is that over time they can crack and begin to leak. The project attempts to address this problem by applying polyurethane grouts underwater to seal the cracks. The project is split into four parts: making specimens, constructing the test frame, testing the specimens and interpreting the results. I will be presenting the testing and the results. This includes describing the test procedure as well as the effect that each test variable had on repairing the crack and sealing the leak. The results of the test will be used to provide real world recommendations and applications for using polyurethane grouts underwater. <P> <strong>Marianna Brown, Benedictine College - Security Requirements</strong> <br /> In any Reclamation office, organization and accessibility of information is essential. Communication between area offices, SSLE, and the Department of the Interior can often times become lost in translation or confusing. My project consists of organizing minimum security requirements meant for area security officers to comply to and presenting them in a way that facilities can use. Proper presentation and organization of this information can make completion of these security requirements easier and quicker to complete which, in turn, reinforces public and government safety and security. <P> <strong>Maria De la Piedra Yanes, Rice University - El Vado Dam: Construction Flood Routing</strong> <br /> The El Vado reservoir stores water for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD) which is used for irrigation, recreation, and flood control. The dam currently has a service spillway that is in need of reconstruction. Various construction floods were routed and evaluated in order to determine if construction of a temporary coffer dam would be necessary to allow for the reconstruction of the spillway. The flood routing results show that the risks of the construction area becoming flooded are acceptable without the construction of a coffer dam. <P> <strong>Prospero Gonzalez, California State University, Fresno - Arkansas Valley Conduit</strong> <br /> The Arkansas Valley Conduit Project will help provide high quality water to Southeastern Colorado communities. Currently these communities use groundwater wells to supply most of their drinking water needs. Recently it was found that the groundwater contains cancer-causing radioactive contaminants such as naturally occurring radium and uranium. Also, some of the ground water contains dissolved salts, which cause taste and odor issues in the water. The purpose of the project is to help water providers supply high quality water that meet EPA and state water quality requirements for these communities. In this poster I will provide more information about the project, as well as the work I have done to contribute to it. <P> <strong>Scott Haisma, Metropolitan State University of Denver - Quagga Mussels and Reclamation</strong> <br /> In the waters of the U.S., there is an invasive species of mussels plaguing Reclamation facilities. They settle in pipes, and prevent natural water flow. Therefore, research is being performed on the most cost efficient and low maintenance solution to this issue. A solution thought up involves the use of turbulence and a hypothesis stating that the size of an eddy (a circular current of water) determines its ability to kill/damage/prevent quagga mussels. The results of the current test being performed at Davis Dam will determine the effectiveness of turbulence as a solution in preventing veliger (baby mussel) settlement; with success, the applications are endless. <P> <strong>Lora Hoopes, Colorado School of Mines - Soil Compaction</strong> <br /> The purpose of this informational poster is to illustrate the compaction test for cohesive and granular soils. This is important to many engineering applications because soil compaction increases the bearing capacity of structures such as foundations, earth dams, and embankments by increasing the strength of the supporting soil mass. There are several methods of performing the laboratory compaction test that are analogous to field compaction procedures. The selected method is largely dependent on soil type. <P> <strong>Nick Jones, Georgia Institute of Technology - Pueblo Dam Crack Seal Material Testing</strong> <br /> Pueblo is one of the many dams that is owned and operated by Reclamation. Recently, there have been leaks taking place at Pueblo. A hydrophilic material called CYLutions has been developed by Emagineered Solutions that is believed to be the best current waterstop system. Before Reclamation decides to implement this material at Pueblo Dam, it has to undergo a series of tests to get an idea of its behavior. My primary objective was to conduct a saturation test as well as set up an apparatus for a wet-dry test on CYLutions. <P> <strong>Zach Jordan, Purdue University - Passivation of Zinc Anodes in Natural Freshwaters</strong> <br /> In corrosion-prone environments, sacrificial anode cathodic protection may be used to mitigate corrosion of steel structures. Due to its active nature, zinc can be used as an anode to steel. However, in some environments, zinc can passivate, or form a protective oxide layer around itself, and lose its ability to protect the structure. Due to the complex chemical makeup of some fresh waters, predicting passivation can be difficult. This project will develop potentiodynamic polarization tests to determine if or when zinc anodes will passivate in varying fresh water mediums. This will result in a predictive method for using zinc anodes in sacrificial anode cathodic protection systems. <P> <strong>Katie Kerstiens, Colorado School of Mines - Invasive Mussels</strong> <br /> Zebra and quagga mussels are invasive species in the US. They damage operation of water storage, water delivery, and hydropower structures as well as causing harm to other aquatic ecosystems. The lab I work in (Reclamation Detection Laboratory for Exotic Species) concentrates on early detection of these mussels, this mainly encompasses microscopy. As well as early detection, the lab follows mussel count and water health in known positive bodies of water to try and better understand these mussels. My poster will be an overview of the steps taken for early detection. <P> <strong>Keturah Kiper, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville - Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy: Field Test Accuracy & Precision</strong> <br /> Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) testing is used in many laboratories to evaluate the performance of durable coatings on steel substrates. EIS shows how permeable a coating is to water and ions at the time of measurement. EIS provides useful information for researchers to evaluate the performance of a coating; however, researchers hope to use EIS to predict the service life of different industrial protective coatings. However, researchers have yet to be successful in using EIS as a consistently accurate predictive test. Reclamation is currently improving its action plan as a result of recent advances in the EIS technology and a growing need to prepare, to maintenance and to improve the water infrastructures. <P> <strong>Scott D. Monesmith, University of Colorado, Denver - Security As-Built Drawings</strong> <br /> Field offices need to have workable as-built drawings because technical drawings can be difficult for laymen to read. Because some of the facilities security components were migrated from one security system to another, they need updating so the operators can better identify the component(s) affected when a problem arises. This project will update the as-built drawings to make them easier to use in the field by using AutoCAD. This update will result in better communication between field offices and the Denver office by allowing diagnosis from the field to be more accurate and timelier. <P> <strong>Kerry Muenchow, Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Corrosion and Electric Fish Barriers</strong> <br /> Electric fish barriers are used to control fish movement, protecting endangered species from adverse effects due to dams, hydropower plants, pumping plants, canals, etc. While these barriers are effective in controlling fish movement, there is potential for these barriers to cause interference with nearby electronics or structures and can lead to heightened levels of corrosion on these structures. This project explores this potential interference issue from the electric fish barriers in addition to considering whether cathodic protection systems used to mitigate corrosion may cause interference with the electric fish barriers. It is recommended that further research is performed on how cathodic protection systems may be used to minimize any heightened corrosion on nearby structures without interfering with the electric system of the barriers. <P> <strong>Jachin Myers, Fort Valley State University - Cathodic Protection</strong> <br /> When metal structures are placed in the environment, they often begin to corrode. Corrosion is a natural process in which refined metal is converted into their more stable oxide. It is the gradual destruction of materials by chemical reaction with their environment. Cathodic Protection (CP) is a technique used to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making it the cathode of an electro chemical cell. In order for corrosion to occur on a structure that is submerged, four things must be present: an anode (corroding metal), a cathode (non-corroding metal), an electrolyte (water with dissolved salts or soil), a metallic return path between the two metals (the steel pipe). There are two types of systems for CP: Impressed Current and Sacrificial Anode. Both systems achieve the same goal of converting anodic (active) sites to cathodic (passive) sites by supplying electrical current, or free electrons, from an alternate source. This project will highlight the differences between both methods of CP and focus on test stations along the Mini Wiconi Pipeline as a case study. <P> <strong>Samantha Prince, Doane College - Mixture Proportioning of Concrete</strong> <br /> This poster will look into the difference between concrete cylinders verse concrete cores and what engineers are looking for from the different tests. In addition, it will describe how concrete mix designs are created and what is important to add into the mixture. Using available materials, mix designs are developed to create specimens for testing and build structures. Either concrete specimens made in the lab or obtain from the field will help engineers gain data. <P> <strong>Jeremy Schuster, Colorado State University - Future Performance Monitoring</strong> <br /> Every six or seven years, high risk dams require measurements from instruments to monitor seepage, tilt, liquid pressure, and other variables. Some of the instruments used are hydraulic piezometers, inclinometers, and hydrostatic pressure indicators. The project is to compare data from comprehensive facility review (CFR) hard copies with the data on the program “DAMS Client”. The analysis includes confirming that the data is correct on the program and creating scatter plots as representation. The data primarily revolves around the performance parameters that included minimum and maximum expected performance expectations for future monitoring of dams. The project confirms the minimums and maximums to insure that future data is acceptable. <P> <strong>Logan Thompson, University of Wyoming - Embankment Breach Research</strong> <br /> The Bureau of Reclamation manages many embankment dams across the western United States, some which date back to the early 1900’s. One of the issues that the Bureau deals with these structures is the erosion from either an imperfection in the structure of the dam or from the constant pressure of the water over time. In order to know how to handle this issue- both in terms of risk assessment and engineering fixes, one must first understand how a certain material will erode under given conditions once a concentrated leak has initiated. We plan on breaching such a homogenous embankment dam, in- house, to therefore observe the geometry and progression of the erosion on the material. This work will then be applied to then formulate a reference point to apply to similar dams in the field. <P> <strong>Mark Travers, Red Rocks Community College - Photogrammetry for Sheer Plane Measurements</strong> <br /> Shear tests are indispensable in the study of rock, soil, and concrete. Unfortunately, due to limitations in measurement methods, the shear test lacks several significantly helpful pieces of data. The goal of this project is to utilize photogrammetry to create a computer model of both sides of a shear specimen. This model will be processed in order to perform several previously impossible measurements on the shear surfaces. One of these measurements will include the area of contact between the broken samples. Also, by extracting one or more cross-sections from the model, it will be possible to calculate a Joint Roughness Coefficient (JRC) of the shear plane. This process will aid materials engineers tremendously and provide otherwise inaccessible data. <P> <strong>Juan Vela, California State University, Northridge - Whiskeytown Dam-Intake Structure- Bulkhead</strong> <br /> Whiskeytown Dam, constructed in 1964, is located in Shasta County, California and is part of the Central Valley project. The current project for the dam is to provide two fully functioning bulkhead gates. This poster will present the design work that was done to create the modifications for the existing bulkhead assembly. The design work includes designs, drawings, as well as calculations. To create a fully operational bulkhead we recommended adding an air vent, safety plate, ball valve, hole cover plate, and new seals to the assembly. <P> <strong>Ariel Voit, University of Colorado, Denver - Fly Ash and its Applications</strong> <br /> The ingredients of a concrete mixture are vital to the success of any concrete structure. Fly ash was once considered waste from coal burning; however, it began its journey in the concrete industry as a cost effective alternative cementitious ingredient. Currently, the price has increased due to demand and restriction on coal burning, but is now considered a staple of concrete mixture to some. The benefits of these fine particles have helped several structures maintain a longer lifespan. Fly ash alters the concrete world because of its price and benefits. <P> <strong>James Waller, Colorado State University - Underwater Concrete Repair</strong> <br /> The Central Arizona Project is a 336 mile canal that diverts water from the Colorado River. There are cracks in the concrete along the canal that need to be sealed to prevent abundant losses of water. My poster presentation is to find a way to inject polyurethane grout into the crack underwater without using divers or draining the canal. The project consists of: sample preparation, test frame construction, testing the samples, and analyzing the results. I will be presenting on the sample preparation and test frame construction; Matthew Becker will be presenting on specimen testing, analysis, and results. If successful, the cracks will be sealed and loss of water will be negligible. <P> <strong>Kelsi Whitesell, University of Colorado - Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System Feasibility Study</strong> <br /> Assisting with the redo of quantities to reduce the cost using ArcGIS, Google Earth, etc. Look at the data and find the existing hydrants (if possible) in Google Earth. How much of the land pipe is crossing is registered to be Pueblo or private land and separate the costs accordingly. Pull quantities of how much 6”, 8” etc pipe there is and sort it by pueblo or private ownership. Look at transmission and distribution lines to find percentage of open cross country vs congested areas (crossing road, following the utilities, etc) that the pipe is crossing. <P> <P> Reclamation Seeks Comments on Contracting and Charges for Non-Project Use of Excess Capacity in Reclamation Facilities
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking comments on two draft policy updates on contracting and charges for non-project use of excess water capacity in Reclamation facilities. <P> When Reclamation has space available in its reservoirs or delivery systems, it can make that extra space (“excess capacity”) available for non-Reclamation project water storage and transport. <P> The draft policy, Contracting for Non-Project Use of Excess Capacity in Reclamation Project Facilities" (PEC 05-10), establishes the requirements for contracting for the use of excess capacity in Reclamation facilities, including identifying appropriate contracting authorities and addressing major rehabilitation and replacement needs of Reclamation facilities. <P> The draft policy, Charges for Non-Project Use of Excess Capacity in Bureau of Reclamation Project Facilities (PEC 05-11), promotes consistency and transparency of contract rates and helps ensure federal taxpayers are receiving a fair return for the value of the service provided. <P> These draft policies are new releases and supersede the provisions of the current Reclamation Manual Directives and Standards, Use of Excess Capacity in Reclamation Projects for the Impoundment, Storage, and Carriage of Non-Project Water, WTR 04-01. <P> The Reclamation Manual establishes requirements, assigns program responsibilities and establishes and documents business methods. <P> Please direct all comments or questions to Yolanda Smith at, by September 30, 2015. <P> Reclamation Seeks Comments on Peer Review of Scientific Information and Assessments Policy
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public comment on a draft policy for Peer Review of Scientific Information. It establishes Reclamation's policy for review of scientific information. It is available for review at <P> Specifically the policy (<a href="">CMP P14</a>) will: <P> <ul> <li>Establish a peer review policy for Reclamation,</li> <li>Enhance the quality of scientific information disseminated by Reclamation, and</li> <li>Increase credibility of decisions to which scientific information contributes.</li> </ul> <P> This draft policy will replace a temporary policy for peer review and scientific information and assessments that has been in place since 2011. It also fulfills the requirements of the Office of Management and Budget Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review and implementation of the Information Quality Act. <P> The Reclamation Manual is used to establish Reclamation requirements, assign program responsibility and establish and document Reclamation methods of doing business. <P> Comments or questions may be directed to Reclamation Science Advisor David A. Raff, Ph.D., at Comments must be received by Reclamation by Sept. 12, 2015. <P> <P> Reclamation Selects 23 Projects Totaling $5.2 Million to Build Drought Resiliency in Nine States
WASHINGTON – Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López has announced the selection of 23 projects to receive grants totaling $5.2 million for proactive drought planning and other efforts to build long-term drought resiliency in nine states in the West. <P> "The western United States has faced an unprecedented drought this year and will face many more water challenges in the future," Commissioner López said. "This funding will help the selected communities prepare for future droughts." <P> Through a competitive process, Reclamation selected 12 drought resiliency projects and 11 drought contingency planning projects in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Washington. <P> Drought resiliency projects, also referred to as ‘mitigation actions,’ help communities prepare for and respond to drought. The 12 drought resiliency projects will receive a total of $3.4 million. <P> Of the $3.4 million set aside for drought resiliency projects, the Merced Irrigation District in California will receive $297,977 to develop a real-time simulation water management model that will help the district analyze, predict and respond to drought conditions. The district will also install two weather stations and two river gage stations to collect water supply data on precipitation, flows, temperature and system losses. <P> Drought contingency plans help communities recognize drought in its early stages, identify the effects of drought and conduct drought prevention activities. Reclamation also selected 11 drought contingency planning projects to receive a total of $1.8 million. <P> In California, $200,000 is going to the East Bay Municipal Utility District for the Bay Area Regional Reliability Drought Contingency Plan. The utility district will work with other regional water management agencies within the Bay Area to develop a drought contingency plan to improve water supply reliability during times of shortage. <P> For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have worked to develop a sustainable water and power future for the West. This drought response 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 the WaterSMART program, visit <a href=""></a>. For more about the Reclamation’s Drought Response Program or selected projects, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> Commissioner Estevan López Discusses Drought in Western United States
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