Commissioner's Offce News Releases News Releases from Reclamation's Commissioner's Office Finding Durable Foul-Release Coatings to Control Invasive Mussel Attachment Highlighted in Bureau of Reclamation Study
<b>DENVER</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a report summarizing six years of testing coatings to control the attachment of quagga and zebra mussels to water and power facilities. Since the study began in 2008, Reclamation has tested more than 100 coatings and materials. <P> "Controlling attachment of invasive quagga and zebra mussels on Bureau of Reclamation facilities is important to ensure water delivery and hydropower generation," principal researcher Allen Skaja said. "Though we have tested many different coatings, three durable foul-release coatings are showing promise in managing mussels." <P> The Silicon Epoxy allowed mussels to attach but were easily cleaned for the first 12 months of exposure. Two experimental formulations prevented mussel attachment for the first 18 months. These three durable foul release coatings will be tested further. <P> Silicone foul release coatings are the most promising for deterring mussel attachment in flowing and static water. Though aquatic vegetation and algae may provide a surface for attachment, the coatings can be easily cleaned with no measurable force. Unfortunately, silicone foul release coatings are soft and are easily damaged. <P> The testing was conducted at Parker Dam on the Colorado River. Invasive mussels at this location reproduce year-round and have a high growth rate. Each coating system was tested in static and flowing water conditions at the dam. Each coating system was evaluated approximately every six months, about every May and November. <P> The research was funded by Reclamation's Research and Development Office where research is conducted to develop and deploy successful solutions to improve water management practices, increase water supply and ensure cost-effective power generation operations. <P> To view the report, please visit Reclamation's <a href="">Quagga and Zebra Mussel Website</a>. <P> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> <P> From the Commissioner
With the arrival of the new year quickly approaching, it is an ideal time to review the Bureau of Reclamation's many achievements of 2013. <P> Thanks to Reclamation employees, we have delivered significant benefits to the public through the WaterSMART program, including thoughtful water conservation, water recycling and reuse projects and countless other benefits. We have improved water supplies to tribal communities and taken on the work of implementing many long-overdue treaty obligations through our Indian water rights activities. Reclamation has been able to study and better understand the impacts of climate change and drought - developing science-based measures to improve water basins and encourage healthy watersheds. Through our river restoration activities, we have made Reclamation as well-known for restoration in the 21st Century as it was known for the massive water infrastructure projects that were our 20th Century legacy. <P> In 2013, Reclamation has made great strides toward a framework of solutions for the California Bay Delta, as well as the Colorado and Klamath basins. Many in Reclamation have worked this year to expand the role of hydropower and maximize new, sustainable hydropower opportunities. We even weather a government shutdown together while fulfilling our basic mission to generate power, deliver water and conduct our operations in a way that maintained the health and safety of our employees and the people we serve, as well as the security of vital water and power infrastructure. Without our employees' dedication and hard work - and the commitment of our stakeholders - Reclamation could not tackle these and many other important issues. <P> As many of you may know, I was honored by a nomination from President Obama to work alongside Secretary Sally Jewell as the Deputy Secretary of the Interior. I am humbles by this acknowledgement and recognize the importance of such a distinct position. As I await a Senate confirmation vote, I am reminded of the Department's important mission of conserving and managing our nation's natural resources and vast public areas. This common goal is what unites every within Interior. This goal is shared at the Bureau of Reclamation, where we strive to provide clean, renewable energy while managing and protecting the West's water resources. <P> I take this moment to thank every one of you for the confidence and support you have bestowed on me and look forward to sharing this continued passion in every capacity. <P> Secretary of the Interior Jewell Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Power Generation at Glen Canyon Dam
<b>PAGE, AZ</b> – Today, at a ceremony on the crest of Glen Canyon Dam, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined other officials and dignitaries to kick off a celebration marking the 50th anniversary of power generation at Glen Canyon Dam. <P> “At the 50th anniversary of Glen Canyon Dam, we are not just standing at crest of this dam – we are standing at a crest of history in the West,” Secretary Jewell said. “Glen Canyon Dam harnessed the power of the Colorado River to open the West to millions of people by providing for their water and power needs. Today we celebrate the triumphs and sacrifices of the people and communities that made this immense undertaking possible.” <P> Secretary Jewell thanked the people and the community who have supported Glen Canyon from the early days of construction and the continuation of operations today including Facility Manager Jason Tucker, who oversees the operation of the dam for the Bureau of Reclamation and Todd Brindle, Superintendent of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. She also praised Assistant Secretary of Water and Science Anne Castle, who is leaving Interior at the end of the month for new ventures, for her outstanding work with Reclamation, National Park Service and other Interior agencies on adaptive management of the Colorado River Basin. <P> In addition to Secretary Jewell, other guest speakers included, Assistant Secretary Anne Castle, Mayor of Page Bill Diak, Colorado Energy Distribution Association Executive Director Leslie James, as well as Former President of the Colorado Water Users Association Ron Thompson. <P> “The Colorado River has always been known for its superlatives – the most volatile supplies, the most iconic landscapes, the most dammed, the most litigated, and recently, the most threatened,” remarked Assistant Secretary Castle. “Collectively, we need to make this river, this basin, this economy, one that will endure into the future and ensure that our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy the same benefits and gifts that this river has provided to all of us. Operation of Glen Canyon Dam that is based on sound science and that balances a complex set of interests has been and will continue to be key to that sustainable future.” <P> Glen Canyon Dam is a key unit of one of the most extensive and complex river resource developments in the world, providing vital water storage and power generation for the west. It allows the Upper Colorado River Basin States of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming to utilize their share of the Colorado River while providing the required delivery of water to the lower basin states of Arizona, California and Nevada. <P> Situated on the Colorado River in northern Arizona, near Page, Glen Canyon Dam is the second highest concrete-arch dam in the United States—710 feet above bedrock, second only to Hoover Dam, which stands at 726 feet. The structure impounds Lake Powell, the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States. The powerplant began generating clean, renewable hydropower on September 4, 1964. The inexpensive electricity generated by this facility contributes to the renewable energy footprint in the western United States and has contributed to the modernization of hydroelectric power that exists today and will continue into tomorrow. <P> Today Lake Powell can store nearly two years of the Colorado River’s average annual flow, helping mitigate the current drought; moreover, the powerplant produces 5 billion kilowatt hours of hydroelectric power each year – enough electricity to help supply the power needs for 5.8 million customers. It would take 2.5 million tons of coal or 11 million barrels of oil to generate the same amount of hydropower that Glen Canyon provides every year using clean, renewable hydropower. The many hundreds of miles of shoreline at Lake Powell provide opportunities for hiking, camping, swimming, boating and fishing. Glen Canyon Dam and the adjacent Carl B. Hayden Visitor Center annually host nearly one million people on guided tours. <P> “Glen Canyon Dam, its Powerplant and Lake Powell are critical components of Reclamation’s Colorado River Storage Project,” said Lowell Pimley, Acting Commissioner for the Bureau of Reclamation. “We are proud that this facility has and will continue to generate clean renewable hydropower, regulate the flow of the Colorado River, store water for multiple beneficial uses, help reclaim arid and semi-arid lands, provide flood protection and offer prime recreation opportunities to millions of Americans.” <P> The celebration continued after the ceremony with tours of the dam and powerplant, an antique car show, several displays related to power generation and water use from federal, state, and local partners. A special presentation by the Navajo tribe allowed visitors to see traditional Navajo dance. Additionally, at the event a video was premiered that was created by local Page High School students in collaboration with Reclamation titled, “I am Glen Canyon.” <P> For more information on the event or on Glen Canyon Dam and Powerplant, please contact Reclamations Upper Colorado Regional Public Affairs Officer Matthew Allen at 801-524-3774 or mrallen at <P> <P> Reclamation to Host Live Internet Broadcast of Glen Canyon's 50th Anniversary Celebration
<b>WASHINGTON</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation will host a live Internet broadcast of the 50th Anniversary celebration of power production at Glen Canyon Dam on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. The event will begin at 3 p.m. EDT/12 p.m. PDT. To view the live video broadcast, please visit: <a href=""></a>. The celebration will feature a speech by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. <P> This is also a community celebration. If members of the public are near Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Arizona, they are invited to participate in the celebration on the crest of the dam. Complimentary dam tours will also be available this day. If you are interested in attending in person, please view the <a href="">invitation</a> for more information. <P> Glen Canyon Dam, a key unit of one of the most extensive and complex river resource developments in the world, provides vital water storage allowing the Upper Colorado River Basin states of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico to utilize their share of the Colorado River, especially during times of drought, while providing the required delivery of water to the lower basin states of California, Nevada, and Arizona, according to the Colorado River Compact of 1922. <P> If you are unable to view the live video feed, an archived video of the event will be available at <a href=""></a> shortly after the celebration ends. <P> New Report Predicts Climate Change Will Significantly Impact California’s Central Valley
<b>WASHINGTON, D.C.</b> – A new report released today by the Department of the Interior's Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor finds that projected changes in temperature and precipitation, combined with a growing population, will have significant impacts on water supplies, water quality, fish and wildlife habitats, ecosystems, hydropower, recreation and flood control, in California's Central Valley this century. <P> "These projections by Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation show the importance of <a href="">President Obama’s Climate Action Plan</a> to address challenges like those California's Central Valley will face to provide a sustainable water supply for its citizens and economy," Connor stated. "As President Obama will emphasize once again at the UN Summit this week, climate change is not a problem we can leave to future generations to solve. The challenges to our water supplies illustrated in this study provide graphic examples of how acting now is an economic imperative as well as an environmental necessity." <P> The <a href="">Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Climate Impact Assessment</a> projects temperatures may increase as the distance grows from the Pacific Ocean. Although most of the Central Valley may warm by 1°C in the early 21st century, a 2°C increase is projected by mid-century. Precipitation patterns indicate that there is a clear north to south decreasing precipitation trend compared to historical trends. In the northern parts of the Sacramento Valley there may be an overall increase to average annual precipitation. <P> "This assessment is one of several that studies climate risks to water supplies and related resources in river basins in the western United Sates," said Deputy Secretary Connor. “Although it is quite sobering to see the projections, we will follow up these assessments by continuing our work with the State of California and interested stakeholders to implement climate adaptation strategies in the Bay-Delta and other regions of the State. I am confident this ongoing collaboration along with the Climate Action Plan and the state’s water action plan will help ensure that California has the necessary water supply to meet its future needs.” <P> The study released today presents an overview of the current climate and hydrology over the entire Central Valley including the Sacramento, San Joaquin and Tulare Lake basins. It also evaluates how projected climatic and hydrologic changes could impact water availability, management and demands while analyzing impacts of future urban growth and changes in land-use within the Central Valley. <P> Some findings of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Impact Assessment that show a potential for significant implications for water management, human infrastructure and ecosystems include the following: <P> <ul> <li>Due to the warming conditions, the runoff will increase in winter and decrease in spring as more precipitation falls as rain instead of snow. Reservoirs may fill earlier and excess runoff would have to be released earlier to ensure proper flood protection is maintained. This may lead to reduced storage in reservoirs when the summer irrigation season begins.</li> <li>Water demands are projected to increase. Urban water use is expected to increase due to population increases in the Central Valley while agricultural uses are projected to decrease because of a decline in irrigated acreage and to a lesser extent the effects of increasing carbon dioxide.</li> <li>Water quality may decline by the end of the century. Sea levels are predicted to rise up to 1.6 meters in that time frame which will lead to an increase in salinity in the Delta and a decline of habitat for fish and wildlife. River water temperatures may increase because cold water availability from reservoir storage would be reduced.</li> <li>The food web in the Delta is projected to decline. Projected lower flows through the Delta and reduced cold water due to lower reservoir levels will make less water available for species, including endangered species such as migrating salmon.</li> <li>Hydropower generation is projected to decline in Central Valley Project facilities due to decreased reservoir storage. However, net power usage is also expected to decline due to reductions in pumping water and conveyance.</li> </ul> <P> The climate projections utilized the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 3, CMIP3, climate projections with demographic and land use estimates based on the California Department of Water Resources Water Plan 2009. <P> This study supports the broader Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Study, part of the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program. The basin study, which is expected to be completed in 2015, will provide additional analysis including the evaluation of adaptation strategies to mitigate impacts of climate change and meet future water demands. It will also update the climate projections using the recently-released Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5, CMIP5, climate projections and land use - demographic projections based on the recent California State Water Plan 2013 update, which were not available when the analysis was completed for this impact assessment. <P> "This study confirms that the current status quo for water supply in California is not sustainable," Deputy Secretary Connor said. "Reclamation and its partners in California are already developing solutions to meet the projected imbalances between future supply and demand within the Central Valley." <P> "The Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Study will provide a roadmap forward for Reclamation and the State of California to ensure a sustainable water supply well into the future," Acting Reclamation Commissioner Lowell Pimley said. <P> The WaterSMART Program focuses on improving water conservation, sustainability and helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. It identifies strategies to ensure that this and future generations will have sufficient supplies of clean water for drinking, economic activities, recreation and ecosystem health. The program also identifies adaptive measures to address climate change and its impact on future water supply and demand. <P> Bureau of Reclamation and COMET Release Video Series on Water Purification and Desalination Projects
<div class="floatRight"><iframe width="200" height="113" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div><b>DENVER</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation, in partnership with University Corporation for Atmospheric Research's COMET Program, has released three video interviews with Frank Leitz, Senior Chemical Engineer at the Bureau of Reclamation. Leitz shares stories and lessons learned from more than 50 years of his work on water purification and desalination projects. <P> The first video, "Lessons-learned: Cost-modeling for Desalination Projects," details historical lessons from his experience estimating the cost of desalination projects. <P> The second video, "The Pioneering Role of the Yuma Desalting Plant in Large-Scale Membrane Desalination," provides an interesting background into the creation of this historic and innovative project. <P> The third and final video, "What was a major success of the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program?" Leitz describes some of the key achievements of this successful program. <P> The videos may be seen at <a href=""></a>. <P> Leitz has more than 50 years of experience in the field of desalination and water treatment, including 13 years in the private sector and more than 40 years with the federal government. He is currently a Senior Chemical Engineer in the Bureau of Reclamation's Technical Service Center, Water Treatment Group. He has published more than 60 articles on desalination, water treatment, mass transfer, electrochemical processes and computer simulations. He also is responsible for five U.S. patents. <P> To learn more about Advanced Water Treatment at the Bureau of Reclamation please visit: <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> Bruce C. Muller, Jr. Named as Reclamation Director Security, Safety and Law Enforcement
<div class="floatRight"><img src="" width="200 px" alt="Bruce Muller" /><br /><span class="caption">Bruce Muller</span></div><b>WASHINGTON</b> - Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley has named Bruce C Muller, Jr. as the Director of Security, Safety and Law Enforcement. He will start his new position on September 21, 2014. <P> "Reclamation has built and managed dams to deliver water and power for more than 100 years," Pimley said. "This vast infrastructure is important to the West and the Nation. Bruce's engineering and management experience will help keep this infrastructure safe while protecting our employees and the public." <P> Muller will be responsible for a variety of Reclamation's risk management programs including Dam Safety, Safety and Occupational Health, Security, Law Enforcement and Emergency Planning and Operations. He will work closely with the Department of the Interior and Reclamation's Regional Directors to implement risk reduction and public protection actions at Reclamation facilities. <P> Becoming Director marks a return to SSLE for Muller, who served as Chief of the Dam Safety Office and then SSLE Deputy Director from 2000-2009. He then guided Reclamation's support of the Interior Information Technology Transformation effort before being named as Design, Estimating and Construction Oversight and Dam Safety Officer in 2012. <P> Muller graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Purdue University in 1978 before joining Reclamation as a civil engineer. During his career at Reclamation he has worked as a new dam and dam modification design engineer and project manager, developed methodologies and guidelines for facilitating risk management, and implemented new technologies for dam analysis and design. <P> Muller earned his Master of Science in Civil Engineering/Water Resource Management from Colorado State University. He is also a graduate of the Department of the Interior's Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program. <P> <P> Six Organizations to Establish or Expand Watershed Activities Using Key Funding Assistance from Reclamation
<b>WASHINGTON</b> - Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley announced that $496,337 in WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program funding will be made available for six groups to establish or expand a watershed group. Those groups are located in California, Colorado, Montana and New Mexico. <P> "Reclamation is working to reduce conflict in the effective management of the West's water and power resources," Acting Commissioner Pimley said. "Collaborating with locally-led watershed groups is the pathway to improved water quality and ecosystem resilience in these watersheds." <P> The Sierra Streams Institute received $99,925 to establish a watershed group for the Bear River in north-central California. They are located in Nevada City, California. <P> Five entities were selected to receive funding to expand a watershed group. Those entities are: <P> <ul> <li>The Flathead Basin Commission in western Montana will receive $95,000 to expand its existing watershed group through the formation of a Flathead Basin Advisory Council.</li> <li>The Clark Fork Coalition near Missoula, Montana, will receive $100,000 for expansion of its staffing and capacity to address water resource challenges in the Upper Clark Fork watershed.</li> <li>Rio Grande Restoration, Inc. will receive $50,000 to expand the existing advisory council to include the Rio Chama watershed in northern New Mexico.</li> <li>The Blackfoot Challenge will receive $52,488 to expand its activities, including the establishment of watershed conservation plans and the improvement of natural resource management within the Blackfoot watershed in western Montana.</li> <li>Middle Colorado Watershed Council in Western Colorado will receive $98,924 to expand the existing watershed group by adding a coordinator-scientist to oversee outreach, develop restoration plans and address water quality/quantity issues.</li> </ul> <P> Distributed over a two-year period, entities will receive no more than $50,000 of the award in the first year. After a 270 day review to ensure the entity is making significant progress in its agreement – and if appropriations are available – it will receive the remaining funding. <P> The WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program provides funding for watershed groups to encourage diverse stakeholders to form local groups to address their water management needs. Learn more about the program and read complete descriptions on how the selected groups will use the funding online at: <a href=""></a>. <P> WaterSMART is the U.S. 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. Since its establishment in 2010, WaterSMART has provided about $200 million in competitively awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities and universities through WaterSMART Grants and the Title XVI Program. Learn more at <a href=""></a>. <P> Reclamation Provides $779,200 for Two Emergency Drought Projects
<b>WASHINGTON</b> - Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley announced that $779,200 will be made available to fund two emergency drought projects. The Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board in California will receive $300,000 and Alamo Band of the Navajo Nation Chapter Well in New Mexico will receive $479,000. <P> "Ensuring people have access to water across the 17 western states has been fundamental to Reclamation's mission since 1902," Pimley said. "This emergency funding will help ensure communities, including Native Americans, are able to access water due to the extreme drought that has impacted them." <P> The Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board will use the funding to pump water from Lake Cachuma into the North Portal Intake Structure and will maintain water flows to the south coast communities of Santa Barbara County. Due to three years of extreme drought conditions, water is expected to drop below the intake structure this fall. Lake Cachuma provides more than 80% of the water supply to more than 200,000 people in Santa Barbara County. <P> The Alamo Band of the Navajo Nation will drill a new well to augment supply from its existing wells. The existing wells run constantly, resulting in frequent pump failures. The new well is expected to alleviate the situation. The new system is expected to supply water to housing areas, a store and a clinic. <P> Funding for these projects is provided under Title I of the Reclamation States Drought Relief Act of 1995 (Drought Act), as amended. Title I of the Drought Act allows Reclamation to undertake activities that will minimize or mitigate drought damages or losses within the 17 Reclamation States including tribes within those states, and Hawaii. Pursuant to the Drought Act, construction activities authorized under Title I are limited to temporary facilities, such as hauling drinking water or installing temporary pipes for irrigation. <P> To learn more about Reclamation's Drought Program, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> Nine Desalination and Water Purification Research Projects and Pilot Studies Receive $1.4 million from the Bureau of Reclamation
<div class="floatRight"><img src="" alt="Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo" /><br /><span class="caption">Some research and pilot projects will be tested at<br />the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility<br /> in Alamogordo, N.M.</span></div><b>WASHINGTON</b> - Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley announced that nine research projects and pilot studies will receive $1.4 million to address desalination and water purification needs. Reclamation's Desalination and Water Purification Research Program will provide the funding for four research laboratory-scale projects and three pilot testing projects. Two previously announced pilot-scale projects will receive second-year funding. <P> "New desalination and water purification technologies have the potential to assist Reclamation and its partners confront the widening imbalances between supply and demand in river basins throughout the West," Acting Commissioner Pimley said. "Fostering development of new technologies will help improve the options communities have to be resilient to climate change and meet future water demands." <P> Research laboratory projects are small-scale projects used to determine if a process is feasible. Funding is provided for one year and is capped at $150,000 per project. Projects selected for funding are: <P> <ul> <li>University of Houston (Texas); Advanced Pretreatment for Nanofiltration of Brackish Surface Water: Fouling Control and Water Quality Improvements; $150,000</li> <li>California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; Development of Photovoltaic Electrodialysis Desalination System; $99,992</li> <li>University of Texas at San Antonio; Activated Sludge Aeration Waste Heat for Membrane Evaporation of Desalination Brine Concentrate; $85,587</li> <li>West Basin Municipal Water District (California); Subsurface Intake Study for Ocean-Water Desalination; $150,000</li> </ul> <P> Pilot-scale projects are preceded by research studies that demonstrate a technology works. The goal of a pilot study is to determine the physical viability and suitability of a process on a larger scale. Projects selected for funding are: <P> <ul> <li>Eastern Municipal Water District (California); Pilot Scale Groundwater Desalter Brine Concentrator Study; $131,057</li> <li>New Mexico State University; Demonstration of Monovalent Selective Ion Exchange Membranes for Desalination and Reuse Enhancement; $199,944</li> <li>San Diego County Water Authority (California); Pilot Testing Program for the Proposed Camp Pendleton Seawater Desalination Project; $200,000</li> </ul> <P> If the selected pilot projects complete a sufficient amount of work in the first year, they may receive additional funding for a second year. The Eastern Municipal Water District is a one-year project. <P> Also, two pilot studies announced in 2013 will receive funding for their second year of testing. Those pilot studies are: <P> <ul> <li>City of Corpus Christi (Texas); City of Corpus Christi Desalination Pilot Study; $200,000</li> <li>University of Arizona; Reverse Osmosis Concentrate Management through Halophyte Farming; $186,328</li> </ul> <P> A complete description of all the projects is available at: <a href=""></a>. <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; and (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> To learn more about Reclamation's Advanced Water Treatment activities, please visit: <a href=""></a>. <P> U.S. Department of the Interior and Western municipal water suppliers reach landmark collaborative agreement
In support of the Colorado River basin states drought contingency planning to address a long-term imbalance on the Colorado River caused by years of drought conditions, municipal water providers in Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado and the federal government signed a landmark water conservation agreement this week called the Colorado River System Conservation program. <P> Central Arizona Project, Denver Water, The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Southern Nevada Water Authority are partnering with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to contribute $11 million to fund pilot Colorado River water conservation projects. The projects will demonstrate the viability of cooperative, voluntary compensated measures for reducing water demand in a variety of areas, including agricultural, municipal and industrial uses. <P> For more than a decade, a severe drought — one of the worst in the last 1,200 years — has gripped the Colorado River, causing the world's most extensive storage reservoir system to come closer and closer to critically low water levels. The Colorado River and its tributaries provide water to nearly 40 million people for municipal use, and the combined metropolitan areas served by the Colorado River represent the world's 12th largest economy, generating more than $1.7 trillion in Gross Metropolitan Product per year along with agricultural economic benefits of just under $5 billion annually. <P> "This is a critically important first step, and I applaud the far sighted municipal water providers for beginning to address the imbalance in supply and demand on the Colorado River that could seriously affect the economy and the people who rely upon the river," said U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor. "There is still much work to be done, and the Interior Department is committed to supporting the efforts of the Colorado River Basin States and other stakeholders as partners in improving water management and operations, particularly during this historic drought." <P> "This situation is becoming increasingly critical. We are already dealing with unprecedented pressure on the southern California region's water system," said Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager for The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. "This innovative program is aimed at expanding conservation efforts from a local level to a collaborative system-wide program." <P> <P> Without collaborative action now, water supplies, hydropower production, water quality, agricultural output and recreation and environmental resources are all at risk, in both the upper and lower basins. <P> "This agreement represents a unique approach to save water and protect the Colorado River system from the impacts of the on-going drought and the current imbalance between supplies and demands in the Basin," said Central Arizona Project Board President Pam Pickard. "It is an important milestone in interstate collaboration, with CAP working with partners in California, Nevada, Colorado and the federal government to improve the health of the Colorado River." <P> All water conserved under this program will stay in the river, helping to boost the declining reservoir levels and benefiting the health of the entire river system. <P> "Half of Denver's water supply comes from the Colorado River, so we have a direct interest in the health of the entire system," said Jim Lochhead, Denver Water CEO. "This is a proactive contingency plan for drought years to help secure our water supply future with a balanced, economic and environmental approach. This is clearly the right thing to do for our customers, our future water supply and the basin." The Colorado River System Conservation program will provide funding for pilot conservation programs in 2015 and 2016. Successful programs can be expanded or extended to provide even greater protection for the Colorado River system. <P> "The time has come for our states to work together to develop contingency strategies to manage the Colorado River under extreme drought conditions that threaten the levels of Lakes Mead and Powell," said John Entsminger, general manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority. "As Lake Mead continues to drop toward critical levels, we must simultaneously begin to take collective action now and plan additional future measures." <P> In order to ensure that local concerns are addressed, and that there is equity and fairness among all parties, in the Lower Colorado River Basin, the Bureau of Reclamation will manage the conservation actions in Arizona, California and Nevada in a manner consistent with past programs, while in the Upper Basin, the Upper Basin states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, and the Upper Colorado River Commission will have a direct role in program efforts. <P> Applied Science Projects Receive $448,400 — Projects Will Inform Desert and Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley announced that six applied science projects will receive $448,400 to deliver new capabilities for the Desert and Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. These projects will address priority resource needs identified by Reclamation and partners involved in both Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. <P> "Reclamation serves as a co-manager of the watersheds and ecosystems in the West," Pimley said. "Working with all the partners of the LCCs, Reclamation is fostering collaboration among interested parties within the landscapes to inform climate adaptation strategies." <P> The Desert LCC priority is to study wildfire impacts on riparian areas and study environmental flow impacts on the Colorado River Delta. The Desert LCC encompasses portions of five states: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. It includes several large river systems, including the lower Colorado, Gila, Rio Grande, San Pedro and Verde Rivers. The selected projects are: <P> <ul> <li>Texas A&M AgriLife Research - Fire-Smart Southwestern Riparian Landscape Management and Restoration of Native Biodiversity in View of Species of Conservation Concern and the Impacts of Tamarisk Beetles, Reclamation Funding: $98,868, Applicant Funding: $115,692</li> <li>Sonoran Institute - Sustainability and Vulnerability of Colorado River Delta Riparian Habitat Under Different Climate Change, Environmental Flow, and Agricultural Water Management Scenarios, Reclamation Funding: $50,000, Applicant Funding: $50,000</li> <li>Environmental Defense Fund - Water Delivery Data and Model Integration for Restoring Ecological Health to the Colorado River Delta, Reclamation Funding: $100,000, Applicant Funding: $159,607</li> </ul> <P> The Southern Rockies LCC targeted future water availability and quantity, projecting resiliency and vulnerability of natural or cultural resources, and assessing and evaluating natural or cultural resources management practices and adaptation opportunities. 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 three projects selected are: <P> <ul> <li>Museum of Northern Arizona - Developing a geodatabase and collaborative tools to support seeps and spring dependent species in the Southern Rockies LCC, Federal Funding: $99,997, Total Project Cost: $100,461</li> <li>Northern Arizona University - Linking Forest Landscape Management and Climate Change to the Conservation of Riparian Habitat in the Grand Canyon, Reclamation Funding: $96,535, Applicant Funding: $147,699</li> <li>Trout Unlimited - Adopt a Trout Program for the Henrys Fork of the Green River, Federal Funding: $3,000, Applicant Funding: $13,900</li> </ul> <P> A complete description of all the projects is available at <a href=""></a>. 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 <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> <P> Reclamation and Partners Release New Hydrologic Projections for Contiguous United States
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has released new hydrologic projections that will help local water managers answer questions about future climate, stream flow and water resources. This new scientific data uses the updated World Climate Research Program climate projections that have been scaled to a finer resolution (downscaled) for water management decision support systems. "Reclamation is helping water managers prepare for the impacts of climate change with the release of this information, supporting the President's Climate Action Plan," Acting Reclamation Commissioner Lowell Pimley said. "Researchers and planners can use these future climate and hydrology projections to assess societal impacts and explore adaptation options." <P> The hydrologic data was derived from new downscaled climate projections using the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) data from the World Climate Research Program that was made available by Reclamation and collaborators in May 2013. To develop the new hydrologic projections, the group translated 97 of those downscaled CMIP5 climate projections into fine resolution projections of hydrology for the contiguous United States. <P> The new hydrology projections are available <a href="">here</a>. Scientists and engineers can use this website to quickly access and download the new information. <P> The World Climate Research Program develops global climate projections through its CMIP roughly every five to seven years. Results from CMIP3 were released in 2007 and later used in Reclamation research and assessments including the 2011 SECURE Water Act Report and WaterSMART Basin Studies completed in the Colorado, Yakima and St. Mary - Milk River basins. <P> These new hydrology projections were developed by Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Corporation for Atmospheric Research in collaboration with Climate Analytics Group, Climate Central, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Santa Clara University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and U.S. Geological Survey. <P> You can learn more about how Reclamation is addressing climate change at <a href=""></a>. <P> Nine Projects Receive $1.29 Million from Reclamation for Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Feasibility Studies
<b>WASHINGTON</b> - Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley announced that Reclamation will provide $1.29 million to nine projects for Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Feasibility Studies. These nine projects are located in California, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. <P> "Planning and preparation are essential for communities looking to meet their growing water needs," Pimley said. "This funding will help communities gather critical information in assessing whether these water recycling and reuse projects can meet their future water needs." <P> The first funding group will receive up to $150,000 and studies must be completed within 18 months. The six selected projects in this group are: <P> <ul> <li>Pitkin County Clean Water Effluent Re-Use Feasibility Study, Pitkin County (Colorado), $149,500</li> <li>Providing for Santa Fe Basin's Future Water Supply Needs: A Feasibility Study to Optimize the use of Regional Reclaimed Wastewater, City of Santa Fe (New Mexico), $132,000</li> <li>Port Isabel Water Reclamation Facility, Laguna Madre Water District (Texas), $150,000</li> <li>Feasibility Study of Augmenting Regional Water Supply System for Tarrant Regional Water District and Wichita Falls with Impaired Groundwater Supplies, Tarrant Regional Water District (Texas), $150,000</li> <li>Feasibility Study of Industrial Water Management and Reclamation for the Permian Basin, Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority (Texas), $150,000</li> <li>Collection, Storage, Recharge and Recovery of Conserved Source Waters for Advanced Purified Treatment of Reclaimed Water, El Paso Water Utilities-Public Service Board (Texas), $150,000</li> </ul> <P> The second funding group will receive up to $450,000 (up to $150,000 per year) and studies must be completed within 36 months. The three selected projects in this group are: <P> <ul> <li>San Juan Groundwater Basin Recharge, Reclamation and Reuse Feasibility Study, Santa Margarita Water District (California), $225,000</li> <li>Indirect Potable Reuse Project Feasibility Study, Eastern Municipal Water District (California), $450,000</li> <li>The Integrated Water and Power Project: A Drought-Proof Water Supply for Texas, Guadalupe Blanco River Authority (Texas), $450,000</li> </ul> <P> Applicants must provide at least 50 percent non-federal cost-shared funding for the feasibility study. To view a complete description of all the projects, please visit: <a href=""></a>. <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. Through Title XVI projects, Reclamation has conserved nearly 390,000 acre-feet of water in 2013 – enough to supply 1.5 million people with water for one year. <P> WaterSMART is the U.S. 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. Since its establishment in 2010, WaterSMART has provided about $200 million in competitively awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities and universities through WaterSMART Grants and the Title XVI Program. Learn more at <a href=""></a>. <P> Tom Luebke Named to Lead Bureau of Reclamation's Technical Service Center
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley has named Tom Luebke, P.E., as Director of Reclamation’s Technical Service Center. He will start his new position on June 1, 2014. <P> "The TSC is a critical component of Reclamation, providing the necessary technical expertise to inform and implement decisions by Reclamation and our partners to provide a sustainable water and power future for the West," Pimley said. "Tom is the perfect person to provide the operational and strategic leadership needed to ensure the TSC continues to meet the evolving needs of Reclamation and the West." <P> As TSC Director, Luebke will oversee an organization of 500 scientists and engineers located in Denver, providing studies, analysis, research and design and specifications support for Reclamation's programs, regions and area offices, other federal agencies and international customers. <P> Luebke was most recently the Deputy Director of the TSC and spent much of his career as a civil engineer engaged in the design, analysis and construction of embankment dams. Prior to serving as Deputy Director, he served as the TSC's Business Manager, providing key financial and operational guidance to the organization. <P> He joined Reclamation in 1974, while still a student, on the Rio Grande Project in El Paso, Texas, and in 1976 he transferred to the Palmetto Bend Dam Construction Project in south Texas as a civil engineer. He then moved to the Denver office in 1978 and was a principal designer. Luebke developed and directed designs on major water project features including Brantley Dam in New Mexico and Jackson Lake Dam modifications in Wyoming. He later managed the Geotechnical Design Group and the Structural Behavior and Instrumentation Group. <P> Luebke has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas - El Paso and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado. He has been a Registered Professional Engineer in Colorado since 1980. <P> <P>