Commissioner's Offce News Releases News Releases from Reclamation's Commissioner's Office 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> Western Colorado Area Office Participates in Water Festival
On May 19 and 20, 2014 the Western Colorado Area Office participated in the 2014 Children's Water Festival for fifth graders in Mesa and Delta Counties. Attendees of the festival arrived at Colorado Mesa University in the morning by bus and participated in water related classes and activities. <P> Reclamation teaches two classes. In one class, the Water Rights Game, the kids learn about senior and junior water rights and the effects of water right priorities on all water users. The second class is the Colorado River Journey, in which the kids learn about Colorado River water diversions, water sources and water quality. <P> Reclamation also has two exhibits in the Exhibit Hall, one on water measurement and one on the Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program. <P> Nearly 2,500 kids attended the festival accompanied by their teachers and some parents. The day is fun and educational and the kids look forward to this all year long! Thank you to the Western Colorado Area Office Employees who helped this year: Steve Coverly, Josh Dunham, Dee Dee Fowler, Allen Giger, Justyn Hock, Kevin Moran, Bob Norman and John Sottilare. An extra "thank you" goes to retired Western Colorado Area Employees Mike Baker, Dan Crabtree, Ram Dhan Khalsa and Steve McCall who love the Water Festival so much they volunteered their time! <P> Secretary Jewell Announces $20 Million in WaterSMART Funding for Water Reclamation and Reuse Projects in Drought Stricken California
<b>WASHINGTON</b> – As part of the Obama Administration's continued effort to bring relief to California communities suffering from the historic drought, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that the Bureau of Reclamation will invest $20 million in nine water reclamation and reuse projects. <P> "Climate change impacts are being felt across the landscape in California, but we can bring some relief to the drought stricken region through innovative efforts that will provide communities with a new source of water, support jobs, and stretch their limited water supplies," said Secretary Jewell. "The National Climate Assessment that was just released warns that heat, drought, and competition for water supplies will only increase in California with continued climate change, making water reclamation and reuse an important tool in our efforts to combat climate change." <P> The <a href="">Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program</a> provided the funding for the California projects under Title XVI of the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act. Through the Title XVI program, Interior's Bureau of Reclamation provides funding for projects that reclaim and reuse municipal, industrial, domestic or agricultural wastewater and naturally impaired ground or surface waters. The nine projects in California will receive cost-shared funding for planning, design and construction of their projects. <P> "Through WaterSMART, the Bureau of Reclamation helps local communities invest in modern water conservation and other infrastructure projects across the West," said Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley. "Through comprehensive Title XVI efforts, we helped conserve nearly 390,000 acre feet of water in 2013 – enough to supply 1.5 million people with water for an entire year." <P> For complete descriptions on the awarded projects or to learn more about WaterSMART Title XVI funding, please visit <a href="">HERE</a>. <P> The Watsonville Area Water Recycling Program in Watsonville, Calif., for example, will receive $3.9 million to reduce over-drafting of groundwater resources and subsequent seawater intrusion. The program recycles 4,000 acre-feet of effluent from the city's wastewater treatment plant each year that is blended with higher quality water to reduce salinity. The recycled water is then transported to agricultural users for irrigation purposes in the Pajaro Valley. The Victor Valley Subregional Water Reclamation Authority will receive $3 million to assist construction of two sub-regional water reclamation plants to produce high quality effluent that will be used to recharge the groundwater basin and serve recycled water to customers in Hesperia and Apple Valley. The two plants will provide 4,480 acre-feet-per-year of recycled water with a build- out capacity of 17,920 acre-feet-per-year. This recycled water will replace groundwater and water imported through the State Water Project from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. <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 more than $180 million in competitively awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities and universities through WaterSMART Grants and the Title XVI Program. <P> Proposals were ranked through a published set of criteria in which points were awarded for projects that effectively stretch water supplies and contribute to water supply sustainability, address water quality concerns or benefit endangered species, incorporate the use of renewable energy or address energy efficiency, deliver water at a reasonable cost relative to other water supply options, and meet other program goals. <P> The WaterSMART funding announcement follows the May 6 White House release of the <a href="">Third National Climate Assessment</a>, which provides details on how climate change already is affecting every region of the United States—making innovative tools such as water reclamation and reuse essential in carrying out the <a href="">President's Climate Action Plan</a>. <P> The National Climate Assessment says: <P> <blockquote>Increased heat and changes to rain and snowpack will send ripple effects throughout the <a href="">[Southwest] region</a>, affecting 56 million people – a population expected to increase to 94 million by 2050– and its critical agriculture sector. Severe and sustained drought will stress water sources, already over-utilized in many areas, forcing increasing competition among farmers, energy producers, urban dwellers, and ecosystems for the region's most precious resource. Climate changes pose challenges for an already parched region that is expected to get hotter and, in its southern half, significantly drier.</blockquote> <P> WaterSMART Funding Opportunity Available to Establish or Expand Watershed Groups
<div class="floatRight"><img src="" width="200" height="259" alt="Cooperative Watershed Management Program grant package cover sheet." border="1" /></div><b>WASHINGTON</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation's Cooperative Watershed Management Program is accepting applications from entities seeking to establish or expand watershed management groups. The funding opportunity announcement is available at <a href=""></a> by searching for funding opportunity R14AS00038. <P> Funding is available for states, Indian tribes, irrigation districts, water districts or other organizations with water or power delivery authority located in the western United States or United States Territories to establish a watershed group. Funding is also available for an existing watershed group to expand. Applications are due on June 6, 2014 at 3 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. <P> Up to $100,000 in Federal funds may be awarded to an applicant with no more than $50,000 awarded in each year of the project. A non-federal cost share contribution is not required. Some awards for this program will be made in fiscal year 2015 once appropriations are approved by Congress. <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 more than $161 million in competitively-awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities and universities through WaterSMART Grants and the Title XVI Program. <P> The Cooperative Watershed Management Program provides funding for watershed groups to encourage diverse stakeholders to form local groups to address their water management needs. To learn more about the Cooperative Watershed Management Program please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> <P> Bureau of Reclamation Water Management Video Series Highlights Collaborative Research
<b>WASHINGTON</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation is releasing a series of videos summarizing collaborative research addressing climate change and variability impacts, estimating flood and drought hazards, and improving streamflow prediction. This information was presented in January at the Second Annual Progress Meeting on Reclamation Climate and Hydrology Research. <P> "For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have developed the tools to guide a sustainable water and power future for the West," said Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley. "This video series summarizes collaborative research that is another tool for Reclamation and its water users to manage water into the future." <P> To kick off the video series, Reclamation is releasing four videos. They are: <P> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Improving Stream Flow Prediction Across the Contiguous United States</a> - Andy Wood, Ph.D., Hydrologist, National Center for Atmospheric Research</li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Tracking Pathways of Atmospheric Rivers</a> - Michael Alexander, Meteorologist, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory</li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Calculating Flood Risks at Our Nation's Dams</a> - Jason Caldwell, Meteorologist, Bureau of Reclamation</li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Examining Variability of Hydroclimate Extremes</a> - Cameron Bracken, Hydrologic Civil Engineer, Bureau of Reclamation</li> </ul> <P> The videos are available as a playlist at: <a href=""></a>. <P> Reclamation’s Research and Development Office is developing the science and tools that are critical to incorporate information on long-term climate change into water resource planning and infrastructure management. Sustainable water resource management will rely upon management strategies that effectively deliver water under a changing climate as well as including hydrologic hazard possibilities on infrastructure. Improved ability to forecast and use climate variability information may greatly enhance the flexibility of water managers and water users to plan their short-term operations and water delivery. <P> Research collaborators include Federal and non-Federal organizations, including members of the Climate Change and Water Working Group (<a href=""></a>), NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, University of Colorado CIRES and others. <P> Additional videos will be released over the next few weeks in the same playlist. When posted, the video link will be shared on Reclamation's Twitter and Facebook accounts. You can also follow by using the hashtag #climateseries. To see the videos once posted or learn more about the presentations, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> To learn more about climate change and variability research please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> <P> <P> Reclamation Dedicated to Providing Job Opportunities to Qualified Youth
The Bureau of Reclamation is launching multiple efforts to support the employment, education and engagement of young people to empower their future and to meet Reclamation’s workforce goals. Reclamation’s science and engineering expertise is known throughout the world and provides a unique opportunity for youth seeking careers in those fields of study. With a great percentage of its workforce eligible for retirement in the next 3 to 5 years, Reclamation could soon find itself with a shortage of qualified professionals with key technical skills or knowledge. The agency is taking aggressive steps to employ and educate a new generation of workers to maintain the high standards for which Reclamation is known. <P> Reclamation actively participates in career fairs at all levels including high school career day presentations. Volunteers use these visits as recruitment opportunities to discuss careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, an educational term used to describe advanced degrees and careers in the various subjects. <P> Examples of youth outreach events include: <P> Human resource officers in Denver participate in Girls Exploring Science, Technology and Math. The Rocky Mountain Section of the Society of Women Engineers, Lockheed Martin, Junior Achievement of the Rocky Mountains, Inc. and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado collaborate each year to produce this event for hundreds of girls. At GESET, Reclamation staff hosts workshops on Water Resources to middle school girls. In Idaho, Reclamation actively advocates the STEM initiative by participating in the University of Idaho Women in Math and Science program in Boise. Reclamation also participates in “Chicks in Science” at Montana State University in Billings, Mont. All three events are designed to encourage young women to pursue studies in STEM. <P> Annually, Reclamation hosts High School Bridge Building Competitions. In February, the Denver Technical Service Center’s Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory hosts its competition where students from around Colorado participate. In March, about 2,000 students form more than 50 local elementary, middle and high schools participate in the Southern Nevada Regional School Model Bridge Building Contest. Awards and scholarships are presented to winners. <P> In the state of Washington, Reclamation employees make presentations at high schools and universities in the region, providing technical information on how to apply for jobs in the federal government as well as information on Reclamation’s mission, work experience programs and the types of training and careers Reclamation has to offer. They also post entry-level vacancy announcements on college and university profile websites, as well as in order to reach diverse populations. <P> Reclamation partnered with The Student Conservation Association to help develop a national Youth Conservation Corps for Reclamation. Two examples in 2013 include: <P> •Under SCA, two students worked at Catherine Creek in Oregon with a surveying crew <P> •Under YCC, a 9-12 person crew worked to maintain fire breaks in Auburn, Calif., part of the American River Canyon, while learning vegetation management and team work. <P> Reclamation is committed to providing various employment opportunities like these to enthusiastic youth applicants, encouraging them to pursue careers in the fields of STEM. By doing so, Reclamation will fulfill its mission through hiring future employees from a qualified, energized and innovative talent pool. <P> To learn more about Reclamation’s youth opportunities, please visit: <P> <P>