Commissioner's Offce News Releases News Releases from Reclamation's Commissioner's Office Bureau of Reclamation Invests $9.2 million in Water and Power Research
<b>Washington, D.C.</b> - Following a year of record drought, water managers throughout the west are searching for information and ideas to ensure a reliable and sustainable water supply. To meet this growing need for information, Bureau of Reclamation Principal Deputy Commissioner Estevan López announced today that Reclamation has awarded $9.2 million for 131 research projects. The complete list of selected projects is available at <a href=""></a>. <P> "Reclamation and its partners in the West are confronting an ever widening imbalance between supply and demand," López said. "By investing in research to develop innovative solutions we can provide tools to guide a sustainable water and power future for the West." <P> Although Reclamation and its customers face many challenges, particular emphasis is given to addressing knowledge gaps in five research priority areas. <P> <ul> <li>Increasing water supplies through advanced water treatment technologies</li> <li>Optimizing water availability under a changing and variable climate</li> <li>Controlling invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussels that can interrupt water and power deliveries</li> <li>Optimizing Hydropower and other forms of renewable energy</li> <li>Improving water infrastructure reliability and safety</li> </ul> <P> The identified knowledge gaps are filled by both competed and directed research. <P> Partnerships are key for Reclamation in completing these research projects. This year, Reclamation has leveraged its $9.2 million with an estimated $3.8 million in non-federal cost-shared funding. Partners include federal and non-federal agencies, research centers and laboratories, universities and private companies. In addition to funding, partners also serve as subject matter experts and advisors for the research projects. <P> Research projects are identified using two different methodologies. 1. Reclamation hosts an internal competition where research is proposed by Reclamation employees. Once received the proposals are ranked, reviewed to ensure they are relevant to Reclamation's mission and checked to ensure they are technically valid. 2. The Research and Development Office facilitates forming and funding high performing research teams that can meet Reclamation's high priority needs that are not well or comprehensively addressed through the internal competitive process. These teams are typically a mix of federal and non-federal experts and organizations. <P> Reclamation's Research and Development Office uses science and technology to advance Reclamation's mission to manage, develop and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public. To learn more, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> <P> Commitment to Address Climate Change Issues Highlighted in Reclamation Climate Adaptation Strategy
<b>Washington, D.C.</b> - Bureau of Reclamation's Principal Deputy Commissioner Estevan López has released the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Reclamation. In line with President Obama's Climate Action Plan, the strategy provides a framework in which Reclamation managers can develop and adopt innovative solutions that provide a more reliable water supply in a changing climate. <P> "This strategy represents our determination to directly face the challenges posed by climate change and to support our stakeholders and partners in addressing the related impacts to water supplies and power generation," López said. "Reclamation's work provides reliable and affordable water and power to agriculture, cities and the environment. With our stakeholders, we contribute some $64 billion and 403,241 jobs to the nation?s economy, so addressing these emerging challenges is vital." <P> The strategy identifies four primary goals to improve Reclamation's ability to consider climate change information in its decision making: <P> <ul> <li>Goal 1 - Increase Water Management Flexibility</li> <li>Goal 2 - Enhance Climate Adaptation Planning</li> <li>Goal 3 - Improve Infrastructure Resiliency</li> <li>Goal 4 - Expand Information Sharing</li> </ul> <P> Building on existing actions, the strategy identifies new activities to extend climate change adaptation efforts across Reclamation's mission responsibilities, including immediate and longer-term actions addressing each of the four goals. For each goal, a priority action is also identified to emphasize activities which will provide critical support for the goal. "Climate change adaptations must be developed collaboratively," López added. "Reclamation will engage water users, states, municipalities, tribes and non-governmental organizations to develop sustainable water supply solutions." <P> The report is available online at <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> <P> WaterSMART Grants Available from Reclamation to Conserve Water and Improve Energy Efficiency
<b>Washington, D.C.</b> - Reclamation is inviting States, Tribes, irrigation districts, water districts and other organizations with water or power delivery to apply for a funding opportunity to cost-share on projects that conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency. The projects should support water sustainability in the west. <P> The funding opportunity announcement is available at <a href=""></a> using funding opportunity number R15AS00002. <P> Applications may be submitted to one of two funding groups: <P> <ul> <li>Funding Group I: Up to $300,000 will be available for smaller projects that may take up to two years to complete.</li> <li>Funding Group II: Up to $1,000,000 will be available for larger, phased projects that will take up to three years to complete. No more than $500,000 in federal funds will be provided within a given fiscal year to complete each phase. This will provide an opportunity for larger, multiple-year projects to receive some funding in the first year without having to compete for funding in the second and third years.</li> </ul> <P> Proposals must seek to conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, benefit endangered and threatened species, facilitate water markets, carry out activities to address climate-related impacts on water or prevent any water-related crisis or conflict. To view examples of previous successful applications, including projects with a wide-range of eligible activities, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> Reclamation awarded $17.8 million for 36 Water and Energy Efficiency Grants in 2014. These projects were estimated to save about 67,000 acre-feet of water per year — enough water to serve a population of more than 250,000 people. The President's FY 2015 budget request included a $19 million request for WaterSMART grants. <P> Since 2009, about $134 million in Federal funding for WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants has been leveraged with approximately $290 million in non-Federal cost share to implement more than $420 million in water management improvements across the West. <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 demands. <P> Proposals must be submitted as indicated on <a href=""></a> by 4 p.m., Mountain Standard Time, Jan. 14, 2015. It is anticipated that awards will be made this spring. <P> To learn more about WaterSMART please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> Authorized Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Projects WaterSMART Funding Opportunity Now Available
<b>Washington, D.C.</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking applications from congressionally authorized sponsors of Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse projects for cost-shared funding to plan, design or construct their projects. The funding opportunity is part of Reclamation's activity under the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART initiative, which focuses on improving water conservation, sustainability and helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. <P> The funding opportunity is available on <a href=""></a> by searching funding opportunity number R15AS00009. <P> Reclamation provides funding through the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program for projects that reclaim and reuse municipal, industrial, domestic or agricultural wastewater and naturally impaired ground or surface waters. Reclaimed water can be used for a variety of purposes, such as environmental restoration, fish and wildlife, groundwater recharge, municipal, domestic, industrial, agricultural, power generation or recreation. Water reuse is an essential tool in stretching limited water supplies. <P> Title XVI projects provide communities with a new source of clean water while promoting water and energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Title XVI also is an important part of the Department of the Interior's implementation of the President’s June 2013 Climate Action Plan and the Nov. 1, 2013 Executive Order, Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change. <P> Since 1992, approximately $600 million in Federal funding through the Title XVI Program has been leveraged with non-Federal funding to implement more than $3 billion in water reuse improvements. This year, Reclamation anticipates providing funding for 5-10 projects. The President's FY 2015 budget request included a $21.5 million request for the Title XVI Program. <P> Proposals must be submitted as indicated on <a href=""></a> by 4 p.m., Mountain Standard Time, Dec. 15, 2014. It is anticipated that awards will be made this spring. <P> To learn more about WaterSMART, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> 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>