Commissioner's Offce News Releases News Releases from Reclamation's Commissioner's Office Bureau of Reclamation Selects Twenty-one Projects to Receive $2.93 Million to Study Water Treatment Technologies
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López today announced $2.93 million in funding for water treatment technologies research. This funding is being provided through the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program for the development of new water treatment technologies and Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program for research into the deployment of new technologies that supports the expansion of water technologies in new locations. <P> "In a number of Western river basins, Reclamation and its partners are seeing demands for water exceed traditional supplies," Commissioner López said. "Funding research into new water treatment technologies will expand the number of water supply resource options." <P> The Desalination and Water Purification Research Program will provide $1.78 million for nine lab-scale and three pilot-scale projects. This program supports the development of new advanced water treatment technologies. Up to $150,000 will be provided for research and laboratory studies that must be completed within a year and up to $200,000 per year for pilot-scale projects that must be completed within two years. <P> For example, the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, will receive $143,869 to study approaches to increase technical feasibility of using membrane distillation for desalinating high-concentration brines, brackish waters, produced waters and seawater. <P> The Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Research Program will provide $1.15 million to help fund nine projects in the Western United States. This program helps communities address water supply challenges by providing much-needed funding for research to establish or expand water reuse markets, improve or expand existing water reuse facilities, and streamline the implementation of clean water technology at new facilities. <P> For example, the City of San Angelo, Texas, will use $300,000 of federal funding and $1,094,849 of non-federal funding to perform pilot-scale testing to assess existing water treatment technologies for a direct potable reuse project. The proposed research will evaluate approaches to maximize water recovery, verify the performance of advanced water treatment processes, and assess the viability of reverse osmosis concentrate disposal using deep injection wells at an inland location. <P> A complete list of the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program projects can be found at <a href=""></a>. A complete list of Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Research Program projects can be found at <a href=""></a>. <P> The funding provided today supports the <a href="">White House’s Water Innovation Strategy to address Water Resource Challenges and Opportunities for Water Technology Innovation</a>. The Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Research Program also supports the Department of the Interior's <a href="">WaterSMART Program</a>. <P> Eleven Organizations to Establish or Further Develop Cooperative Watershed Management Groups in the West
WASHINGTON – Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López announced $876,565 in funding through the WaterSMART Program for eleven projects that will establish or further develop watershed management groups. Those groups are located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Oregon. <P> “Reclamation supports the efforts of cooperative watershed management groups as a means to reduce conflict in the management of the West’s water and power resources,” Commissioner López said. “Collaboration is the key to improved health and resilience in these watersheds.” <P> Through WaterSMART’s Cooperative Watershed Management Program (CWMP), Reclamation provides financial assistance to locally-led watershed groups to encourage diverse stakeholders to form local solutions to water management needs. By providing this funding, Reclamation aims to promote the sustainable use of water resources and improve the condition of rivers and streams through water conservation, improved water quality and ecological resilience, and with support of collaborative conservation efforts that aim to reduce conflicts over water management. <P> Four entities will receive $303,921 to establish a cooperative watershed management group: <ul> <li>Shadowcliff, a non-profit organization, will receive $100,000 to establish the Upper Colorado River Watershed Group (Colorado)</li> <li>Upper Rio Grande Watershed District will receive $50,000 to establish a cooperative watershed management group (New Mexico)</li> <li>Chickasaw Nation will receive $53,921 to establish the Lake of the Arbuckles Watershed Group (Oklahoma)</li> <li>Walla Walla Watershed Council will receive $100,000 to establish the Walla Walla Basin Watershed Management Group (Oregon)</li> </ul> <P> Seven entities will receive $572,644 to further develop a cooperative watershed management group: <ul> <li>Clean Colorado River Sustainability Coalition will receive $80,700 for the Watershed Expansion & Management Project (Arizona)</li> <li>Tse Si Ani Chapter will receive $100,000 for Working Across Tribal Borders: Restoring the Black Mesa Watersheds Together (Arizona)</li> <li>Sierra Streams Institute will receive $99,933 for Further Development of Bear River Watershed Group (California)</li> <li>Trinity County Resource Conservation District will receive $100,000 for Trinity River Watershed Council Expansion (California)</li> <li>Beaverhead Conservation District will receive $100,000 for Further Development of the Beaverhead Watershed Committee (Montana)</li> <li>Petroleum County Conservation District will receive $61,011 for Expanding Efforts to Coordinate Watershed Planning in the Musselshell River Watershed (Montana)</li> <li>Sun River Watershed Group will receive $31,000 for Revise Work Plan to Build Long-Term Resiliency of the Sun River Watershed (Montana)</li> </ul> <P> Learn more about the WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program and see descriptions on how the selected groups will use the funding, please visit <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. To learn more about WaterSMART, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> Interior, USDA Announce More Than $47 Million in Investments for Water Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Drought Response & Agriculture Operations Across the West
BRIGHTON, Colo. – The U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture today announced more than $47 million in investments to help water districts and producers on private working lands better conserve water resources. The funds include $15 million in USDA funds and $32.6 million from the Bureau of Reclamation for local projects to improve water and energy efficiency and provide a strengthened federal response to ongoing and potential drought across 13 states in the West. <P> Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the funding in Brighton, Colo. Reclamation funding will support 76 local projects through the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART program. Funding from USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) will support on-farm water delivery system improvements through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in association with the Interior-funded projects. López and Vilsack were joined by a local water authority and landowner who spoke about the importance of the federal funding in the cost share program. <P> “By working with communities and producers to more wisely manage the water they have, we help ensure that this and future generations will have sufficient supplies of clean water for drinking, agriculture, economic activities, recreation, and ecosystem health,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “As drought continues across the west, our farmers and ranchers are stepping up to the plate to partner with communities and strengthen efficiency to better conserve our water supply.” <P> “Water and energy efficiency are intricately linked,” Commissioner López said. “When we conserve water, we also conserve the energy it takes to move it. One way we can achieve these efficiencies is to bring federal resources to the table for local projects that focus on saving water. This program represents one more way we’re focusing resources on projects to provide resiliency in the face of drought.” <P> Interior’s funding is made available through competitive grant programs, which are part of the WaterSMART sustainable water initiative. The grants and selection process are managed by Reclamation, which is the nation’s largest wholesale water supplier, providing one in five western farmers with irrigation water for 10 million acres of farmland and potable water to more than 31 million Americans across 17 western states. <P> Of the 76 new projects announced today, Reclamation has selected 53 projects in 11 states to receive a total of $25.6 million in WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants which, when leveraged with local and other funding sources, will complete more than $128 million in efficiency improvements. In addition to the new grants announced today, Reclamation will provide $2.1 million to support previously selected WaterSMART projects. Together, these projects are expected to enable water savings of more than 123,000 acre-feet. More details on the program and projects announced today can be found on the WaterSMART <a href="">Water and Energy Efficiency Grants website</a>. <P> WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants can be used for projects that conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, benefit endangered and threatened species, carry out activities to address climate-related impacts on water, or prevent any water-related crisis or conflict. <P> Alongside the 53 Water and Energy Efficiency Grants, Reclamation also selected 23 additional cost share grants through its WaterSMART Drought Response Program totaling $4.9 million, which, when leveraged with cost-share funding, will provide a total of $23.5 million in efforts associated with the program. More detail on the program and the projects announced today can be found on the <a href="">Drought Response Program website</a>. <P> Through its EQIP program, NRCS is investing $5.2 million in on-farm assistance to complement several projects previously funded by Reclamation, and will provide an additional $10 million in 2017 to support some of the WaterSMART-funded projects announced today. NRCS complements WaterSMART investments by targeting assistance in areas where WaterSMART sponsors indicted that water delivery system improvements might facilitate future on-farm improvements. NRCS will work with producers in select WaterSMART project areas to offer financial and technical assistance for practices that increase on-farm efficiencies, such as improving irrigation systems. <P> USDA works with private landowners to implement voluntary conservation practices that conserve and clean the water we drink. USDA support—leveraged with historic outside investments—boosts producer incomes and rewards them for their good work. At the same time, USDA investments have brought high quality water and waste services to rural communities, which are vital to their continued health and economic viability. For information on USDA’s drought mitigation efforts, visit <a href="">USDA Drought Programs and Assistance</a>. To learn more about how NRCS is helping private landowners adapt to changing climate conditions including drought, visit the <a href="">NRCS’ drought resources</a>.  <P> This partnership is a priority action identified in the President’s Memorandum <a href="">Building National Capabilities for Long-Term Drought Resilience</a> and accompanying the <a href="">Federal Drought Action Plan</a>. USDA, as the permanent co-chair, is working with DOI and other members of the National Drought Resilience Partnership to better coordinate drought-related programs and policies, help communities reduce the impact of current drought events and prepare for future droughts. <P> Bureau of Reclamation Seeks Innovative Water Treatment Prototypes and Pilot Scale Projects
WASHINGTON – A new funding opportunity is now available from the Bureau of Reclamation seeking innovative water treatment prototypes and pilot-scale projects that are ready to test with real water. Through this funding opportunity Reclamation is supporting President Obama’s vision for promoting and investing in breakthrough technologies for water resources, building on the White House Roundtable on Water Innovation in December 2015. <P> Through these projects, Reclamation is seeking to to reduce the costs, energy requirements, and environmental impacts of treating impaired and unusable waters, in order to build new water supplies and support the drought stricken West. <P> The screening of applications will be done in two phases. In the first phase, the review will be completed by an application review committee and the applications will be ranked. A select group of applications will be selected to move on to the second phase. Those applicants will be invited to the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico, to present their proposals. A panel will rank the final group of applications. <P> Those eligible to apply for this funding announcement include: individuals, institutions of higher education, commercial or industrial organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private entities, public entities (including state and local), or Indian Tribal Governments. Federal government entities are not eligible to apply. <P> Reclamation will provide up to $100,000 per project. It anticipates selecting one to three projects under this funding opportunity. No cost-share is required but it is highly recommended. <P> This funding opportunity is being funded by Reclamation's Science and Technology Program. Through this program, Reclamation is forming partnerships with private industry, universities, water utilities, and others to address a need for innovative new technologies and processes in the area of water treatment. <P> This funding opportunity is available on by searching for <a href="">funding opportunity announcement number BOR-DO-16-015</a>. Applications are due on July 27, 2016. To learn more about the science and technology program, please visit <P> <P> Interior Department Announces $30 Million for Water Reuse and Reclamation Projects in California
WASHINGTON – Today, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor announced more than $30 million in funding through the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI program for seven projects that will provide clean water to California communities and promote water and energy efficiency. Today’s announcement comes ahead of the Deputy Secretary’s trip to California next week where he will participate in meetings regarding Bay-Delta water issues. <P> “With California in its fifth year of drought, these investments will build resilience for local communities struggling with limited water supplies – an effort that is more important than ever as the dangers of drought escalate in the face of climate change,” Deputy Secretary Connor said. “Using the best available science and technology to improve the growing disparity between water supplies and demand, this funding will help local water managers stretch dwindling resources.” <P> The Bureau of Reclamation identifies and investigates opportunities to reclaim and reuse wastewaters and naturally impaired ground and surface water in western states and Hawaii. Title XVI funding is in place for the planning, design, and construction of water recycling and reuse projects, on a project-specific basis. <P> The selected projects are: <P> <ul> <li><strong>City of Corona Water Recycling and Reuse Project</strong>, Corona Comprehensive Reclaimed Water Conversion, Phase 1 - $4 million</li> <li><strong>San Diego Area Water Reclamation Program</strong>, Pure Water San Diego Program - $5 million</li> <li><strong>Eastern Municipal Water District Recycled Water System</strong>, Recycled Water System Pressurized and Expansion Project - $1,222,164</li> <li><strong>Lower Chino Dairy Area Desalination and Reclamation Project</strong>, Chino Desalter Phase 3 Expansion Project - $7.2 million</li> <li><strong>San Diego Area Water Reclamation Program</strong>, Padre Dam Water Recycling Facilities – Phase 1 Expansion - $4.5 million</li> <li><strong>Sonoma County Water Agency</strong>, North Bay Water Reuse Program - $4,706,150</li> <li><strong>San Diego Area Water Reclamation Program</strong>, Sweetwater Authority Water Reclamation Project - $3.7 million</li> </ul> <P> To learn more about these projects, visit <a href=""></a>. <P> Since 1992, Title XVI funding has been used to provide communities with a new source of clean water, while promoting water and energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. In that time, approximately $629 million in federal funding through the Title XVI program has been leveraged with nonfederal funding to implement more than $3 billion in water reuse improvements. <P> Title XVI has become an important part of the Department of the Interior's implementation of the President’s June 2013 <a href="">Climate Action Plan</a> and the Nov. 1, 2013 Executive Order, Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change. <P> To learn more about WaterSMART, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> <P> Reclamation Hosts Safety Evaluation of Existing Dams International Technical Seminar and Study Tour
The Bureau of Reclamation International Affairs office is hosting the 27th Safety Evaluation of Existing Dams International Technical Seminar and Study Tour. The participants will be in Denver the week of June 6 and will travel to Seattle, Washington on June 10. The tour will conclude that next week. <P> This year, 33 participants from nine countries are participating in this two week tour. Participants are coming to the United States from Brazil, Finland, Ghana, Korea, Paraguay, Sweden, India, Taiwan and Spain. <P> The first week of the seminar is in Denver, Colorado. Participants will attend classroom presentations, discussions, and a tour of Reclamation research laboratories at the Denver Federal Center. <P> The study tour will take participants to the Pacific Northwest, with site visits to Cle Elum Dam, Easton Diversion Dam, and Kachess Dam, all in the state of Washington. Participants will also visit Snoqualmie Falls. <P> The seminar is designed for managers, administrators, engineers, and geologists responsible for the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and safety of dams. <P> The <a href="">International Affairs Program</a> routinely assists water resources agencies of other countries by providing reimbursable technical training and technical visitors programs for their staff. Training programs are tailored to fit each request and vary in length from one day to as long as one year, usually combining office assignments and field visits or study tours to Reclamation’s Denver, regional, and area offices. All cost involved with providing training are fully reimbursed to Reclamation. <P> <img src="" alt="Reclamation's Dan Knox answering a question to the SEED Seminar" width="75%"><br /> <small>Reclamation's Dan Knox answering a question during the SEED Seminar in Denver, Colorado.</small> <P> <P> <P> Five Projects will Receive Funding Through the Western Watershed Enhancement Program From Reclamation
WASHINGTON – Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López says five projects will receive a total of $482,967 in funding to promote watershed health and wildfire resiliency, protect municipal and agricultural water supplies, and improve infrastructure through the Western Watershed Enhancement Program across five western states. The funding awarded will support projects in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho and Washington. <P> "Reclamation is collaborating with others to ensure a sustainable water supply for our future generations," Commissioner Estevan López said. "Through the Western Watershed Enhancement Program, more landscapes in western watersheds and forests will remain healthy and resilient to risks associated with drought and climate changes, such as wildfires." <P> These projects will help improve watershed health, reduce wildfire risk and post-wildfire erosion and sedimentation through rehabilitation of fire-damaged areas; restore wildlife habitat; and investigate watershed enhancement methods. <P> Below are overviews of the funded projects: <P> <strong>Cragin Watershed Protection Project (Arizona)</strong>: Reclamation is providing $76,739 toward this project to remove hazardous fuels from overstocked forest stands, which will reduce fire threats. It includes mechanical and hand treatments on 39,000 acres and prescribed fires on 64,000 acres to reduce risks within and adjacent to the three sub-watersheds that drain into Cragin Reservoir. The project will also advance field work to address environmental impacts. This project is a collaborative effort among the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, Salt River Project and National Forest Foundation. <P> <strong>Hemlock Project (California)</strong>: Reclamation is providing $96,084 toward this project to support a 12,000-acre watershed enhancement study on the Stanislaus National Forest at the headwaters of the Mokelumne River. The Project partners Reclamation with the Forest Service and the University of California and is part of the larger Sierra Watershed Ecosystem Enhancement Project (SWEEP). Its goal is to produce a quantitative assessment of the impacts of watershed enhancement approaches that is scalable across the Sierra Nevada and potentially other forests. <P> <strong>Glacier Creek to Mill Creek Fuel Reduction Project (Colorado)</strong>: Reclamation is providing $84,500 toward the reduction of fuel loads to help prevent wildfires from spreading and improve watershed health by focusing on enhancing existing fire barriers such as roads, trails and rivers on 210 acres in Rocky Mountain National Park in the headwaters of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. This is part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Headwaters Partnership, a collaborative effort among the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, the State of Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Western Area Power Administration and Northern Water Conservancy District. <P> <strong>Boise River Pilot Project (Idaho)</strong>: Reclamation is providing $70,000 toward two distinct projects in the Boise River watershed to minimize post-fire erosion and sediment loads, stabilize soils and establish more fire-resilient forests and habitats. Funding will go toward planting 17,000 seedlings, which amount to about 200 trees per acre over 85 acres; removing non-native invasive species on 200 to 400 acres of land, which are flourishing in post-fire conditions; and restoring native, fire-resistant vegetation. These are two components of a broader watershed improvement partnership between the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Forest Service in the Boise River Basin. <P> <strong>Yakima Watershed Enhancement Project (Washington)</strong>: Reclamation is providing $150,644 toward this project to reduce wildfire risk on 730 acres of land within the catchment basin that flows into Rimrock Reservoir in Washington state. These treatments help reduce the potential for large-scale wildfires and associated post-fire impacts such as entry of sediment, debris and contamination into water supplies and facilities. Additional support for this project is also being provided by the U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, Washington Department of Natural Resources and the Yakima Nation. <P> The Western Watershed Enhancement Partnership was formally established in July 2013, by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. It is a part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, outlining a comprehensive approach to prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change, including increased risk of wildfires and drought. <P> <P> James Hess Named Reclamation's Chief of Staff
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López has announced that he has selected James Hess as the Chief of Staff for the Bureau of Reclamation. In this position he will oversee the management of the Commissioner’s office and serve as a liaison with the Department of the Interior and other bureaus to ensure priority tasks are addressed. He will also work with Reclamation customers, stakeholders and the public on a variety of issues. <P> "James has a long history with Reclamation, having served in a variety of positions which has provided him valuable experience about our mission and the Commissioner's Office," López said. "I am thrilled to have him in this vital role for Reclamation." <P> Hess joined Reclamation in 1995. Since then he has held a number of positions in the Commissioner’s office including serving as the acting Chief of Congressional and Legislative Affairs, Associate Deputy Commissioner for Operations and Deputy Chief of Staff. While in these positions he has worked on important programs, such as title transfer and the rural water program. <P> He has a Masters Degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and graduated Cum Laude with Distinction from Connecticut College. Hess is from the District of Columbia, and currently resides in Virginia, with his wife, his son, Nate, a high school senior and daughter, Rachel, a high school junior. <P> Take Your Child To Work Events Around Reclamation
Today, Reclamation hosted children of Reclamation employees throughout the Western United States at its annual Take Your Kids to Work day event. Children participated in a variety of events, including events to support the Let's Move Outside initiative. <P> In Denver, students learned about different aspects of Reclamation's research and laboratory. Stations included learning about protecting pipes in the ground, how to sample for invasive mussels, geology, and how magnets work. Following the different stations, all of the children gathered around the 5 million pound press for a demonstration on how Reclamation uses it to test the strength of concrete. <P> In Boise, children were able to try on equipment the Reclamation divers use at facilities, run some experiments, and just get some exercise in. <P> Here are some photos of the day as kids toured around the various events in the West. <P> <div class="Carousel"> <div class="Carousel-item"> <img src="" alt="Learning how Reclamation protects pipes in the ground from corrosion."> <div class="Carousel-caption"> <p>Learning how Reclamation protects pipes in the ground from corrosion.</p> </div> </div> <div class="Carousel-item"> <img src="" alt="Looking at fish in an aquarium at Reclamation's fish lab in Denver."> <div class="Carousel-caption"> <p>Looking at fish in an aquarium at Reclamation's fish lab in Denver.</p> </div> </div> <div class="Carousel-item"> <img src="" alt="Learning how Reclamation tests water samples to see if invasive mussels may be in a body of water at Reclamation's Invasive Species Laboratory."> <div class="Carousel-caption"> <p>Learning how Reclamation tests water samples to see if invasive mussels may be in a body of water at Reclamation's Invasive Species Laboratory.</p> </div> </div> <div class="Carousel-item"> <img src="" alt="Experiencing what it is like to have dive equipment on."> <div class="Carousel-caption"> <p>Experiencing what it is like to have dive equipment on.</p> </div> </div> <div class="Carousel-item"> <img src="" alt="Trying some experiments with the same equipment that Reclamation employees use."> <div class="Carousel-caption"> <p>Trying some experiments with the same equipment that Reclamation employees use.</p> </div> </div> <div class="Carousel-item"> <img src="" alt="Getting their hands wet in a sand table."> <div class="Carousel-caption"> <p>Getting their hands wet in a sand table.</p> </div> </div> <div class="Carousel-item"> <img src="" alt="Moving outside, enjoying the beautiful day in Boise while getting some exercise in."> <div class="Carousel-caption"> <p>Moving outside, enjoying the beautiful day in Boise while getting some exercise in.</p> </div> </div> </div> <small>Click on dot to advance photos.</small> <P> <P> <P> Boy Scout Project at Lake Berryessa
On Saturday, April 9, 2016, three Boy Scouts and their four adult leaders from the Herms District, Mount Diablo-Silverado Council, joined Lake Berryessa Park Ranger Victoria Payan on a service project at the lake’s Smittle Creek Day Use Area. <P> Although the group of Scouts was small in number, they were huge in determination and effort, building an entire retaining wall from start to finish in just one day. The undertaking was a complement to a larger refurbishment project of the Smittle Creek Day Use Area begun in fall 2015 that included cleaning up the picnic areas and replacing barbeque grills and picnic tables to improve visitor services. <P> The retaining wall built by the Scouts and their leaders replaced an old, crumbling wall that had been removed, making for a rather steep hill that people had to walk over to get to the water. The new retaining wall improves access to the lake by directing people toward a safer trail, making the day use area not only more attractive but also easier to navigate. <P> A steady rain provided the energetic group with not only soggy and cool working conditions but also muddy boots and gloves to show for their hard work! <P> The Bureau of Reclamation and the Park Rangers at Lake Berryessa thank the Boy Scouts for their enthusiastic efforts and for their dedication to improving recreation access at the lake. <img src="" alt="Boy Scout group at Lake Berryessa." hspace="4" vspace="4"/> <P> <P> Technical Manual to Help Inform River and Stream Professionals in Management of Wood Projects Throughout the United States Now Available from Bureau of Reclamation
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have developed and released a manual to establish consistent methods to assess, design and manage wood projects for river and stream restoration throughout the United States. The National Large Wood Manual provides a basic understanding of the role of wood in fluvial aquatic and riparian ecosystems and information on how wood should be maintained, reintroduced and managed by resource managers and restoration practitioners. <P> The amount of wood in rivers has declined throughout the last two centuries—leading to a degradation of riverine ecosystems and a decline of native species. Wood is not just debris in a river that is carried to the sea; it is a natural part of a river or stream and is beneficial to restoration of natural river and stream conditions. It alters channel morphology, fluvial processes, the storage of sediment and organic matter and helps the landscapes evolve. <P> The use of wood in restoration projects is a cost-effective and ecologically beneficial engineering approach to meet environmental mandates and endangered species requirements, while maintaining traditional agency missions. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are charged with protecting native and listed species, while meeting water delivery and managing flood risk, navigation and ecosystem restoration mandates. The manual is available for download at <a href=""></a>. <P> Reclamation Continues Desalination Research Collaboration with the Middle East
WASHINGTON – It’s hard enough to deal with long-term drought and climate change issues, but imagine what it’s like to live in a region where access to clean water is a rare commodity. <P> Saied Delagah, chemical engineer at Reclamation’s Technical Service Center in Denver, has witnessed this issue first hand. He has traveled abroad to work with the <a href="" class="tooltip-ng">Middle East Desalination Research Center</a> (MEDRC), an internationally recognized research institution that specializes in desalination technologies and renewable energy integration into desalination. His most recent travel to Muscat, Oman, during December 2015, continues Reclamation’s long-standing relationship with Middle East desalination research, which dates back to the 1990s. <P> MEDRC was established under the Multilateral Middle East Peace Process Working Group on Water Resources. In the interim peace agreement, investment in cost-effective desalination, development of human resources, and collaboration among countries were seen as key to preventing water from becoming a source of instability and conflict in the region. <P> The United States government was a founding member of MEDRC and has been active with the institution since its establishment by international agreement in December 1996. MEDRC today includes Oman, United States, Qatar, Netherlands, Spain, Palestinian Territories, Israel, Jordan, Japan and South Korea. <P> Since 1998, the U.S. Department of State has been supportive of MEDRC activities that enhance the desalination capabilities in the Middle East and North Africa. The State Department requested Reclamation’s assistance to provide technical advice and to help strategize MEDRC’s future. Reclamation has an interagency agreement with the State Department to provide this technical assistance until December 2019. <P> MEDRC deals with two of the most pressing global and regional challenges: water and peace. According to the organization’s website, their region of the Middle East has the lowest renewable water resources, the most extreme water stress, and both massive population and per capita water consumption growth. <P> In fall 2013, Reclamation partnered with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide technical assistance to the agency in Desalination and in conducting <a href="" class="tooltip-ng">The Desal Prize</a>. In April 2015, led by Delagah, Reclamation completed The Desal Prize competition with USAID. <P> “The concept is to create a novel, low cost, small-scale, standalone Desal technology that is powered by a renewable energy system that can be deployed in rural and underdeveloped areas with minimal environmental footprint,” Delagah said, adding Reclamation had a particular interest in The Desal Prize competition due to its mission to manage water supplies in the 17 Western states. <P> “In the Southwestern U.S., we have a lot of underdeveloped and rural areas that can benefit from such a system, so we partnered with USAID on The Desal Prize,” Delagah said. “We went through the full prize competition process and final demonstration testing on six of the technologies took place at our Brackish Groundwater Desalination Research Facility (BGNDRF) in Alamogordo, New Mexico.” <P> MEDRC members are also interested in conducting prize competitions, such as a humanitarian challenge for a desalination device that can be used during potential crises. It will also be used as a tool to spur innovation and entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa. <P> With assistance from the State Department, Reclamation, and other international partners, MEDRC promises to enhance the desalination capabilities in the Middle East and North Africa and increase water supply through desalination technologies. <P> To stay informed about Reclamation’s International Affairs Program, please complete this <a href="">form</a>, or visit <a href=""></a>. <P> <img src="" alt="Students are seen measuring for the fouling potential of water in reverse osmosis systems, 2015. Photo courtesy of MEDRC staff." width="400px"><br /><small>Students are seen measuring for the fouling potential of water in reverse osmosis systems, 2015. Photo courtesy of MEDRC staff.</small> <P> <P> <P> Bureau of Reclamation Launches Two Prize Competitions to Solve Issues About Downstream Fish Passage and Detecting Soil Movement within Earthen Dams, Canals and Levees
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has launched two prize competitions to seek new ideas and better methods for fish to move downstream past large dams and to detect the movement of soils within earthen dams, canals and levees. Through these prize competitions, Reclamation and its partners are seeking solutions from beyond the usual sources of experts that work in these fields. These competitions are open through May 10, 2016. <P> The Downstream Fish Passage at Tall Dams' prize competition was developed to help migrating juvenile fish over or around tall dams. Moving migrating juvenile fish past tall dams will ensure habitat connectivity that many threatened and endangered fish populations need to survive and reproduce. <P> Reclamation and its federal, state and local partners responsible for recovering threatened and endangered fish recovery will benefit from new and better methods of providing fish passage at these large dams. It will also help Reclamation meet the National Marine Fisheries Service's biological opinions, such as the 2009 biological opinion for passage of Sacramento winter-run and spring-run Chinook salmon and for Central Valley steelhead upstream of Shasta, New Melones and Folsom dams. <P> Reclamation is collaborating with the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the California Department of Water Resources on this prize competition. The winners of this prize competition will share $20,000. <P> The Detection of Movement of Soils Within Earthen Dams, Canals and Levees prize competition seeks to detect the movement of material earlier than observable by currently used visual inspection and instrumentation methods. This can help prevent the loss of life, property and interruption of the service the infrastructure provides. <P> Water storage behind earthen dams, the movement of water through canals and flood protection provided by levees support the quality of life of people around the globe. The early stages of soil moving in an earthen structure, also known as internal erosion, is largely invisible. Current methods cannot provide early detection of this damaging process. <P> Reclamation is collaborating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Colorado Dam Safety Program on this prize competition. The winners of this prize competition will share $20,000. <P> To register and learn more about these new prize competitions, go to To learn more about Reclamation’s Water Prize Competition Center, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> Recently, celebrated its fifth anniversary. is a historic effort by the federal government to collaborate with members of the public through incentive prizes to address our most pressing local, national, and global challenges. True to the spirit of President Obama's charge from his first day in office, federal agencies have collaborated with more than 200,000 citizen solvers—entrepreneurs, citizen scientists, students, and more—in more than 440 challenges, on topics ranging from accelerating the deployment of solar energy, to combating breast cancer, to increasing resilience after Hurricane Sandy. <P> <P> Interior Department Releases Report Underscoring Impacts of Climate Change on Western Water Resources
WASHINGTON – Putting the national spotlight on the importance of water sustainability, the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation released a basin-by-basin report that characterizes the impacts of climate change and details adaptation strategies to better protect major river basins in the West that are fundamental to the health, economy, security and ecology of 17 Western states. <P> The <a href="">SECURE Water Act Report</a>, produced by Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation and its state and local partners, was released following today’s first White House Summit on Water in observance of World Water Day. <P> “One of the greatest challenges we face is dealing with the impacts of climate change on our nation’s water, which is really the lifeblood of our economy,” said Interior’s Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor. “We need to continue to develop collaborative strategies across each river basin to ensure that our nation’s water and power supplies, agricultural activities, ecosystems, and other resources all have sustainable paths forward.” <P> The report identifies climate change as a growing risk to Western water management and cites warmer temperatures, changes to precipitation, snowpack and the timing and quality of streamflow runoff across major river basins as threats to water sustainability. Water supply, quality and operations; hydropower; groundwater resources; flood control; recreation; and fish, wildlife and other ecological resources in the Western states remain at risk. <P> The report, which responds to requirements under the SECURE Water Act of 2009, shows several increased risks to western United States water resources during the 21st century. Specific projections include: <P> <ul> <li>a temperature increase of 5-7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century;</li> <li>A precipitation increase over the northwestern and north-central portions of the western United States and a decrease over the southwestern and south-central areas;</li> <li>A decrease for almost all of the April 1st snowpack, a standard benchmark measurement used to project river basin runoff; and</li> <li>a 7 to 27 percent decrease in April to July stream flow in several river basins, including the Colorado, the Rio Grande, and the San Joaquin.</li> </ul> <P> These projections will have specific basin-level impacts that include: <P> <ul> <li><strong>Southern California</strong>: In Southern California, warming and population growth are projected to increase water demand, reliance on imported water and the use of groundwater in the area, leading to development of alternative water supplies, such as recycled water.</li> <li><strong>Colorado River Basin</strong>: Reductions in spring and early summer runoff could translate into a drop in water supply for meeting irrigation demands and adversely impact hydropower operations at reservoirs.</li> <li><strong>Klamath and Truckee River Basins</strong>: Warmer conditions may result in increased stress on fisheries, reduced salmon habitat, increased electricity demand, increased water demands for in-stream ecosystems and increased likelihood of invasive species’ infestations.</li> <li><strong>Columbia and Missouri River Basins</strong>: Moisture falling as rain instead of snow at lower elevations will increase the runoff during the wintertime rather than the summer, translating to reductions for meeting irrigation demands, adversely impacting hydropower operations, and increasing wintertime flood-control challenges.</li> <li><strong>Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins</strong>: Earlier season runoff combined with a potential for increasing upper watershed evapotranspiration may reduce the capacity to store runoff in Reclamation’s Central Valley Project and state water resources reservoirs.</li> <li><strong>Rio Grande Basin</strong>: Reduced snowpack and decreased runoff likely will result in less natural groundwater recharge. Additional decreases in groundwater levels are projected due to increased reliance on groundwater pumping.</li> </ul> <P> "Reclamation, its customers and stakeholders have adapted to various climate conditions for more than 100 years," the Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said.  "Now changing climate is creating a greater challenge; but through collaboration and cooperation, we will work to ensure a sustainable and secure water supply now and into the future." <P> While climate change poses significant risks to Western water resources management, Reclamation is already addressing vulnerabilities through adaptation strategies being developed with water managers across the West. For example, under the WaterSMART Program, collaborative basin studies evaluate the impacts of climate change and identify a broad range of potential options to resolve current and future water supply and demand imbalances. <P> Reclamation has forged collaborative relationships in 15 of the 17 Western states with a diverse group of non-Federal partners, including state water resource agencies, tribal governments, regional water authorities, local planning agencies, water districts, agricultural associations, environmental interests, cities and counties. These partnerships focus on identifying and developing adaptation strategies to address the vulnerabilities related to drought and climate change. <P> In addition to the new Report, the Interior Department launched an online tool enabling the public to visualize the regional impacts and potential adaptation options. The tool allows users to check, by basin, how temperature, precipitation and snowpack are projected to be affected by climate change and how climate change may affect runoff and water supplies. The viewer can also check the projected flow of a river at specific points and times of the year and display adaptation options. <P> The Report and visualization tool provides a five-year update on the river basins listed in the SECURE Water Act—the Colorado, Columbia, Klamath, Missouri, Rio Grande, Sacramento-San Joaquin and Truckee river basins— as well as other Western river basins. <P> During the White House Summit, the Administration announced new efforts and commitments from the federal government and more than 100 external institutions to enhance the sustainability of water in the United States. For more information, <a href="" target="_blank">click here</a>. <P> The SECURE Water Act Report, fact sheets on projected climate change impacts on the eight western river basins, and the visualization tool are available at <a href=""></a>. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation is the largest wholesaler of water in the Nation. It provides more than 10 trillion gallons of water each year for municipal use and provides water to approximately 10 million acres of irrigated farmland that collectively produce 60 percent of the Nation’s vegetables and 25 percent of the Nation’s fruits and nut corps. Additionally, Reclamation is the largest supplier of hydroelectric power in the Western United States, operating 53 power plants that serve 3.5 million households. <P> <P> Bureau of Reclamation Publishes Columbia River Basin Climate Impact Assessment
The Bureau of Reclamation released the Columbia Basin Climate Impact Assessment today, which projected climate change impacts on water resources in the Pacific Northwest, including Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Oregon and Washington. <P> The study found that warming temperatures will continue across the basin, and although there will not be significant changes in the mean annual precipitation, precipitation timing will change significantly, with more precipitation during the winter and less during the summer. This assessment supports earlier findings on Columbia River Basin projections for the 21st century. <P> "This climate impact assessment for the Columbia River Basin will give water managers new information to plan for sustainable water supplies now and into the future," Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. "This impact assessment is only the starting point – an initial analysis of conditions. This serves to establish a foundation for in-depth studies that will include more detailed climate adaptation strategies." <P> The assessment used five climate scenarios to simulate temperature, precipitation and runoff. They were separated into four future periods and were centered on the 2020s, 2040s, 2060s and 2080s. The five climate scenarios were less warming wetter, less warming drier, median, more warming wetter and more warming drier. <P> Future climate change inflow data was calculated at 157 locations across the Columbia River Basin. With the warming temperatures and increased precipitation in the winter, runoff is expected to increase in the winter and decline in the summer. Three areas were specifically studied, the Columbia River above The Dalles, Snake River at Brownlee Dam and the Yakima River at Parker. At these three points the mean snow water equivalent is projected to decline at all locations. The assessment projected a trend that indicated there would be an increase in runoff from December to March and a decrease in runoff (in most projections) from April to July. <P> This assessment is part of the West-wide Climate Risk Assessments, which is included in WaterSMART. 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> This report is being released in conjunction with the first White House Summit on Water in observance of World Water Day. During the White House Summit, the Administration announced new efforts and commitments from the federal government and more than 100 external institutions to enhance the sustainability of water in the United States. For more information, click <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. <P> The Columbia Basin Climate Impact Assessment is available online at <a href=""></a>. Information about the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART program is available at <a href=""></a>. <P> <P>