Commissioner's Offce News Releases News Releases from Reclamation's Commissioner's Office Funding Opportunities for Drought Contingency Planning and Resiliency Projects Available from Bureau of Reclamation
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has made two funding opportunities available to help water users develop drought contingency plans and build long-term drought resiliency as part of Reclamation's Drought Response Program. These opportunities will be allocated through a competitive process. <P> The drought resiliency project funding opportunity is for projects that will increase the reliability of water supply; improve water management; implement systems to facilitate the voluntary sale, transfer, or exchange of water; and provide benefits for fish, wildlife, and the environment to mitigate impacts caused by drought. States, tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority are invited to leverage their money and resources by cost sharing with Reclamation. It is available at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> by searching for funding opportunity number R16-FOA-DO-006. <P> The drought contingency planning funding opportunity is for applicants to request funding to develop a new drought plan or to update an existing drought plan. Applicants may also request technical assistance from Reclamation for the development of elements of the Drought Contingency Plan. States, Indian tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority are eligible for this funding opportunity. It is available at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> by searching for funding opportunity number R16-FOA-DO-005. <P> Approximately $6 million will be available for both funding opportunities. Applicants must also provide a 50 percent non-Federal cost-share. Applications are due on April 11, 2016, by 4 p.m. MDT as indicated in the funding opportunities. <P> For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have worked to develop a sustainable water and power future for the West. This program is part of the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program, which focuses on improving water conservation and sustainability, while helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. <P> To find out more information about Reclamation's WaterSMART program, visit, or visit the Drought Response Program at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. <P> <P> President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request for Reclamation is $1.1 Billion
WASHINGTON - The Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget request for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation continues President Obama’s commitment to provide robust investments in the safety, reliability and efficiency of America’s water infrastructure and in conservation, reuse and applied science to address the nation’s water supply challenges, especially in the West. <P> "This is a smart, innovative and forward-looking budget that invests in Interior’s key missions – now and in the future – so we can continue to serve the American people," said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. "The President’s budget provides targeted investments to create economic opportunities by growing our domestic energy portfolio, building climate resilient communities, and revitalizing America’s national parks as we mark their 100th anniversary. Consistent with the President’s abiding commitment to Indian Country, this budget provides critical support for Tribal self-determination and economic advancement, including a historic transformation of the Bureau of Indian Education school system to help improve education for Indian children." <P> "President Obama’s budget for Reclamation reflects a strong commitment to our ongoing mission of effectively managing water and hydropower in the West," Commissioner Estevan López said. "This budget supports our efforts to provide safe, sustainable and resilient water and hydropower through investment in infrastructure development, improvements and maintenance, dam safety, and water rights settlements with Tribal nations." <P> The President FY 2017 budget request of $13.4 billion for the Department of the Interior reflects his commitment to meeting Federal trust responsibilities to Native Americans, conserve vital national landscapes across the Nation, support the next century of our National Park Service, and allow for responsibly managing energy development on public lands and offshore areas. The Budget in Brief is online: <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. <P> The FY 2017 budget proposal also balances needs for climate variability adaptation, water conservation, improving infrastructure and sound science to support critical decision making and ecosystem restoration. <P> The extreme and prolonged drought facing the West affects major U.S. river basins in virtually every western state. The effects of the current drought on California water, its agricultural economy and its communities are topics of nationwide concern. The Colorado River Basin — crucial for seven states and several Tribes, in addition to two countries — is also enduring historic drought. About 33 million people rely on the Colorado River for some, if not all, of their municipal water needs. <P> Reclamation’s dams, water conveyance and power generating facilities are valuable components of the Nation’s infrastructure. Protecting and extending the benefits provided by these structures are among the many significant challenges facing Reclamation over the next several years and beyond. Reclamation’s water and power projects and activities throughout the western United States are a foundation for providing essential and safe water supplies, renewable hydropower energy and sustain ecosystems that support fish and wildlife, recreation and rural economies. Climate variability and competing demands are increasingly affecting already-strained systems. Reclamation’s FY 2017 budget addresses these challenges and reflects a very deliberate approach to accommodating mission priorities. <P> The FY 2017 budget proposes a total of $1.1 billion for Reclamation. The $813.4 million proposal for Reclamation’s Water and Related Resources account includes $383.5 million for resource management and development activities. This funding provides for planning, construction, water conservation activities, management of Reclamation lands, and actions to address the impacts of Reclamation projects on fish and wildlife. The proposal also emphasizes reliable water delivery and power generation by including $429.9 million to fund operation, maintenance and rehabilitation activities at Reclamation facilities, including dam safety. <P> The budget emphasizes the operation and maintenance of Reclamation facilities in a safe, efficient, economic and reliable manner, ensuring systems and safety measures are in place to protect the public and Reclamation facilities. It also emphasizes Reclamation's core mission to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public. <P> To meet trust and treaty obligations, Reclamation’s budget request lists Indian water rights settlements among the highest priorities. The FY 2017 budget proposes $106.2 million for a new account entitled Indian Water Rights Settlements to ensure continuity in the construction of the authorized projects and to provide transparency in handling these funds. This includes $87.0 million for the ongoing Navajo-Gallop Water Supply Project, as well as $12.8 million to continue implementation of the Aamodt settlement, and $6.4 million to continue the Crow Tribe settlement in Montana. These settlements will deliver clean water to the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, the Taos Pueblo of New Mexico, the Pueblos of Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonsi & Tesuque in New Mexico named in the Aamodt case and the Crow Tribe of Montana. <P> The President’s proposed budget for Reclamation calls for $61.5 million for the WaterSMART “Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow” Program to assist communities in optimizing the use of water supplies by improving water management. The WaterSMART Program components include: WaterSMART grants funded at $23.4 million; the Basin Studies Program, $5.2 million; the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, $21.5 million; the Water Conservation Field Service program, $4.2 million; the Cooperative Watershed Management program, $1.8 million; the Drought Response program, $4.0 million; and the Resilient Infrastructure program, $1.5 million. <P> Other specifics of the budget request include: <P> <ul> <li>Reclamation has a responsibility to focus on the protection and restoration of the aquatic and riparian environments affected by its operations. Highlights of Reclamation's ecosystem restoration activities, many of which support Endangered Species Act (ESA) programs, include:</li> <ul> <li>$16.9 million for the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program to provide long-term ESA compliance for river operations.</li> <li>$27.3 million for ESA recovery implementation programs, including $19.9 million to implement the Platte River Endangered Species Recovery Implementation Program and $4.9 million for the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Programs.</li> <li>$16.0 million for the Klamath Project supports wildlife refuge and environmental needs, studies and initiatives to improve water supplies to address the competing demands of agricultural and tribal interests, and facilities operations and maintenance activities.</li> <li>$36.0 million for the California Bay-Delta Restoration, which focuses on the health of the Bay-Delta ecosystem and improving water management and supplies. The budget will support the co-equal goals of environmental restoration and improved water supply reliability, under the following program activities: $2.2 million for a Renewed Federal State Partnership, $5.3 million for Smarter Water Supply and Use, and $28.1 million for Habitat Restoration. These program activities are based on the Interim Federal Action Plan for the California Bay-Delta issued December 22, 2009.</li> <li>$55.6 million for the Central Valley Project (CVP) Restoration Fund to continue funding a variety of activities to restore fish and wildlife habitat and populations in the CVP service area of California.</li> <li>Within California’s Central Valley Project, $11.8 million and an additional $1.5 million in the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund for the Trinity River Restoration program.</li> <li>$9.2 million, as part of the Middle Rio Grande Project budget, to support environmental activities developed through an Endangered Species Act Collaborative Program.</li> <li>$18.0 million for the Columbia and Snake River Salmon Recovery Project for implementing the Federal Columbia River Power System biological opinions.</li> </ul> <li>$110.7 million to operate, manage and improve Central Valley Project in California. More than one-half of that amount provides for operation and maintenance of project facilities, including $16.4 million for the Replacements, Additions, and Extraordinary Maintenance program, which provides for modernization, upgrade and refurbishment of facilities throughout the Central Valley. The remainder supports studies and initiatives to improve water supplies and environmental needs.</li> <li>$38.1 million for rural water projects to undertake the design and construction of five projects and operation and maintenance of tribal features for two projects intended to deliver potable water supplies to specific rural communities and tribes located primarily in Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota.</li> <li>$15.8 million for the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project, which will continue funding grants to implement conservation measures and monitor the effects of those measures on the river diversions. Funding is also included to continue construction on fish passage facilities at Cle Elum Dam.</li> <li>$86.1 million for the Dam Safety Program to continue dam safety risk management and risk reduction activities throughout Reclamation’s inventory of dams. Corrective actions are planned to start or continue at a number of facilities. A focus continues to be modifications at Folsom Dam (California).</li> <li>$26.2 million for site security to continue Reclamation’s ongoing site-security program, which includes physical security upgrades at key facilities, guards and patrols, anti-terrorism program activities and security risk assessments.</li> </ul> <P> President Obama’s FY 2017 budget request of $13.4 billion for the Department of the Interior is online at: and <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. <P> The budget request for Reclamation is available at <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> Additional Fiscal Year 2016 Funding of $166.3 Million Available
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López today released the spending plan for $166.3 million provided to Reclamation in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016. The funds will go toward western drought response and rural water projects, among other important activities. <P> "Reclamation and its partners have created a spending plan that will help ensure sustainable water supplies across the Western United States," López said. "The funding will go toward conservation and improving long-term infrastructure and environmental work on key water projects." <P> The funding is divided among six areas: <ul> <li>Western drought response ($100 million),</li> <li>Rural water projects ($47 million),</li> <li>Water conservation and delivery ($10 million),</li> <li>Fish passage and fish screens ($5 million),</li> <li>Facility operation, maintenance and rehabilitation ($2.3 million),</li> <li>Environmental restoration or compliance ($2 million).</li> </ul> <P> Extreme and prolonged drought has gripped major river basins across the West. The $100 million provided for western drought response will address a number of projects affected by drought: <P> <ul> <li>Central Valley Project, which includes funding for the American River Division, Delta Division, Friant Division, Shasta Division and other programs, California ($37.9 million);</li> <li>WaterSMART Grants, Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, Drought Response and Comprehensive Drought Planning, and Cooperative Watershed Management Program ($22.6 million);</li> <li>Lower Colorado River Basin Drought Response Action Plan, California, Arizona and Nevada ($11.5 million);</li> <li>Native American Technical Assistance Program ($6 million);</li> <li>Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project, Washington ($9 million);</li> <li>Lewiston Orchards Project, Idaho ($1 million);</li> <li>Research and Development Program ($2 million);</li> <li>Rogue River Basin Project, Oregon ($2 million);</li> <li>Salton Sea Research Project, California ($3 million);</li> <li>Colorado River Basin System Conservation Pilot Program in the upper and lower basins, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming ($5 million).</li> </ul> <P> Reclamation based its western drought funding on a thorough review at national, regional, and program levels, to ensure a balanced approach. In some cases the funding allows Reclamation to accelerate selected projects to meet high-priority needs sooner than it would in the absence of the additional funding. In other cases it allows Reclamation to respond immediately to many of the West’s most critical drought-related needs. <P> Reclamation is also advancing the completion of its authorized rural water projects with the goal of delivering potable water to tribal and non-tribal residents within the rural water project areas. A total of $47 million is allocated among five projects using prioritization criteria: <P> <ul> <li>Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program - Garrison Diversion Unit, North Dakota ($17.4 million);</li> <li>Fort Peck Reservation/Dry Prairie Rural Water System, Montana ($12.3 million);</li> <li>Rocky Boy's/North Central Montana Rural Water System, Montana ($8.5 million);</li> <li>Lewis and Clark Rural Water System, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota ($6.8 million);</li> <li>Eastern New Mexico Water Supply, New Mexico ($2 million).</li> </ul> <P> The remaining $19.3 million will go toward thirteen projects in four categories identified in the Act: <P> <ul> <li>Fish screen and restoration projects in the Central Valley Project, California ($0.9 million), and Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project at Cle Elum Dam, Washington ($4.1 million);</li> <li>Arkansas Valley Conduit, Fryingpan Arkansas Project, Colorado ($2 million);</li> <li>Klamath Project, Oregon and California ($2 million);</li> <li>Water modelling on the Rio Grande Project, New Mexico and Texas ($1 million);</li> <li>Completion of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Glen Canyon Unit of the Colorado River Storage project, Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah ($2 million);</li> <li>Water Conservation Grants collaboration between Reclamation and Natural Resources Conservation Service, California ($5 million)</li> <li>Repairs on the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Project, Arizona ($1.1 million);</li> <li>Repairs and renovations on five other projects in Idaho, California, Oregon and Washington ($1.2 million).</li> </ul> <P> Visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> to view a summary of all the projects in this spending plan. <P> <P> Reclamation Releases Truckee Basin Study, Providing Tools for Water Managers in California and Nevada to Help Meet Future Water Demands
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has released its study of the Truckee Basin in California and Nevada, projecting that climate change may impact water supplies in the 21st century. Now available online, this study provides water managers with information to better understand the basin’s water supply and demand from now until 2099, and also identifies potential options to help them meet future demands. <P> "The Truckee Basin is an important source of water for eastern California and western Nevada and includes the iconic Lake Tahoe," Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. "Reclamation and its partners now have the necessary information to develop options to ensure a sustainable water supply into the future." <P> Reclamation developed the study in partnership with the Truckee Meadows Water Authority, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Truckee River Flood Management Authority and Placer County Water Agency. <P> The Truckee Basin headwaters begin around Lake Tahoe. The basin includes the Truckee and Carson rivers and Pyramid Lake and encompasses the cities of Carson City, Reno and Sparks, as well as Reclamation's Newlands Project, all in Nevada. <P> According to the basin study, the Truckee Basin is heavily dependent on the Sierra Nevada’s snowpack and available supply is dependent on the availability to capture, store and manage water. Precipitation within the basin can vary greatly from the high elevations in the Sierra Nevada to the desert regions around Pyramid Lake. Year-to-year precipitation can also vary greatly, with several years of below- average precipitation being common. <P> The mean average annual temperature in the basin is anticipated to increase by up to five degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the twenty-first century, while annual precipitation within the basin may decrease slightly. The increase in temperature will change the timing and intensity of runoff, with more precipitation falling as rain instead of snow. Runoff will begin earlier, thus impacting the amount of water that can be stored in Truckee reservoirs because of current flood management requirements. <P> Also, limited storage within the basin will impact water supplies. For example, because of the earlier runoff, the ability to meet full storage after April will be reduced. Due to warming, basin reservoirs are also projected to have higher rates of evaporation, and will be less resilient during future droughts. Lake Tahoe’s surface is projected to drop below its natural rim more frequently, causing flows into the Truckee River at Tahoe Dam to cease; making Truckee supplies dependent on smaller reservoirs with limited capacity. <P> The study also found that the frequency and magnitude of flood events may increase within the basin. The likelihood of the basin experiencing more floods like the one in 1997 that heavily impacted downtown Reno and Sparks, as well as floods of lesser intensity, will increase 10 to 20 percent by 2050 and 30 to 50 percent by 2099. <P> Finally, the basin study identified structural and non-structural options to balance water supply benefits with flood risks, including working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow flexibility in managing reservoir flood space, among other options. <P> The Truckee Basin Study is a part of WaterSMART. The report is available online at <a href=""></a>. <P> WaterSMART is the Department of the Interior's sustainable water initiative that uses the best available science to improve water conservation and help water resource managers identify strategies to narrow the gap between supply and demand. For more information on the WaterSMART program, visit <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> Reclamation's Fred Travers Receives American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado’s Highest Award
Bureau of Reclamation employee Fred Travers was recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado with the 2015 General Palmer Award, for his work with the Colorado High School Bridge Building Competition. <P> The General Palmer Award recognizes engineers who have contributed to the state of Colorado, received recognition in a community, advanced the engineering profession, or made an impact on future generations. <P> "We thank Fred for the time and effort he has devoted to this program and are honored to recognize his many contributions,” Marvinetta Hartwig, PE, president of ACEC Colorado said. “Thanks to his commitment, thousands of high school students have learned firsthand about engineering,We are also pleased to support this competition with scholarship funding, which helps to cultivate future engineers and promote our profession.” <P> Travers joined Reclamation in 1975, as a design engineer in the Power System Technical Section, and then transferred to the Concrete and Structural Branch in the Division of Research. He is now an electronics engineer in the Concrete, Geotechnical, & Structural Laboratory at the Technical Service Center. Throughout his career he has been responsible for providing instrumentation, data acquisition and control systems, for the testing and research conducted in the field and lab. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado in 1974. Travers became a registered Professional Engineer in 1980. <P> "This is a great honor for Fred who has had a long and successful career at Reclamation," said group manager Janet White, P.E., said. "The bridge building competition wouldn't be as successful as it is today without the work Fred has put into it." <P> The Colorado High School Bridge Building Competition was initiated by Reclamation in 1974. Travers began working with the competition in 1982 and has played a major part of every contest since then. Since Fred has been involved, it is estimated that nearly 4,000 students from throughout Colorado have competed. The competition helps high school students study the application of fundamental principles of physics and develop "hands-on" skills by constructing and testing model bridges. Students also experience what it is like to be an engineer by designing structures according to a set of specifications and testing the performance of their structures under controlled factors. <P> This year's competition will take place at Reclamation's Technical Service Center at the Denver Federal Center campus on February 27, 2016. <P> <P> <P> Reclamation Selects 16 Entities for Youth Conservation and Youth Intern Partnership Programs
WASHINGTON – Reclamation selected 16 entities from throughout the United States to participate in its youth conservation and youth intern partnership programs. The master cooperative agreements cover five years and will speed up award funding for youth programs as projects become available. No funding is associated or guaranteed with these agreements. <P> "Young people seeking a career that connects with America’s outdoors truly benefit from real-world experiences that provide on-the-job training in resource management issues," Commissioner Estevan López said. "These new agreements with grass-roots conservation and internship programs support Secretary Sally Jewell's 'Let's Move! Outside' initiative. It is one more way we seek to inspire millions of young people to play, learn, serve and work outdoors." <P> Since 2010, Reclamation has entered into more than 15 cooperative agreements with several youth organizations throughout its 17 western state jurisdiction. These cooperative agreements supported about 800 youth opportunities. <P> Eleven entities have been selected to enter into a cooperative agreement for the placement of youth interns and 10 entities have been selected to enter into a cooperative agreement for youth conservation crews. Five of these entities will have cooperative agreements under both programs. The entities were selected in a competitive process through two funding opportunity announcements released in September. <P> The following 11 entities have been selected for placement in youth intern partnership programs: <P> <ul> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">Conservation Legacy</a>, Durango, Colorado</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">Greening Youth Foundation, Inc.</a>, Atlanta, Georgia</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">Hispanic Access Foundation</a>, Washington, D.C.</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">Mobilize Green, Inc.</a>, Washington, D.C.</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">The Student Conservation Association, Inc.</a>, Charlestown, New Hampshire</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">The Great Basin Institute</a>, Reno, Nevada</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">ACE Epic Internship Program</a>, Flagstaff, Arizona</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">Montana Conservation Corps</a>, Bozeman, Montana</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities</a>, San Antonio, Texas</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">Northwest Youth Corps</a>, Eugene, Oregon</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">Minority Access Incorporated</a>, Hyattsville, Maryland</li> </ul> <P> Participants in Reclamation’s youth intern program will build understanding and appreciation of natural and cultural resources and learn how to maintain and manage these resources. <P> The following 10 entities have been selected for placement in youth conservation crews: <P> <ul> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">Utah Conservation Corps</a>, Utah State University, Logan, Utah</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">Conservation Legacy</a>, Durango, Colorado</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">California Conservation Corps</a>, Sacramento, California</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">American Conservation Experience</a>, Flagstaff, Arizona</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">The Student Conservation Association, Inc.</a>, Charlestown, New Hampshire</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">Northwest Youth Corps</a>, Eugene, Oregon</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission</a>, Fresno, California</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">American Youthworks</a>, Austin, Texas</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">Rocky Mountain Youth Corps</a>, Taos, New Mexico</li> <li><a href="" class="tooltip-ng" target="_blank">Montana Conservation Corps</a>, Bozeman, Montana</li> </ul> <P> Youth conservation crew participants will perform conservation projects on Reclamation lands and assist Reclamation with performing research and public education tasks associated with natural and cultural resources. <P> Partnering entities must provide a minimum of 25 percent of the total project costs in funding or in-kind support. Reclamation will collaborate with the recipients to create and manage individual projects. To learn more about the Reclamation's youth program, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> This work is part an overall strategy by the Obama Administration to connect young people to nature.  The Department of the Interior is leading First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move! Outside” initiative getting millions of young people to play, learn, serve and work in America’s great outdoors and actively involved in promoting and supporting President Obama's “Every Kid in A Park” program  providing all fourth grade students and their families with free admission to national parks and other public lands and waters for a full year. <P> Reclamation Selects Six Fish Tracking Ideas in Inaugural Prize Competition
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has selected six ideas out of 22 submitted for its "New Concepts for Remote Fish Detection" prize competition. Four out of the six submissions fully qualified under the prize competition guidelines and will receive a shared total of $20,000. <P> Reclamation currently supports many projects to track and count fish at its projects and facilities, and many of these fish are listed under the Endangered Species Act. Reclamation is required to monitor the fish to maintain compliance with ESA, so that it can continue to deliver water and generate power. The current technology uses Passive Integrated Transponder tags that are similar to what is used to track cats and dogs. However, the detection range on these tags is quite short and usually limited to less than 3 feet. Federal biologists are interested in tags that are inexpensive like PIT tags, but can be detected from 10 or 100 feet away. <P> “Reclamation realizes the world is full of talented people, and one way to collaborate with these individuals or groups is through a prize competition,” Commissioner Estevan López said. “It’s a win-win situation for all involved. We receive innovative ideas that may help us recover threatened and endangered fish species, while prize competition participants are rewarded or recognized for their innovation and hard work. The six fish tracking submissions will help us improve fish monitoring and tracking through their lifecycle. <P> Ben Boudaoud and Alicia Klinefelter of Beaverton, Oregon, will receive $11,500, for using a comprehensive piezoelectric tagging technology and a device for installing tags in fish. Piezoelectric energy harvesting uses the fish's swimming motion to generate the power needed by the tag to transmit a tracking signal. Boudaoud has a master’s and bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Virginia. Boudaoud works in the field of medical electronic devices. Klinefelter holds a doctorate in electrical and electronics engineering from University of Virginia, and has a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Miami University. Klinefelter works in integrated circuit design. <P> Douglas Stall of Harrah, Oklahoma, will receive $3,500, for using a tag that encases a magnet and copper coil injected into the fish. As the fish moves, the magnet moves freely and an electric current is generated in the copper wire that powers the tag. Still has a Bachelor of Science in geophysical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and has worked as a geophysicist for 22 years. <P> Rick Rogers of Harvard, Massachusetts, will receive $2,500, for suggesting the use of piezoelectric film technology to charge a rechargeable radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag. Rogers has a master's degree in electrical engineering and biomedical engineering from Southern Methodist University and Bachelor of Science in physics from Texas Tech University. Rogers is a retired software engineer and product manager and has managed the creation of software for mobile phones for the last 15 years. <P> Dmitriy Tipikin of Medford, Massachusetts, will receive $2,500, for suggesting piezoelectric power to generate power for a RFID tag. Tipikin holds a doctorate in chemical physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in Dolgoprudny, Russia, and received a master's degree in physics and mathematics. Tipikin has worked as an experimental physicist in the field of electron paramagnetic resonance at Cornell University and then Geisel Medical School at Dartmouth. <P> Two of the six top-ranked solutions were submitted from individuals who were not United States citizens, making them ineligible to win a prize under rules of the competition. Although the foreign submissions were not eligible to win a prize, the participants still granted the U.S. Government a right to use their submissions to help in the recovery of threatened and endangered fish. <P> The solution submitted by Suman Ummanolla, from Hyderabad, India, suggested using a fiber optic laser sensor to detect fish tag transmissions underwater. An honorable mention went to Ramiz Qandah from Amman, Jordan, for his idea to use piezoelectric film technology to energize and charge a tag. <P> Although only six ideas were selected, the federal government receives a perpetual, no-cost right to use any of the 22 submitted. Reclamation will now develop a plan to further test, develop and demonstrate the effectiveness of these submitted ideas. "We received a lot of good ideas through this prize competition," said Mark McKinstry, Reclamation’s lead for this prize competition. "We are excited to see if we can use these ideas to improve fish tracking tools at a lower cost than we currently have available." <P> The Bureau of Reclamation collaborated with the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration - National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to design and judge this prize competition. <P> To learn more about prize competitions, please visit: <a href=""></a>. <P> Reclamation Seeks Proposals for Water Treatment Research, Laboratory Studies and Pilot-Scale Projects for Desalination and Water Purification
WASHINGTON – As part of an ongoing effort to further technological advances related to imbalances between water supply and demand, the Bureau of Reclamation announced today it will seek proposals for research, laboratory studies and pilot-scale projects that target increasing the usable supply of water in the United States as part of its Desalination and Water Purification Research Program. Today’s announcement occurred as private sector and governmental representatives attended a White House Roundtable on Water Innovation being led by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and other senior Administration officials. Participants at the roundtable are discussing how to plan, efficiently use and develop new clean water supplies to ensure our nation’s resilience to water supply shortages. <P> Reclamation will provide up to $150,000 for the research and laboratory studies. Between five and 15 projects are expected to receive funding. Studies must be completed within one year. All applicants are required to have a minimum of a 50 percent non-federal cost-share except for institutions of higher learning. Institutions of higher learning are encouraged to have some cost-share. <P> For pilot-scale projects, Reclamation will provide up to $200,000 per year, per project. The pilot-scale projects must be completed within two years. Between one and five projects are expected to receive funding. All applicants must provide at least 50 percent non-federal cost-share. <P> Individuals, higher education institutions, commercial or industrial organizations, private and public entities (including state and local), non-profit organizations, and Indian Tribal Governments are all eligible to apply for these funding opportunities. <P> The Desalination and Water Purification Research Program is helping Reclamation and its partners confront widening imbalances between supply and demand in basins throughout the Western United States through testing and development of new advanced water treatment technologies. <P> The DWPR Program 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; (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> The funding opportunity announcements are available at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. For research and laboratory studies, search for announcement number R16-FOA-DO-009. For pilot scale studies, R16-FOA-DO-010. Phase one applications are due by 4 p.m. MST on Feb. 8, 2016. The phase two deadline is 4 p.m. MDT on April 27, 2016. <P> Visit Reclamation's Desalination and Water Purification Research Program, please visit: <a href="" target="_blank"></a> for more information. <P> <P> Southeast California Regional Basin Study Evaluates Water Supply and Demand in Borrego, Coachella and Imperial Valleys
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation today released the Southeast California Regional Basin Study, which evaluates options to resolve water supply and demand imbalances within the Borrego, Coachella and Imperial Valleys in southeastern California in the face of uncertainty due to climate change. The basin study is among the latest of a West-wide series of studies produced by Reclamation and non-federal partners and comes on the eve of a scheduled White House Roundtable on Water Innovation where Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will join other senior Obama Administration officials and several private sector investors to discuss how to plan, effectively use and develop new clean water supplies to ensure our nation’s resilience to water supply shortages. <P> "Reclamation and its partner on the Southeast California Regional Basin Study are confronting the growing water supply and demand imbalances facing the region," Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. "Identifying the issues throughout this basin will help develop potential solutions to ensure the region has a sustainable water supply." <P> The study found that the Borrego subarea aquifer, which is recharged solely by groundwater, may be depleted in 50 years. Moreover, options to import and store water in the Borrego Valley groundwater basin are not economically viable at this time. <P> In the Imperial Valley, water users are dependent on imported Colorado River water. Historic climate data and modeling indicate dry conditions may become more frequent with longer durations. Climate change impacts may reduce the snowpack and precipitation leading to a reduced water supply, and can lead to more agricultural water demand as the growing season may become longer. Population is expected to double in the Imperial Valley within the next 40 years with water demand nearly doubling. <P> In the Coachella Valley, water users are dependent on a mix of groundwater and imported water from the Colorado River. The Coachella Valley Water District has addressed the overdraft of groundwater in its 2010 Coachella Valley Water Management Plan but is facing issues similar to those of the Imperial Valley related to Colorado River water supplies. Population is expected to almost triple by 2045, and though agricultural demand may decline by 45 percent, total demand is expected to increase. <P> The study evaluated structural and non-structural alternatives that addressed implementing a managed groundwater system in the Borrego Valley, adding pipeline infrastructure to connect Borrego Valley with either Coachella Valley or Imperial Valley, and using existing infrastructure to bank Colorado River water off-stream. <P> Reclamation partnered with the Borrego Water District to develop the Southeast California Regional Basin Study. The Coachella Valley Water District, Imperial Irrigation District, San Diego County Water Authority and other interested regional stakeholders also contributed to it. <P> The report is available at <a href=""></a>. <P> The Basin Study Program is part of the WaterSMART Program. WaterSMART is the Department of the Interior's sustainable water initiative that uses the best available science to improve water conservation and help water resource managers identify strategies to narrow the gap between supply and demand. To learn more about WaterSMART, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> Study Finds Shift in Timing of Water Availability in Oregon’s Hood River Basin
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Hood River Basin Study, which assesses current and future water supply and demand in the Hood River Basin in Oregon and adjacent areas. This study identifies a range of potential strategies to address current and projected imbalances within the basin, options to move towards resilience in the face of water shortages, and will help to improve water management while sustaining the watershed’s environmental quality over the next 30 years. The basin study is among the latest of a West-wide series of studies produced by Reclamation and non-federal partners and comes on the eve of a scheduled White House Roundtable on Water Innovation where Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will join other senior Obama Administration officials and several private sector investors to discuss how to plan, effectively use and develop new clean water supplies to ensure our nation’s resilience to water supply shortages. <P> "The Hood River Basin is the latest basin in the western United States where Reclamation and its partners have joined forces to confront widening imbalances between water supply and demand," Commissioner López said. "Through collaboration within the basin, I am confident that we will be able to close the gaps between supply and demand and ensure a sustainable water supply for communities within the basin." <P> Currently, there is a lack of adequate streamflow in the basin during the summer months to meet the competing demands for water. The basin relies heavily on snowmelt at the beginning of the summer and glacial melt from Mount Hood during August and September. <P> Demands for water are also expected to increase as climate change and population increase. The report found that warming temperatures in future years will accelerate the speed of snowpack and glacial melting. This will exacerbate the shortages experienced in the summer months since water from snowmelt will be available earlier in the year. Accelerated glacial melt will result in a short-term increase in water supply but will result in a long-term loss of supply and storage when the glaciers melt. The report also cites the Hood River County Population Forecast Study that projects a 30 percent growth in the area’s population between 2010 and 2040. <P> The basin study also identifies alternatives that may mitigate current imbalances between water supply and demand while establishing a framework for resilience in the face of persistent water shortages. The study developed 38 alternatives to address the basin's imbalances in water supply and demand. Of the 38 alternatives, six were selected for further evaluation based on their ability to conserve water, recharge groundwater and store surface water. <P> The Hood River Basin is located in Oregon, approximately 60 miles east of Portland and covers approximately 340 square miles, lying entirely within Hood River County. The Hood River Basin Study was developed in partnership between the Bureau of Reclamation, Hood River County and the Hood River County Water Planning Group. The study is available to download from the WaterSMART basin studies website at <a href=""></a>. <P> The Basin Study Program is part of the WaterSMART Program. WaterSMART is the Department of the Interior's sustainable water initiative that uses the best available science to improve water conservation and help water resource managers identify strategies to narrow the gap between supply and demand. To learn more about WaterSMART, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> WaterSMART Grant Funding Available for Water Conservation and Energy Efficiency Projects
WASHINGTON – Last month, the Bureau of Reclamation invited states, tribes, irrigation districts, water districts and other organizations with water or power delivery authority to participate in its latest WaterSMART grant opportunity. A total of $21 million in cost-shared funding is available for water conservation and energy efficiency projects that help move the West towards resilience in the face of drought and ongoing imbalances between water supply and demand. <P> The grant opportunity, which closes on January 20, 2016, is being highlighted as part of a series of initiatives related to water resilience the Obama Administration will feature in this week’s scheduled White House Roundtable on Water Innovation. The Roundtable will feature Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell along with other senior Administration officials and several private sector investors, in discussions on ways to plan, efficiently use and develop new clean water supplies to ensure our nation’s resilience to water supply and demand imbalances. <P> WaterSMART aims to improve water conservation and sustainability, helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. The program identifies strategies to ensure this generation and future ones will have sufficient amounts 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> Reclamation awarded more than $23 million for 50 Water and Energy Efficiency Grants in 2015. Since 2009, Reclamation has provided more than $174 million in funding through WaterSMART Grants to states, Tribes and other partners. That funding is being leveraged with more than $426 million in non-federal funding to complete more than $600 million in improvements, which are expected to result in annual water savings of more than 570,000 acre-feet once completed, enough water for more than 2.2 million people. <P> Applications may be submitted under 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 million will be available for larger, phased projects that will take up to three years to complete. </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> The funding opportunity announcement is available at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> using funding opportunity number R16-FOA-DO-004. Proposals must be submitted as indicated on by 4 p.m., MST, Jan. 20, 2016. It is anticipated that awards will be made in spring 2016. To learn more about WaterSMART please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> Bureau of Reclamation's Katie Bartojay, P.E., Elected Fellow of the American Concrete Institute
Katie Bartojay, P.E., a Civil Engineer and Concrete Technical Specialist with the Bureau of Reclamation's Concrete, Geotechnical, and Structural Laboratory in Denver, Colo., was recently elected by the American Concrete Institute (ACI)’s Board of Direction as a Fellow of the Institute. <P> The ACI Fellow honor is bestowed on members who "have made outstanding contributions to the production or use of concrete materials, products, and structures in the areas of education, research, development, design, construction, or management. In addition, a Fellow shall have made significant contributions to ACI through committees and/or local chapters." <P> "Her enthusiasm for concrete has inspired others to join and participate in ACI and in the concrete industry," said Janet White, P.E., group manager. <P> Katie has worked on a team of concrete experts at Reclamation since 2005 and was Reclamation's 2011 Engineer of the Year. She has 17 years of construction materials experience in the industry and is a past president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter. Katie serves on the ACI Mass Concrete, Mixture Proportioning, and Soil Cement committees and recently served as the co-chair of the 2015 Denver ACI Concrete Convention and Exposition. She has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and her Professional Engineering License in the State of Colorado <P> At Reclamation, her <a href="" target="_blank">research interest</a> include adiabatic temperature rise and thermal studies of mass concrete, and crack reduction for large placements. <P> In 2007 she was a featured speaker on the History Channel's Modern Marvels Program "Dams" and can be seen describing concrete research in a recent Reclamation video entitled "<a href="" target="_blank">Reclamation Laboratories working with Worldwide Customers</a>." <P> Formal announcement will be made at the ACI Spring 2016 Convention and Exposition on April 17, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisc. <P> Reclamation Seeks Comments on Technology Transfer Agreements Directive and Standard
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public input on the draft directive and standard for technology transfer agreements which outlines Reclamation's responsibilities and requirements for participating in research partnerships with the private sector and other non-federal entities. <P> The purpose of this directive and standard is to facilitate effective partnerships that can leverage shared capabilities and costs, and more effectively develop and move technologies to stakeholders, the public and private sectors. Additionally, technology transfer agreements allow Reclamation and the non-federal partners to efficiently and cost-effectively generate user ready solutions that can improve the economic, environmental and social well-being of the United States. <P> Reclamation's technology transfer agreements are administered by Reclamation's Research and Development Office to ensure that Reclamation's research reaches the users in the most effective way possible. Please visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> for more information. <P> The draft directive and standard is available for review at: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.  Comments must be received by Dec. 31, 2015. <P> Comments or questions may be directed to Samantha Zhang at <a href=""></a>. <P> Department of the Interior and New Mexico Central Arizona Project Entity Sign Agreement to Further Evaluate a Gila River Water Project
PHOENIX – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water & Science Jennifer Gimbel today signed an agreement with the New Mexico Central Arizona Project Entity (CAP Entity) that initiates a process to thoroughly evaluate the full range of proposed water management alternatives for the upper region of the Gila River and examine their impacts and costs. Today's agreement is the result of a decision by the State of New Mexico to move forward in evaluating a potential diversion project. It does not constitute a green light for the proposed project or any other water management alternative. Rather it is a procedural step that lays the framework for further evaluation. <P> "No final decision has been made on the construction of a dam along the upper region of the Gila River nor has any decision been made about any non-diversion alternative to a dam," said Gimbel, who oversees the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Department of the Interior agency that will lead the evaluation of alternatives for the New Mexico Central Arizona Project Unit. "Interior is ensuring that a robust review process will be completed under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and other environmental laws before a final decision is made. This review process will include early development of a full-range of alternatives to meet water supply needs in southwestern New Mexico, which will inform the CAP Entity, Interior, and the public as analysis proceeds and will provide ample opportunities for public participation," said Gimbel. <P> By statute, the Gila River Water Project is a mechanism to make water available for use in New Mexico and is one of a number of projects in the Colorado River Basin that are part of Reclamation's Central Arizona Project. Under the Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004 (2004 AWSA), the Secretary of the Interior does not have the discretion to deny signing the agreement to further evaluate the Gila River Water Project. The discretion to approve or not approve a project occurs during the environmental review process pursuant to applicable laws and policies. <P> As authorized by the 2004 AWSA, the State of New Mexico was given the ability to decide whether or not to further consider the construction of a diversion unit along the Gila River. On November 24, 2014, the State notified the Secretary of the Interior that it intended to pursue this option. This notification triggered a one-year statutory timeline to execute an agreement between Interior and the New Mexico Central Arizona Project Entity. <P> Although many of the terms in the agreement are prescribed by and required under federal law, Interior and the CAP Entity negotiated supplemental terms that specify activities that the CAP Entity and the Bureau of Reclamation will undertake during evaluation of the water management proposal, including activities related to analysis, planning, and potential contracting as well as the environmental review. <P> Through the National Environmental Policy Act process, the Bureau of Reclamation, working with the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, as co-lead under the 2004 AWSA, Tribes, and other federal and non-federal cooperating agencies, will assess possible impacts and necessary mitigation efforts for each alternative identified.  The process will include extensive dialogue with and input from stakeholders and the general public.  Topics for analysis in the review process will be addressed during public scoping, but will include impacts to fish and wildlife, hydrology, land use, economics, cultural resources, recreation, and ecosystem services. The agreement also calls for cost-benefit analysis of all alternatives in accordance with Federal Principles, Requirements, and Guidelines for Water and Land Related Resources Implementation Studies. The comprehensive analysis will assess economic feasibility and financial capability as part of the Federal decision-making process. Once the evaluation process concludes, as required under law, the Secretary of the Interior will issue a Record of Decision regarding a final alternative for the project as soon as before December 2019 but no later than December 2030.   <P> BACKGROUND <P> The Colorado River Basin Project Act of 1968 authorized the Secretary of the Interior to enter into contracts with New Mexico water users for the consumptive use of Gila River water based upon the delivery of an equivalent amount of CAP water to downstream users in Arizona. The 2004 AWSA modified terms of the 1968 act, reducing the amount of Gila River water that can be diverted, and provided funding for construction of a New Mexico Unit or other water utilization alternatives. <P> The Central Arizona Project is a multipurpose water resource development and management project that provides irrigation, municipal and industrial water, power, flood control, outdoor recreation, and environmental enhancement. The project also provides delivery of Tribal homeland water, partial settlement of Indian water rights claims, and economic benefits accruing from the leasing of Indian agricultural water rights to municipal entities. <P> <a href="" target="_blank">View Signed Agreement</a> <P> <P> Interior Department Delivers Gold King Mine Technical Assessment to Environmental Protection Agency
WASHINGTON - The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation delivered a report on its Gold King Mine technical evaluation to the Environmental Protection Agency today. EPA requested an independent review to assess the cause of the August 2015 Gold King Mine Blowout near Silverton, Colo. and provide recommendations to prevent future incidents from occurring. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation’s Technical Service Center in Lakewood, Colo. conducted the independent assessment on behalf of Interior. The TSC provides water resources management-related scientific, applied research, and engineering services. The report was peer reviewed by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and produced in accord with Interior’s scientific integrity policy. <P> The report, entitled ‘Technical Evaluation of the Gold King Mine Incident,’ is available for viewing at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. <P> <P> <P>