Reclamation News Releases News Releases from the Bureau of Reclamation testing
2014-10-24 10:20:00.0 test <P> Finding Durable Foul-Release Coatings to Control Invasive Mussel Attachment Highlighted in Bureau of Reclamation Study
2014-10-21 12:25:00.0 <b>DENVER</b> - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a report summarizing six years of testing coatings to control the attachment of quagga and zebra mussels to water and power facilities. Since the study began in 2008, Reclamation has tested more than 100 coatings and materials. <P> "Controlling attachment of invasive quagga and zebra mussels on Bureau of Reclamation facilities is important to ensure water delivery and hydropower generation," principal researcher Allen Skaja said. "Though we have tested many different coatings, three durable foul-release coatings are showing promise in managing mussels." <P> The Silicon Epoxy allowed mussels to attach but were easily cleaned for the first 12 months of exposure. Two experimental formulations prevented mussel attachment for the first 18 months. These three durable foul release coatings will be tested further. <P> Silicone foul release coatings are the most promising for deterring mussel attachment in flowing and static water. Though aquatic vegetation and algae may provide a surface for attachment, the coatings can be easily cleaned with no measurable force. Unfortunately, silicone foul release coatings are soft and are easily damaged. <P> The testing was conducted at Parker Dam on the Colorado River. Invasive mussels at this location reproduce year-round and have a high growth rate. Each coating system was tested in static and flowing water conditions at the dam. Each coating system was evaluated approximately every six months, about every May and November. <P> The research was funded by Reclamation's Research and Development Office where research is conducted to develop and deploy successful solutions to improve water management practices, increase water supply and ensure cost-effective power generation operations. <P> To view the report, please visit Reclamation's <a href="">Quagga and Zebra Mussel Website</a>. <P> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> <P> Carlie Ronca Selected as Wyoming Area Manager
2014-10-21 00:00:00.0 BILLINGS, Mont. -- Great Plains Regional Director Michael Ryan has announced the selection of Carlie Ronca as Area Manager for Reclamation's Wyoming Area Office. <P> "Carlie brings a wealth of experience to our organization," said Ryan. "She is well-versed in critical issues ranging from water rights to operations and maintenance of Reclamation facilities. She is the right person to lead this vital area of the Great Plains Region." <P> Ronca is responsible for the management of the Wyoming Area Office's portion of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program, the Shoshone Project in the Bighorn River Basin, and the North Platte and Kendrick Projects in the North Platte River Basin. <P> The Area Office provides approximately 2.8 million acre-feet of water deliveries, 250 megawatts of hydroelectric power generation, and over one half million acres of lands managed for beneficial uses each year. WYAO employs a supervisory control system for operation of the federal dams and power plants on the North Platte, Wind, Bighorn, and Shoshone Rivers in Wyoming. The Area also provides supervisory control for Colorado's Big Thompson Project and Montana's Yellowtail and Canyon Ferry hydropower facilities. <P> Prior to the Area Manager position, Ronca was the Resources Division Chief for the Eastern Colorado Area Office in Loveland, Colorado. In that capacity, she managed Project water rights and operations, operations and maintenance of Pueblo dam, water contract administration, and natural resources compliance and management. Ronca joined Reclamation in 2006 as a Natural Resource Specialist and Project Manager. After serving as a public school teacher, she began her federal career in 1999 in the natural resources fields for the National Park Service. <P> Ronca holds a Master of Science in Biology from East Stroudsburg University, Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of the Reclamation Executive Leadership Program, and has been recognized by customers and stakeholders for her service-oriented approach and ability to produce collaborative and creative solutions to complex issues. <P> <P> Reclamation Releases Environmental Documents for San Joaquin Valley Irrigation Districts' Water Exchange
2014-10-20 18:14:00.0 FRESNO, Calif. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released for public review a draft Environmental Assessment analyzing impacts of providing Central Valley Project water to meet water supply needs in four San Joaquin Valley districts in exchange for groundwater from the districts for wildlife refuges in the fall. <P> The San Luis and Del Puerto Water districts are proposing to fund the costs of pumping and delivery of groundwater supplies of up to 2,000 acre-feet from three existing private wells in the Grassland Water District in exchange for up to 1,000 acre-feet of CVP water. The groundwater would be delivered to private lands within the Grassland Resources Conservation District in Merced County for refuge water supply needs in the fall of 2014. In exchange, districts in western San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced and Fresno counties would receive CVP water delivered by Reclamation to help meet water needs. <P> The Draft EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available online at If you encounter problems accessing the document online, please call 916-978-5100 or email <P> Written comments must be received by close of business Mon., Oct. 27 2014, and should be sent to Brad Hubbard, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825, emailed to, or faxed to 916-978-5059. For additional information or to request a copy of the draft EA, please contact Hubbard at 916-978-5204 (TTY 800-877-8339). Copies of the document may also be viewed at Reclamation?s Mid-Pacific Regional Office at the above address. <P> <P> <P> <P> Reclamation to Hold Lake Berryessa Community Forum Meeting Wednesday, Oct. 29
2014-10-20 16:21:00.0 <p><strong>NAPA, Calif.</strong> – The Bureau of Reclamation will hold the next meeting of the Lake Berryessa Community Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the Lake Berryessa Senior Center. Forum meetings are designed to promote public input on recreation opportunities and services at Lake Berryessa.</p> <p>The public is invited to attend the Forum meeting which will be held:</p> <p align="center"><strong><u>Wednesday, Oct. 29, 6-8 p.m.</u></strong><br /> Lake Berryessa Senior Center<br /> 4380 Spanish Flat Loop Road<br /> Napa, CA  94558</p> <p>At this meeting, Reclamation will provide status updates on existing and future recreation services, long-term planning processes, the Lake Berryessa Wildlife Area management plan, and current interim services operations.</p> <p>Reclamation is scheduling a meeting for Wednesday, Dec. 10, on the future development of recreation facilities and the award of long-term concession contracts at five Lake Berryessa concession areas. At the meeting, the public will be invited to provide comments on the draft development plans as part of scoping under the National Environmental Policy Act. The time and location of that meeting will be announced at a later date.</p> <p>Reclamation is working to implement the Lake Berryessa Visitor Services Plan Record of Decision and provide safe and enjoyable recreation experiences for visitors to Lake Berryessa.</p> <p>To be added to the Lake Berryessa email/mailing list or to request special assistance to attend the Oct. 29 meeting, please contact Janet Sierzputowski, Public Affairs Office, at 916-978-5112 (TTY 800-877-8339) or <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>Lake Berryessa is managed by Reclamation&rsquo;s Central California Area Office as part of the Solano Project. Additional information is available at <a href=""></a>.</p> <P> Reclamation Releases Draft EA for Rehabilitation and Improvement of Crow Irrigation Project
2014-10-20 00:00:00.0 BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) for the Rehabilitation and Improvement of Crow Irrigation Project, located on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. <P> The Draft EA will be open for public comment from Thursday, October 17 until Friday, November 21. The Crow Tribe, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau of Indian Affairs developed a programmatic approach for rehabilitation and improvement work. Under this approach, work would be accomplished in phases over a 15-20 year period based on more detailed engineering and environmental reviews at the field level. <P> The Proposed Action incorporates conservation measures for conserving physical, biological, social, and heritage resources to reduce impacts on the environment. The EA addresses resource conditions and values that would be conserved through the application of best management practices (BMPs), natural resource conservation measures, and opportunities for on-farm improvements. <P> Visit <a href=""></a> to access the draft EA for review and comment. For additional information, please contact Christina Lasater, <a href=""></a>, (406) 247-7753. <P> Reclamation Seeks Public Comment on Interim Water Contracts in American River Division
2014-10-16 16:27:00.0 <p><strong>SACRAMENTO, Calif</strong>. ?The Bureau of Reclamation and three water service contractors in the American River Division of the Central Valley Project intend to enter into interim renewal water service contracts for two years starting March 1, 2015. Public comments on the proposed interim contracts are due by Dec. 15, 2014.</p> <p>Existing interim renewal water service contracts with the City of Roseville, Sacramento County Water Agency and Sacramento Municipal Utility District expire February 28, 2015. Interim renewal contracts will allow Reclamation to continue providing water service to these water purveyors until long-term renewal contracts can be executed.</p> <p>The draft forms of the three interim renewal contracts are available for public review at <a href=""></a>. If you encounter problems accessing the draft contracts, please call 916-978-5100 or email <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>Execution of the proposed interim renewal contracts also requires finalization of the National Environmental Policy Act documentation and Endangered Species Act compliance. The environmental documents will be released separately for public review and comment.</p> <p>Written comments on the draft contracts must be received by close of business Monday, Dec. 15, and should be sent to Patricia Stewart, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-440, Sacramento, CA 95825-1898, faxed to 916-978-5292, or emailed to <a href=""></a>. For additional information, please contact Stewart at 916-978-5244 or (TTY 800-877-8339).</p> <P> Reclamation Resumes Early Season Water Storage at Steinaker Reservoir
2014-10-16 08:50:00.0 <b>Salt Lake City</b> – On Friday, October 10, 2014, following an onsite inspection and subsequent analysis, the hold on early season water storage at Steinaker Reservoir near Vernal, Utah, was rescinded and the reservoir resumed filling. <P> The discontinued early season impoundment of water was initially declared on September 24, 2014, due to observed “sloughing” of riprap on the dam face. While there was no evidence of a threat to public safety, early season water storage at Steinaker Reservoir was put on hold in order to facilitate an inspection of the upstream face of the dam. No further movement has been observed since the initial event and officials have determined that conditions are satisfactory to resume filling. <P> Although the Uintah Water Conservancy District has resumed water storage, filling has been limited to a maximum rate of 0.2 feet per day. In addition, Uintah Water Conservancy District will continue instrumentation monitoring of the dam three times per week. <P> For more information, please contact Provo Area Office Manager Wayne Pullan at 801-369-2778 or Reclamation's Upper Colorado Regional Public Affairs Officer Matthew Allen at 801-524-3774. <P> Reclamation Contracts with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to Advance Tribal Clean Energy Projects
2014-10-15 12:37:00.0 Boulder City, Nev. — The Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region entered into an agreement with the Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to provide technical assistance to advance Tribal clean energy planning and development. The agreement is part of the commitments made by the Department of the Interior (DOI) in the July 2013 Technical Work Group Agreement related to Navajo Generating Station (NGS). <P> “The award of this agreement is another action that Reclamation is taking to advance the development of clean energy to benefit Tribal Nations affected by NGS operations. Reclamation continues to work diligently to support this effort,” said David Palumbo, Deputy Regional Director for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region. This component of NREL’s technical assistance contract is valued at just over $106,000. <P> This work includes identifying a portfolio of potential projects and providing technical assistance to further some of those projects that have a high likelihood of being implemented within the next five years. This initiative will also identify screening and prioritization criteria to be used to categorize potential clean energy projects. The work is being coordinated with several agencies, including the DOE Tribal Energy Program, DOI Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development. <P> NREL is also providing technical assistance to Reclamation in achieving long-term goals identified in a Joint Federal Agency Statement issued on January 4, 2013, by DOI, DOE and the EPA. These goals are to produce “clean, affordable and reliable power, affordable and sustainable water supplies, and sustainable economic development, while minimizing negative impacts on those who currently obtain significant benefits from NGS, including tribal nations.” <P> “NREL has been a great partner and Reclamation appreciates their expertise as we work to meet future energy related demands and requirements, including compliance with EPA rules affecting carbon emissions at the NGS,” added Deputy Regional Director Palumbo. <P> NGS is a 2,250-megawatt, coal-fired power plant located just outside Page, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. Operated by the Salt River Project, other participants in NGS include the United States, Arizona Public Service Company, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Tucson Electric Power and Nevada Energy. The United States’ share of NGS energy provides power to the Central Arizona Water Conservation District to deliver Colorado River water through the Central Arizona Project. <P> Reclamation Releases the Final Environmental Assessment for Two Salinity Control Projects
2014-10-14 13:27:00.0 GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Reclamation announced today that it has released a final environmental assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for two proposed salinity control projects. The documents assessed and addressed the potential effects of the Bostwick Park Water Conservancy District’s Siphon Lateral Salinity Control Project in Montrose County, Colorado and the Forked Tongue/Holman Ditch Company’s Salinity Control Project located in Delta County, Colorado. <P> The Bostwick Park Project will pipe 1.76 miles of existing earthen ditch and will result in an annual reduction of 413 tons of salt contributions to the Colorado River. The Forked Tongue/Holman Ditch Project will pipe 1.89 miles of existing earthen ditch and will result in an annual reduction of 412 tons of salt contributions to the Colorado River. The purpose of both projects is to improve the efficiency of water delivery to canal users and reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Basin. <P> The final environmental assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact is available on our <a href="">web site</a> or a copy can be received by contacting Reclamation. <P> <P> Reclamation Takes Safety to the Dogs
2014-10-14 11:11:00.0 <img src="" style="float:right" width="273" height="410" border="1" hspace="10" alt="Otto Otter with his dog Ellie Mae at the 2014 See Spot Walk Event in Boise Idaho"/> Boise, ID – Tails wagging and barks heard across Julia Davis Park, staff from the Bureau of Reclamation’s PN Region joined 3,000 people and their dogs at the See Spot Walk event in Boise Idaho. The event is sponsored by the Idaho Humane Society every year and offers Reclamation the opportunity to reach a very different but important audience; one that would not be reached otherwise. <P> In an event that can only be described as a “doggy Halloween party”, this setting gave Reclamation employees a chance to offer up the message “Leash Up, Stay Out, and Stay Alive” when it comes to dogs and canals. <P> “Many people allow their dogs to swim in canals during the summer months, with no thought of what could happen in an instant,” said Dave Walsh, Acting Deputy Public Affairs Specialist. “Imagine a cubic foot being the size of a basketball. When the canal runs 50-70 cfs of water, that’s 50-70 basketballs per second pushing against your dog. He’s down the canal in seconds with no way of getting out, or even worse drowning under a culvert,” he said. <P> Reclamation also educates people on lack of water treatment; just drinking out of a canal can put your dog’s health at risk. “While these things seem very harsh, they are a reality that dog owners need to consider,’” said Dave. “There are alternatives to swimming in canals, and we need to start doing them. Dog parks, small pools, dog days at local pools are all safe things a pet owner can do in lieu of swimming in a dangerous canal.“ <P> Otto Otter was also present to reach out to children as well. Thanked by everyone for being there and bringing attention to dog safety, Reclamation hopes to attend the event next year as well. <P> Remember that the purpose of a canal is to deliver water swiftly to irrigators. Canals are not for pets or people to play in, period. <P> <img src="" width="598" height="250" border="1" vspace="10" alt="PN Regional Office Employees at the 2014 See Spot Walk Event in Boise Idaho"/> <P> Reclamation Releases Final Environmental Documents on 10-year Transfer and Warren Act Contracts for Santa Clara Valley Water District
2014-10-09 15:42:00.0 FRESNO, Calif. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released final environmental documents on the transfer of up to 36,000 acre-feet of Patterson Irrigation District’s available water to the Santa Clara Valley Water District over a period of 10 years. <P> The SCVWD will be able to receive the water in increments, not to exceed 6,000 acre-feet per year, up to the maximum 36,000 acre-feet annually, from March 1, 2014 through February 29, 2024. Reclamation would also issue Warren Act contracts for conveyance of any non-Central Valley Project water delivered throughout this 10-year period. Conveyance of non-CVP water under a Warren Act contract would be subject to available capacity in federal facilities. The Warren Act of 1911 authorized the United States to execute contracts for the conveyance and storage of non-project water in federal facilities when excess capacity exists. <P> The Final Environmental Assessment and Findings of No Significant Impact were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, and are available online at If you encounter problems accessing the document online, please call 916-978-5100 or e-mail <P> For additional information or to request a copy of the Final EA and/or FONSI, please contact Rain Emerson at 559-487-5196, TTY 800-735-2929. <P> U.S. Department of the Interior and Western municipal water suppliers developing water conservation projects as part of a landmark collaborative agreement
2014-10-08 16:09:00.0 Faced with the increasing probability of shortage on the Colorado River, municipal water providers in Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado, and the Bureau of Reclamation are implementing a landmark Colorado River System Conservation program. <P> Beginning today, Reclamation is soliciting water conservation project proposals from Colorado River entitlement holders in Arizona, California, and Nevada. At a later date, water users in the Upper Basin will be invited to participate in this unique agreement. <P> Central Arizona Project, Denver Water, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Southern Nevada Water Authority and Reclamation are providing up to $11 million to fund new Colorado River water conservation projects. The projects are intended to demonstrate the viability of cooperative, voluntary projects to reduce demand for Colorado River water. The program is soliciting project proposals from agriculture, and municipal and industrial Colorado River water entitlement holders. <P> "This partnership demonstrates our commitment to find solutions in meeting the future challenges we face in water supply and demand," said Reclamation's Lower Colorado Regional Director Terry Fulp. "Our goal is to put in place a suite of proactive, voluntary measures that will reduce our risk of reaching critical reservoir levels. This pilot program is a good first step toward reaching that goal and, depending upon its success, could be expanded in the future." <P> For more than a decade, a severe drought unprecedented in the last 100 years has gripped the Colorado River, reducing water levels in storage reservoirs throughout the Basin and increasing the risk of falling to critically low water levels. In July, reservoir levels in Lake Mead dipped to the lowest level since Hoover Dam was filled in 1937. <P> "A decade ago, municipal and agricultural agencies in California came together to help the state permanently reduce its use of Colorado River water. The goal of this latest effort is to develop new basin-wide partnerships to expand conservation activities during this historic drought for the benefit of all Colorado River water users," said Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. <P> "With shortage looming on the Colorado River, CAP, with its partners, is taking immediate steps to protect Arizona's Colorado River supply. The goal of this unique program is to develop new conservation programs from municipal, industrial, and agricultural water users from across the seven states which share the river," said Pam Pickard, Board President, Central Arizona Project. "The program saves water in Lake Mead and Lake Powell for the benefit of all Colorado River water users and promotes a healthy river system." <P> All water conserved under this program will stay in the river system, helping to boost the declining reservoir levels and protecting the health of the entire river system. The municipal agencies and the federal government agree that collaborative action is needed now, to reduce the risk to water supplies, hydropower production, water quality, agricultural output, and recreation and environmental resources across the entire Colorado River basin. The Colorado River and its tributaries provide water to nearly 40 million people for municipal use, and the combined metropolitan areas served by the Colorado River represent the world?s 12th largest economy, generating more than $1.7 trillion in Gross Metropolitan Product per year. <P> This first call for proposals is for Lower Basin parties. Upper Basin proposals will be requested in the future. <P> "We are pleased to see the momentum established in the lower basin. We look forward to a similar process starting soon in the upper basin with our partners along the Colorado River, including The Colorado Cattlemen's Association, Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado River District, Southwestern Water Conservation District, The Nature Conservancy and Trout Unlimited. Together, we will identify and fund pilot programs that demonstrate the viability of cooperative, voluntary compensated means to reduce water demand," said Jim Lochhead, CEO Denver Water. <P> Reclamation is currently requesting project proposals for 2015 and 2016 funding allocations. The due date for the responses to the solicitation is November 17, 2014. Following the two-year period, Reclamation and the municipal agencies will evaluate the effectiveness of the conservation projects funded by this program and determine if the successful programs could be expanded or extended to provide even greater protection for the Colorado River system. <P> "Managing the Colorado River requires a cooperative and concerted effort between diverse stakeholders, and this pilot program furthers that collaboration and provides another tool we can use in response to the drought," said John Entsminger, General Manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority. "This program is the mechanism for developing a wide array of adaptable and scalable conservation projects to provide real benefit to the overall river system." <P> <P> Reclamation, Northern Water Reach Tentative Agreement on Windy Gap Firming Project
2014-10-08 13:40:00.0 BILLINGS, Mont. -- Bureau of Reclamation, Northern Water Conservancy District and Northern Water's Municipal Subdistrict have been negotiating a contract that would allow the Subdistrict to use excess, or unused, capacity in Reclamation's Colorado-Big Thompson Project for the Windy Gap Project and future Windy Gap Firming Project. <P> The 30-day public comment period will open October 8, and close November 7. The comment period provides the public the opportunity to comment on the Contract, Senate Document 80, and Section 14 (Reclamation Project Act of 1939) Determination Memos. <P> "This project will make more efficient use of existing water rights," said Reclamation's Great Plains Regional Director Mike Ryan. "When completed, Windy Gap Firming would provide water storage for 13 municipal providers." <P> The contract will allow for the introduction, storage, conveyance, exchange, substitution, and delivery of water for Municipal Subdistrict, Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and allows the flexibility to move or preposition water from the Colorado-Big Thompson Project in Colorado. <P> Section 14 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to enter into contracts for the exchange or replacement of water, water rights, or electrical energy for the adjustment of water rights. Senate Document 80 contains guidelines for Project Facilities operations and Auxiliary Features. <P> "There has been a need for a storage reservoir for Windy Gap water for more than 25 years," said Ryan. "We are getting much closer to making that a reality, and making better use of America's infrastructure, while also creating needed jobs in the process." <P> For more information on the contract, Senate Document 80, and Section 14 Determination Memos, contact Lois Petersen at (406) 247-7752 or <a href=""></a>. <P> From the Commissioner
2014-10-08 13:00:00.0 With the arrival of the new year quickly approaching, it is an ideal time to review the Bureau of Reclamation's many achievements of 2013. <P> Thanks to Reclamation employees, we have delivered significant benefits to the public through the WaterSMART program, including thoughtful water conservation, water recycling and reuse projects and countless other benefits. We have improved water supplies to tribal communities and taken on the work of implementing many long-overdue treaty obligations through our Indian water rights activities. Reclamation has been able to study and better understand the impacts of climate change and drought - developing science-based measures to improve water basins and encourage healthy watersheds. Through our river restoration activities, we have made Reclamation as well-known for restoration in the 21st Century as it was known for the massive water infrastructure projects that were our 20th Century legacy. <P> In 2013, Reclamation has made great strides toward a framework of solutions for the California Bay Delta, as well as the Colorado and Klamath basins. Many in Reclamation have worked this year to expand the role of hydropower and maximize new, sustainable hydropower opportunities. We even weather a government shutdown together while fulfilling our basic mission to generate power, deliver water and conduct our operations in a way that maintained the health and safety of our employees and the people we serve, as well as the security of vital water and power infrastructure. Without our employees' dedication and hard work - and the commitment of our stakeholders - Reclamation could not tackle these and many other important issues. <P> As many of you may know, I was honored by a nomination from President Obama to work alongside Secretary Sally Jewell as the Deputy Secretary of the Interior. I am humbles by this acknowledgement and recognize the importance of such a distinct position. As I await a Senate confirmation vote, I am reminded of the Department's important mission of conserving and managing our nation's natural resources and vast public areas. This common goal is what unites every within Interior. This goal is shared at the Bureau of Reclamation, where we strive to provide clean, renewable energy while managing and protecting the West's water resources. <P> I take this moment to thank every one of you for the confidence and support you have bestowed on me and look forward to sharing this continued passion in every capacity. <P>