Upper Colorado Region News Releases http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom News Releases from Reclamation's Upper Colorado Region http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57577 Efforts to Protect Endangered Species in the Middle Rio Grande Continue with Renewed Commitments from Key Water Management Agencies
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed and provided a new biological opinion to the Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District and the State of New Mexico, providing Endangered Species Act coverage for water-related activities in the Upper and Middle Rio Grande. <P> The parties have been formally consulting for nearly four years to address the needs of species protected under the act. The Service’s biological opinion concludes that the proposed water-related activities, including almost 90 species conservation commitments from the entities, will not jeopardize the survival of the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow, southwestern willow flycatcher and the threatened yellow-billed cuckoo. <P> The Rio Grande is one of the most important natural resources in the state of New Mexico. “This Biological Opinion recognizes the core management elements that are necessary to sustain and ultimately recover populations of silvery minnows. The Biological Opinion is based on years of experimentation, rigorous science, and adaptive management strategies that will balance and meet human water needs while supporting wildlife conservation,” said Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, the Service’s Southwest Regional Director. “The substantial conservation commitments made by the Middle Rio Grande Partners will significantly improve the status of the silvery minnow, flycatcher and cuckoo.” <P> The entities involved in this consultation worked closely with the Service to come up with innovative, science-based solutions to improve habitat for the species between Cochiti Dam and Elephant Butte Reservoir while continuing to improve water delivery efficiencies. <P> "We are hopeful that the trust built during this complicated consultation will carry through to the implementation phase. We have a lot of work to do and are eager to move forward,” said Jennifer Faler, Albuquerque Area Manager for Reclamation. <P> “The Bureau of Indian Affairs has worked hard in collaboration with the parties and with affected tribes to maintain the sovereignty of the tribes as well as accomplish the goals related to the species,” said Bureau of Indian Affairs Regional Director William T. Walker. <P> These entities have worked collaboratively and persistently on water use and Endangered Species Act issues for about 20 years, starting with the onset of drought in 1996, through severe drought and litigation in early 2000’s, to continued drought in the following decade, all with significant investments of federal, state and local resources. <P> “Our agency continues to engage with its federal water management partners, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, the six Middle Rio Grande Pueblos and other water users to ensure State water laws and regulations provide a solid foundation in the basin from which to build upon,” said Interstate Stream Commission Director Deborah Dixon. “We have offered commitments that are included in the new biological opinion that will provide improvements in water availability for species, better habitat conditions and science-based water management while continuing to provide water and endangered species compliance for New Mexicans.” <P> An example of joint efforts in recent years is the coordination by water managers last spring to temporarily store additional water on the Rio Chama. This allowed them to augment the natural flow of the river through the middle valley in May to mimic a moderate spring runoff instead of the lower runoff that would have occurred naturally. That effort, in combination with habitat restoration conducted over the last decade contributed to increased numbers of young silvery minnow in the river this fall. <P> “The District is pleased to be able to work in partnership with Reclamation, the state of New Mexico and the Fish and Wildlife Service to assist in the preservation and recovery of endangered species, while preserving water rights and agricultural use in the Middle Rio Grande Valley. This fifteen-year biological opinion is a comprehensive approach that provides us needed flexibility to adapt to highly variable water supply conditions while providing the District the necessary coverage under the Endangered Species Act that allows us to continue our mission in meeting the needs of our constituents,” said MRGCD Board Chairman Derrick Lente. <P> The new biological opinion is available to the public at https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/NewMexico/. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57357 Reclamation Closes East Portal Road located near Montrose, Colorado for the Winter
MONTROSE, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s Curecanti Field Office announced today that the East Portal Road located east of Montrose, Colorado, is closed for the winter. <P> The East Portal Road, beginning at the junction with State Highway 347, provides access to the Gunnison River within the Curecanti National Recreation Area, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Crystal Dam. The road will reopen next spring as weather conditions permit. For more information contact Larry Lingerfelt at (970) 240-6306. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57220 Western Colorado Conservation Youth Corps Improves Habitat at Grand Junction Wildlife Area
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Western Colorado Conservation Corps in partnerships with the Bureau of Reclamation, Colorado State Forest Service and Tamarisk Coalition, are collaborating to improve 20 acres of habitat at Reclamation’s Grand Junction Wildlife Area, located near the confluence of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers near downtown Grand Junction, Colorado. <P> This project is funded through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists grant, awarded to Tamarisk Coalition on behalf of the Desert Rivers Collaborative, a multi-stakeholder partnership focused on improving riparian habitat along the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers. This grant was launched as part of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, which serves to re-connect communities with public lands. Engagement and training of our nation’s young adults is a key tenant of this initiative. <P> The goal of this project is to improve the health of cottonwood trees that were planted at the wildlife area by Reclamation nearly 20 years ago as part of a habitat mitigation project. While some mortality of the trees was expected after planting, the majority survived, resulting in a thicket of trees that was denser than desired. To improve the habitat at the wildlife area, Conservation Corps chainsaw crews are thinning cottonwood trees to ensure tree health and growth so they are able to provide improved wildlife habitat, soil stabilization and erosion and flood control. <P> The Conservation Corps is a local youth corps located in Grand Junction, Colorado that utilizes young adults on various land management projects such as; removing tamarisk, spraying noxious weeds, building fences, maintaining trails, etc. The Conservation Corps provides financial support to at-risk youth and young adults in western Colorado, while encouraging them to explore career opportunities and define their career goals. <P> The Coalition, a regional non-profit with a mission of improving riverside habitat through education, collaboration, and technical assistance, provides leadership for the Collaborative. More information about the habitat improvement work being undertaken by the Collaborative and its partners can be found on the Coalition’s website. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57073 Media Advisory: High Flow Experiment at Glen Canyon Dam
Page, Ariz. – The Bureau of Reclamation will increase water releases from Glen Canyon Dam beginning on Monday, November 7, 2016 to support a high flow experiment (HFE) in partnership with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey. This high flow experiment will include a peak magnitude release of approximately 36,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) for 96 hours to move accumulated sediment downstream to help rebuild beaches and backwater habitats. The decision to conduct this HFE was made following substantial consultation with Colorado River Basin states, American Indian tribes and involved federal and state agencies. <P> Reclamation and National Park Service officials remind recreational users to use caution along the Colorado River through Glen and Grand Canyons during the entire week of November 7. Flow level information will be posted at multiple locations in both Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park. Note that it will take several hours following the beginning and end of the HFE for high flow waters to reach and then recede at downstream locations in the canyons. <P> High flow experiments benefit the Colorado River ecosystem through Glen and Grand Canyons by moving sand in the river channel and re-depositing it in downstream reaches as sandbars and beaches. Those sandbars provide habitat for wildlife, serve as camping beaches for recreationists and supply sand needed to protect archaeological sites. High flows may also create backwater areas used by young native fishes, particularly the endangered humpback chub. <P> The HFE will not change the total annual amount of water released from Lake Powell to Lake Mead. Releases later in the water year will be adjusted to compensate for the high volume released during this high flow experiment. <P> Members of the media who wish to view the high flow experiment should contact Marlon Duke at 385-228-4845 or mduke@usbr.gov. <P> Additional information about this high flow experiment will be posted and updated online at: http://www.usbr.gov/uc/rm/gcdHFE/index.html. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57068 Reclamation Releases Final Environmental Assessment on Repairs to the Paonia Dam Intake Structure
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation has released the final Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment evaluating if Reclamation will provide partial funding to the North Fork Water Conservancy District to make repairs to the Paonia Dam intake structure and bulkhead, part of the Paonia Project located near Paonia, Colo. Repairs are expected to begin in September 2017. <P> During construction, work crews and an excavator will be operating at the dam. Crews will dismantle the damaged upper concrete bulkhead of the intake structure and replace it with a modified aluminum trash rack and support members. These repairs are necessary to help ensure continuation of normal dam operations and water delivery to downstream users. <P> Prior to repairing the intake structure, increased turbidity downstream of the dam will be noticeable due to normal reservoir operations and drawdown. Turbidity will temporarily increase in Muddy Creek and the North Fork of the Gunnison River downstream of Paonia Dam, and sediment deposition will occur primarily in Muddy Creek from the dam to the confluence of Anthracite Creek until high flows begin the following spring. <P> The final Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment are available online at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/progact/paonia/documents.html <P> To learn more about the Paonia Project, upcoming repair work or sedimentation issues in the reservoir, visit our website at: http://www.usbr.gov/uc/wca/progact/paonia/index.html. You can also join our email list for project updates by clicking the “Contact Us” link. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57067 Construction Scheduled to Begin at Lemon Dam
DURANGO, Colo. – Construction will begin the week of October 31, 2016, on high pressure slide gates at Lemon Dam, part of the Florida Project located near Durango, Colo. The purpose of construction is to perform preventative maintenance on the high pressure slide gates that are used to regulate the water releases from Lemon Dam. <P> Work will begin with setting a new steel bulkhead gate on the intake structure to provide a dry work environment for working on the high pressure slide gates while allowing flows into the Florida River to continue. <P> Flows from Lemon Dam into Florida River will be affected during this construction. The bulkhead will be set in the intake structure starting in early November 2016, and will take several weeks to complete. During this time the releases from Lemon Dam will be approximately 3 to 4 cubic-feet-per-second and will be pumped over the crest of the dam. After the bulkhead is set in the intake structure limited releases will be made through the bulkhead of approximately 8 to 10 cfs while preventive maintenance is being performed on the high-pressure slide gates. <P> Once the preventive maintenance is complete, which is scheduled for late January 2017 to February 2017, the bulkhead will be remove from the intake structure. While the bulkhead is being removed the releases from Lemon Dam will be approximately 3 to 4 cubic-feet-per-second and will again be pumped over the crest of the dam. Once the bulkhead is removed the releases from Lemon Dam will resume as usual. <P> Lemon Dam will be closed to all traffic, including pedestrian use, throughout construction. The boat ramp and Miller Creek campground will have limited access while the barge and equipment are being delivered, assembled, then disassembled at the boat ramp during the first few weeks of November and also when the barge is reassembled, then disassembled and removed in January and February 2017. The Florida and Transfer Park campgrounds should not be affected, except for occasional short-term blocking of the main road if large trucks are turning around or delivering equipment. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57007 Bureau of Reclamation, Isleta Pueblo and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Agree on Future Management of Isleta Diversion Dam in New Mexico
Isleta Pueblo, N.M. – Under the canopy of the changing fall colors of the Rio Grande bosque, the Bureau of Reclamation, Isleta Pueblo and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District signed a global settlement today, resolving past issues associated with Isleta Diversion Dam and solidifying the path forward. <P> “It is our hope that the collaborative effort started through this process will continue, and that we have a positive path forward as partner agencies in the operation of Isleta Diversion Dam,” Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. “Reclamation is happy to report that the first phase of sediment removal under this settlement is complete.” <P> Isleta Diversion Dam was built by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District on Isleta Pueblo land in 1934. Reclamation rehabilitated the dam in 1954. Isleta Pueblo has maintained that proper easement was never fully granted to the District or Reclamation. <P> Technical and legal teams comprised of representatives of the Pueblo, Reclamation and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District were formed in May 2015 in response to a letter from Isleta Pueblo to work on reaching agreement that could lead to a settlement. <P> This Global Settlement will grant the United States easement for the next 100 years. The Pueblo will receive full support from Reclamation and MRGCD in continued sediment management, riparian and bosque restoration, and other environmental benefits, in addition to a lump sum payment. <P> The technical team has facilitated ratification of standard operating procedures for Isleta Diversion Dam and completed a cross-section data collection plan, a dam operations record keeping plan and a sediment disposal plan. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56967 Elephant Butte Dam Turns 100
Elephant Butte, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation today celebrated 100 years since the completion of Elephant Butte Dam in southern New Mexico. Officials from Reclamation, the International Boundary and Water Commission, State of New Mexico, New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation, Elephant Butte Irrigation District and El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1 marked the event during a ceremony near the base of the dam. A highlight of the event was when officials unveiled a new plaque commemorating Elephant Butte’s 100 years of operation. <P> “Elephant Butte Dam is meeting its mission superbly,” said Reclamation Deputy Commissioner for Operations David Palumbo, who also spoke at the event. “Through cycles of wet seasons and severe drought, the dam has provided consistent and dependable water to support the entire region.” <P> Congress authorized the dam’s construction in 1905 to provide irrigation water to Southern New Mexico and West Texas as part of the Rio Grande Project. Reclamation completed construction in 1916. Elephant Butte is the largest dam in New Mexico, standing 301 feet tall and stretching 1,674 feet from end to end. At full capacity, it stores more than two million acre feet of water in Elephant Butte Reservoir, which is one of New Mexico’s premier recreation destinations. Its hydroelectric power plant is capable of generating 27,945 kilowatts of electricity during irrigation season water releases. <P> When it was dedicated on October 19, 1916, Elephant Butte was the largest irrigation dam in the United States and the second largest in the world. Its promise of water storage and clean energy enabled settlement and robust economic development throughout southern New Mexico and West Texas. It also helped resolve an international dispute and plays an important role in meeting international treaty obligations to Mexico. <P> Current water levels in Elephant Butte Reservoir provide a stark reminder of the impacts of drought on the region. However, the dam continues to meet its mission even during the past decade of drought. Throughout the past 100 years, Elephant Butte Dam has provided adequate storage and regular irrigation deliveries to sustain thousands of acres of farmland. Mr. Palumbo noted the dam’s ongoing safe operation and continued promise for the area, “I’m confident Elephant Butte Dam will continue providing a stable water supply for the Rincoln, Mesilla and El Paso Valleys well into the future.” <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56887 Ceremony Planned to Mark Elephant Butte Centennial
Elephant Butte, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation invites the media to attend a ceremony to celebrate the Centennial of Elephant Butte Dam, which was completed 100 years ago. Officials from Reclamation, the International Boundary and Water Commission, the State of New Mexico, New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation, the Elephant Butte Irrigation District and El Paso County Water Improvement District Number 1 will join us to mark the occasion. <P> Who: Bureau of Reclamation <P> What: Celebration of the Centennial of Elephant Butte Dam <P> When: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. <P> Where: Bureau of Reclamation Elephant Butte Field Division, 4696 HWY 51, 4 miles east of Truth or Consequences on Highway 51. Follow the signs to the base of the dam. <P> Why: To celebrate the celebration of New Mexico’s largest dam turning 100. This will also be an opportunity for invited guests and media to tour the inside and top of the dam. <P> How: Contact Mary Carlson at (505) 462-3576 or mcarlson@usbr.gov to RSVP. <P> Background: The United States Congress authorized construction of Elephant Butte Dam in February 1905. The Bureau of Reclamation constructed Elephant Butte Dam between 1911 and 1916. This event will allow guests an opportunity to celebrate the dam that played an important part in the development of southern New Mexico and west Texas and supported a treaty between the United States and Mexico. The ceremony will be followed by an unveiling of the centennial plague and guided tours of the dam. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56809 Reclamation Monitoring Steinaker Dam Due to Riprap Slide
Provo, Utah – The Bureau of Reclamation’s Provo Area Office and the Uintah Water Conservancy District are monitoring Steinaker Dam near Vernal, Utah, following additional riprap (large rocks) displacement in an area where movement was identified two years ago on the reservoir side of the dam. Reclamation officials are closely examining the dam and note that some additional material displacement may occur while engineers work toward a permanent fix. <P> As a precaution, the Provo Area Office initiated an Emergency Action Plan Response Level I, which is the least serious of the three response levels. This response level does not pose a hazard either at the reservoir or to downstream communities, and the public does not need to do anything at this time. Response Level I indicates that unusual conditions at a dam require additional monitoring. While it requires further investigation and possible intervention, there is no immediate threat to life, property or the environment. <P> For more information, please call or text Marlon Duke at (385) 228-4845, or Chris Watt at (385) 881-3759. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56803 Environmental Impact Statement Available for Rio Grande Project Operating Agreement
Albuquerque, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for continued implementation of the Rio Grande Project’s 2008 Operating Agreement. The FEIS analyzes environmental impacts associated with continued implementation of the 2008 Operating Agreement through 2050. The Operating Agreement describes how Reclamation will allocate, release and deliver Rio Grande Project water to the Elephant Butte Irrigation District in New Mexico, the El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1 in Texas, and to Mexico. The FEIS also evaluates environmental effects of a proposal to renew a contract to store San Juan-Chama Project water in Elephant Butte Reservoir. <P> The FEIS was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and is a step toward resolving longstanding legal disputes over Rio Grande Project operation. It describes five alternatives that vary in inclusion or exclusion of carryover water accounting provisions, diversion ratios and storage of San Juan-Chama Project water. Of those five, the first alternative is preferred and includes continued implementation of the 2008 Operating Agreement and San Juan-Chama storage contract through 2050. <P> The FEIS Notice of Availability was published in the Federal Register on Friday September 30. Reclamation will issue a final Record of Decision at least 30 days following publication. The Record of Decision will select the alternative that will be implemented and discuss all factors leading to that decision. <P> The Final Environmental Impact Statement is available online at: http://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/eis.html. <P> Copies of the document are also available at the following locations: • Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque Area Office o 555 Broadway NE, Suite 100, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102. • Bureau of Reclamation, El Paso Field Division o 10737 Gateway West, Suite 350, El Paso, Texas 79935. • Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colorado Regional Office o 125 South State Street, Room 8100, Salt Lake City, Utah 84138. • New Mexico State University – Branson Library o 1305 Frenger Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003. • University of Texas at El Paso Library o 500 West University Avenue, El Paso, Texas 79968. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56795 Reclamation’s First AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer
With the first rays of morning light, New Mexico’s Upper Chama watershed reveals itself. The valley extends south from Cumbres Pass, winding its way over ridgelines and through meadows. Dropping in elevation, forests of mixed conifer slowly change to tall Ponderosa Pines and then rolling plains of juniper and grasslands. Twenty-six miles to the south lie the cliffs overlooking Heron Reservoir, a resting place for supplemental water on its way to the homes, farms and people of central New Mexico, as well as El Vado Reservoir, which provides water for irrigated agriculture in the Middle Rio Grande valley. <P> The view from Cumbres Pass does little to convey the fragility of this region. Changing precipitation patterns, rising temperatures and decades of fire suppression point towards an uncertain future for the adjacent Chama and San Juan watersheds; a future dominated by the risks of catastrophic wildfire, excessive sedimentation and loss of an important source of clean reliable water for the region. <P> In May 2016, the Bureau of Reclamation sponsored its first AmeriCorps Volunteer under the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program. AmeriCorps VISTA is a federal program designed to provide nonprofits with the organizational capacity to tackle issues of poverty reduction in all of its forms, from early childhood education, to veteran support and environmental stewardship. Reclamation’s VISTA Volunteer, Will Donahoo, lives in Chama, New Mexico. He works as Reclamation’s representative in partnership with the Chama Peak Land Alliance (CPLA), a nonprofit organization of conservation-minded landowners who promote ecologically and economically sustainable land and forest management practices on over 1.4 million acres. Will assists by meeting with landowners on whose lands forest thinning and treatments are planned. He organizes public events and makes public presentations to describe forest treatment work and its objectives. <P> In addition to stewardship and outreach efforts, CPLA conducts forest thinning and prescribed fire treatments in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. The work of CPLA to protect private forest lands directly benefits Reclamation and its efforts to maintain a clean, reliable water supply for its projects in New Mexico. CPLA’s outreach and forest treatment work focuses on the Rio Chama watershed, which serves Reclamation’s Middle Rio Grande Project. Additionally, the Navajo, Little Navajo and Rio Blanco watersheds provide critical supplemental water resources to central New Mexico through Reclamation’s San Juan-Chama Project. <P> Completed in 1976, the San Juan-Chama Project is a series of diversion structures, tunnels and a reservoir that divert, store, and release water for the benefit of Project contractors under the Colorado River Compact. Check dams, located at the base of three tributaries of the San Juan River (the Navajo, Little Navajo and Rio Blanco) in southern Colorado near Pagosa Springs, divert water through tunnels, which together carry runoff 26 miles under the Continental Divide from the Colorado River watershed to the Rio Chama, in the Rio Grande watershed. The total allocation of the San Juan-Chama Project is divided between 9 municipalities, 6 pueblos and 2 counties, with the city of Albuquerque being by far the largest recipient, receiving over 50 percent of diverted waters. Within Bernalillo County alone, the San Juan-Chama Project provides 90 percent of the drinking water for over 600,000 residents. <P> A fire within the upland forests, above the San Juan-Chama diversion could have a substantial impact on the ability to provide the quality and quantity of water required by downstream users. In addition, a fire within the Chama watershed could impact the quality and quantity of water available to irrigators served by Reclamation’s Middle Rio Grande Project. <P> Laid bare by fire, soils become prone to erosion, leading to increased runoff, sedimentation and water quality degradation. Fire-damaged watersheds have a reduced capacity to store water in the form of snowpack, leading to water supply shortages during hot summer months. Fire-damaged watersheds also generate increased runoff during storm events, which can lead to downstream flooding. Limits on the amount of water that can be directed at any given time through the San Juan-Chama diversion means that the total amount available on an annual basis to downstream communities such as Albuquerque could be reduced. Additionally, increased runoff would dislodge debris created by wildfire, requiring removal at diversion structures and potentially inhibiting their operation for days, weeks or longer. <P> Catastrophic wildfire outside the range of natural variation would forever alter the characteristics and economy of the region, but wide-scale forest treatments have the potential to reduce this risk. Even small acreages of thinned forests exhibit different characteristics when fire passes through the landscape than those exhibited by untreated forests. Reduced fuels mean fire burns at a lower intensity and has less opportunity to spread between neighboring trees. Research in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy’s Rio Grande Water Fund estimates the cost of thinning one acre of forest at $700, versus a potential economic impact of $2,150 if the same acre is damaged by wildfire. <P> Over time, Reclamation’s mission of managing water in the West has become more about preserving, improving and balancing the resources already available, ensuring the resiliency of our water infrastructure to meet future needs. Through partnerships with the CPLA and many others, along with the first generation of VISTA Volunteers, Reclamation is working to protect the San Juan-Chama Project and the water supply to its Middle Rio Grande Project by supporting the direct management of upland forests. This is accomplished by informing stakeholders of the importance of the watersheds above the diversions and reservoirs, and promoting a local economy that can utilize natural resources, including water and forest products, for the benefit of the local community, as well as downstream users. These actions, which together help reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire in the Chama region, protect the infrastructure and water supply that Reclamation uses to serve its contractors and project beneficiaries. <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/VISTA/VISTA.jpg" style="float:left" hspace="10" alt="VISTA Volunteer Will Donahoo describing forest treatments in the Canjilon Region of Northern New Mexico"/> <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56767 Reclamation Awards a $3.7 Million Contract for Silt Pumping Plant Modernization
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $3.7 million contract for modernization of the Silt Pumping Plant to Aslan Construction, from Berthoud, Colorado. The pumping plant is part of the Silt Project located near Rifle, Colorado. <P> The pumping plant was completed in 1967 and pumps water from the Colorado River to be stored in Rifle Gap Reservoir. Water from the reservoir is used for irrigation in the area. Modernization of the pumping plant includes: installing new pumps, refurbishing the pump motors, and replacing the electrical system. <P> Manufacturing of equipment and parts will begin during the winter of 2016. In the fall of 2017, after the irrigation season ends, work will begin to modernize the pumping plant. The project will be completed before the 2018 irrigation season. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56687 Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project Progresses with Two New Contracts Awarded
Farmington, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation recently awarded two new contracts totaling $66.3 million for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project. Those contracts continue construction work on a project that will provide long-term, sustainable water for 43 chapters of the Navajo Nation Reservation, the southwest area of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation and the City of Gallup, New Mexico. <P> On September 7, 2016, Reclamation awarded a $37 million design-build contract to CH2M for the design and construction of a water treatment plant along the project’s Cutter Lateral. Water for the Cutter Lateral will be supplied from Navajo Reservoir via Cutter Reservoir near Bloomfield, N.M. In addition to a state-of-the-art water treatment plant, work under this contract will include design and construction of a clearwell pumping plant, 500,000 gallon regulating tank, 2,500 square foot operation and maintenance building and 21,400 feet of pipeline. The plant will have a phased water treatment system to accommodate increasing flows over time up to a future total capacity of 5.4 million gallons per day. Work under this contract is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2019. <P> On September 8, 2016, Reclamation awarded a second contract valued at $29.3 million to Moltz Constructors, Inc. for construction of Reach 22B of the Cutter Lateral, which will consist of 16 miles of 24-inch diameter pipe and two pumping plants. The pipeline is designed to handle flows up to 9.6 cubic feet per second and is scheduled to be complete in the summer of 2018. <P> “Vital infrastructure is a key focus for President Obama, the Department of the Interior and Reclamation and we’re proud of the monumental work being accomplished on this project by our employees, contractors and partners,” said Commissioner Estevan López. “These awards mark a significant milestone for the project; all Reclamation construction along the Cutter Lateral is now either underway or under contract and we’re on track to begin water deliveries through the lateral in 2019.” said Brent Rhees, Director of Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Region. The Navajo Nation is also moving forward with design and construction of downstream sections of the lateral under a financial assistance agreement with Reclamation. <P> The Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project is the cornerstone of the San Juan River Basin in New Mexico Navajo Nation Water Rights Settlement Agreement. When complete, it will include approximately 300 miles of pipe, two water treatment plants, 19 pumping plants and multiple water storage tanks. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56632 3D Intelligent Model of Glen Canyon Dam
The Bureau of Reclamation constructed numerous dams and powerplants since 1902 utilizing traditional engineering methods and equipment to produce two-dimensional (2D) engineering drawings for design and construction activities. These drawings were drafted by hand until the 1980s when computer aided design (CAD) was introduced in Reclamation. Engineering drawings are still the main output of design and operation and maintenance (O&M) activities today. A major disadvantage of engineering drawings is their focus on discrete components or systems with little reference to adjacent or complementary systems. Recent advances in data capture, three dimensional (3D) CAD models and building information modeling (BIM) have created options for unified intelligent models far beyond current practices. <P> Using commercial off the shelf software and equipment currently operated by Reclamation, this Science and Technology Program project (project ID: 9748) funded by the Research and Development Office seeks to create a unified intelligent model of Glen Canyon Dam and Powerplant to foster enhanced facility management. <P> This intelligent model would serve as a basis for design, O&M, asset management, monitoring, security, and outreach/education. Overall facility operation and management would be enhanced through managers and personnel having better understanding of the facility and interrelated and interconnected systems. <P> Reclamation has utilized Autodesk software, mainly the AutoCAD product family, for over 25 years. These products are used on a daily basis in many offices throughout Reclamation. Reclamation has a long history of collaboration with Autodesk. Autodesk approached Reclamation with a project proposal to create a unified intelligent model of a Reclamation dam and powerplant. Autodesk will also provide funding for a significant portion of the project. The tasks to create this model will be performed by Autodesk and Reclamation personnel. This project will combine and extend several technologies to prove that laser scanning, CAD and BIM can create a unified intelligent model that can be utilized for design and construction, O&M, facility management, safety and security, etc. <P> The proposed project tasks consist of three phases, (1) capture the interior and exterior of the powerplant and dam exterior using stationary laser scanning equipment. (2) Employ aerial photography and underwater sonar to capture the upstream and downstream faces of the dam as well as conditions ¼ mile upstream of the dam site. (3) Create an intelligent 3D model of the facility with overlays for O&M, facility management, security, power distribution and geographic information system. <P> On Monday, August 29, Reclamation staff from every region joined Autodesk to start these phases of work. The 3D image of the pump demonstrated is just a small example of what this project will look like and can accomplish. <P> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="10" width="500" align="center" border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <img alt="" width="500" src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/GCD/Pump.jpg" /><br /> <p><a href="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/GCD/GCDPumpfromPhotos.mp4">Click here for 3D image</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/GCD/Scanning-HC.jpg" style="float:left" hspace="10" alt="Autodesk and History Channel scanning at Glen Canyon Dam"/> <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/GCD/ScanReleaseValve.jpg" style="float:left" hspace="10" alt="Scanning inside valves at Glen Canyon Dam"/> <P> <P> <P>