2011 Multi-State Salinity Summit

Remarks Delivered By:
Michael Connor, Commissioner

February 17, 2011

Commissioner's Address to the 2011 Multi-State Salinity Summit

Good afternoon everybody, my name is Mike Connor, commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. I regret that I'm not there to be with you today in the Salinity Summit in San Antonio.

My schedule is constantly evolving, and it snuck up on me, some of the things that I need to do. I did want to address you, however, and talk a little bit about Reclamation's initiatives. In particular, we rolled out our 2012 budget yesterday. It's a tough budget, we had to make some difficult choices, but nonetheless, I think from your perspective in looking at our desalination programs you'll see that we recognize at the Bureau of Reclamation that desalination is an important tool to meet the water challenges of the future.

We're focused on trying to promote certainty, sustainability and resiliency with respect to the use of water resources and desalination and other water augmentation strategies are going to be a key part of that effort. So when you look through our budget I think that you'll see that there's still a commitment to the science and technology programs that many of you have participated in over the past. We've still got a strong commitment to the brackish groundwater national research desalination facility in New Mexico and we're going to move forward with that budget, advocate for it and with you hopefully we'll all be in a position to meet those future water supply challenges. As I said before, I regret that I'm not there to be with you today and addressing and having that interaction and dialogue that's critical for me as well as for you.

You're in good hands today with Mike Gabaldon, our director of technical resources. Mike has graciously agreed to fill in for me. I know many of you have had long experience in working with Mike in his current capacity. He's going to tell you a little bit more about our programs, and our budget and some of the initiatives that we've got going on. So, I look forward to getting some feedback from Mike from this conference. And, I'll turn it over to him now, thank you very much.