Bureau of Reclamation Banner
This information is intended to convey the underlying concepts for Reclamation's decision processes. It is not mandatory.
See the Reclamation Manual for official Reclamation-wide requirements.

Reclamation's Decision Process Guide

Why Read This?

pretty border

navigate in the page--What Decision Processes Can Do For You

The government has a reputation for being unable to solve problems. Expensive, lengthy studies suggest solutions but lie on a shelf, unfunded. Unsolved problems fester and grow until they are nearly impossible to solve.

People want solutions. People set up the Federal Government to help solve problems that cannot be addressed in any other way. So why does it take so long to do something? Why can't government agencies work with interested and affected organizations, other government entities, and people to solve problems quickly and effectively?

We can. But solutions really happen within a complex of:

  • Diverse, often competing interests
  • Interrelated resources and processes
  • A history of governmental and private actions

Solutions come from working with groups and individuals who have diverging needs, issues, and concerns. Decisions about developing and protecting resources, managing projects, and meeting needs that fall within Reclamation's mission, thus, cannot be made quickly or blindly.

So everyone who participates in a Reclamation decision (Reclamation professionals, cooperating State and Federal agencies, consultants, stakeholders*definition , decisionmakers*definition, etc.) needs to understand how decision processes work. Following a fluid decision process can help participants and decisionmakers reach and implement a confident, balanced decision--one capable of withstanding the scrutiny of multiple publics and even the courts, if necessary. The guide describes the underlying purposes and goals of each step in the decision process so that you can adapt the process to your needs and communicate effectively with participants.

pretty border

navigate in the page--Go On

Process Tour spiralling forward -------> Before Funding

pretty border

GeneralReading Aids



Please contact Deena Larsen 303-445-2584 with questions or comments on this material.