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Pick Sloan Missouri Basin Program
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General Description | Plan | Development | Benefits
General Description

The Missouri Basin Interagency Committee was established by the Federal Interagency River Basin Committee in April 1945 to coordinate the activities of the participating Federal agencies and the 10 Missouri Basin States in developing the water resources of the basin. A revised charter was adopted in 1954 to provide improved facilities and procedures for coordination of the policies, programs, and activities of the various Federal departments and the States in water and related land resources investigation, planning, construction, operation, and maintenance. In March 1972, the Interagency Committee was replaced by establishment of the Missouri River Basin Commission. The commission membership consisted of a chairman appointed by the President; the Governors of the 10 States which make up the Missouri Basin States; representatives from 10 Federal agencies - Departments of the Interior, Army, Agriculture, Commerce, Health, Education and Welfare, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation, and the Energy Research and Development Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; the interstate commission for the Big Blue River and Yellowstone River Compacts; and the Canadian Government as an observer. This commission was replaced by the Missouri Basin States Association in 1981.

The Bureau of Reclamation program in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming is composed of about 150 units, each of which has been or is being constructed or investigated. Activities under the program include units completed and in operation, units under construction, and units, areas, or subbasins being investigated to meet the continuing water and land-related needs of the Missouri River Basin. The Corps of Engineer`s program includes major main-stem reservoirs and flood control projects. The Bureau of Reclamation cooperates with the Corps of Engineers and other agencies in the joint coordinated plan of conservation, control, and use of the basin`s water resources. Cooperating agencies within the Department of the Interior, in addition to the Bureau of Reclamation, include the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Mines, Fish and Wildlife Service, Geological Survey, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Office of Water Research.

The power systems of the Colorado-Big Thompson, Kendrick, Shoshone, and North Platte Projects have been integrated with the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program for the purpose of marketing the power produced from these projects. In return for all the power generated surplus to project needs on the integrated projects, the program returns, to each project, revenues sufficient to cover the annual production operating expenses and a reserve for replacement of facilities and to allow net operating revenue great enough to repay the power and irrigation construction costs obligated for repayment from power revenues.

The Bureau of Reclamation`s plan for development of the water resources of the Missouri River Basin was presented to the Congress May 5, 1944, (Senate Document No. 191, 78th Congress, 2d session). A plan sponsored by the Corps of Engineers (House Document No. 475, 78th Congress, 2d session) was submitted to the Congress March 2, 1944. Senate Document No. 247, coordinating the plans of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Corps of Engineers, was submitted to the Senate November 21, 1944. On December 22, 1944, the President signed the Flood Control Act of 1944, Public Law 534, 78th Congress, 2d session, which approved the coordinated plan and authorized appropriations to each of the two agencies for construction of the initial stages.

The Flood Control Act of 1946, approved July 24, 1946, authorized additional appropriations to the Department of the Interior for the further development of the comprehensive plan adopted by the Flood Control Act of 1944. This act extended the authorization to all units of the plan in addition to the initial stage authorized in the 1944 act. Further appropriations have provided for the continued development of the program.

The act of August 14, 1964, Public Law 88-442, requires that any unit of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program which was not under construction or in operation during August 1964 must be subsequently authorized before construction can be started. Most Bureau of Reclamation projects in the Missouri Basin which were built before 1944 are separate and independent from the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program, although the Congress has integrated a few of them into the program.

Many of the key features of the program have been completed and are in operation. Others are under construction. A large number of the remaining features will require considerable investigation before they can be proposed for authorization. It is necessary to continue investigations of the general plan of development, as well as advance planning on units authorized for construction. This ensures an orderly development of water and related resources for the maximum benefit of the basin`s residents and the Nation.

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Last updated: Jul 20, 2012