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2012 Bulletins

These updates are brief news releases from the 2012 fiscal year for Bureau of Reclamation end users, stakeholders, and other parties interested in Reclamation's Research and Development Program findings. You can also view current updates.

Photo of corrosion test results
Using Metalized Thermal Spray Coatings on Reclamation's Infrastructure:
Evaluating corrosion protection for Reclamation equipment
"Metalized coatings provide an alternative to polymer coatings in fluctuating immersion environments when rapid return to service is needed, during cold weather applications, or where volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions are restricted."
Dave Tordonato, Materials Engineer, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-30: Metalized Coatings (PDF, 402 kB)
Photo of destruction at American Falls Heritage site
Tracking History with LiDAR:
Using LiDAR to assess Reclamation's priceless and irreplaceable heritage assets
"This study represents a significant step in cultural resources management, using a recently developed digital imaging tool. It could be an enormous boon for Reclamation in both its fiscal and legal responsibilities to heritage preservation. Reclamation will likely garner national attention with this project."
Tom Lincoln, Archaeologist, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-29: LiDAR at American Falls (PDF, 320 kB)
Diagram showing noisy locations at a powerplant
Reducing Noise Exposure in Powerplants:
Providing engineering solutions to reduce noise to help ensure employee health and safety
"Of our worker's compensation costs, about 20 to 25 percent is due to hearing loss compensation. Dollar-wise, it's the largest single component of claims that we have. This project is an opportunity to protect our employees. Changing the infrastructure protects this and future generations of powerplant employees."
James Meredith, Safety and Occupational Health Program Manager, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-28: Noise in Powerplants (PDF, 457 kB)
Screenshot of fish passage database
Joint EWRI-AFS Fish Passage Reference Database:
Adding Reclamation's studies and reports to a fish passage clearinghouse
Access citations of current and historic literature on fish passage engineering, biology, design, and relevant disciplines.
Bulletin 2012-27: Fish Passage Database (PDF, 274 kB)
A solar still that uses a unique tilt, shallow depth of brine, and condensing tubes
Renewable Energy Options for Desalination:
Using renewable energy to reduce desalination costs
Renewable energy increases the sustainability of desalination processes, but research is needed to reduce overall costs and environmental impacts. This update lists several Reclamation-funded several studies that investigate ways to use renewable energy for desalination.
Bulletin 2012-26: Renewable Energy for Desalination (PDF, 355 kB)
Coatings for mussels
Coatings for Invasive Mussel Control:
Evaluating foul-release coatings to protect Reclamation infrastructure
"The silicone and fluorinated silicone foul release coatings have been successful thus far in preventing or minimizing fouling. The limitations will be when debris is present in the water that will rub, abrade, or gouge the coating. These coating systems should work well on infrastructure that is free of debris."
Allen Skaja, Chemist, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-25: Foul-Release Coatings (PDF, 355 kB)
Photo of people looking for a site for renewable energy
Renewable Energy Assessment for Reclamation:
Determining ways to use renewable energy on Reclamation lands
"Reclamation has several cost-effective opportunities to integrate renewable energy sources into its facilities as well as along existing right-of-ways for water supply projects such as the Central Arizona Project. Integration of renewable energy technologies with critical water supply infrastructure will allow Reclamation to be at the forefront of meeting national and regional sustainability and critical infrastructure goals."
Mitch Haws, Program Development Division, Phoenix Area Office, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-24: Renewable Energy (PDF, 454 kB)
Schema for selenium treatment process
San Joaquin Selenium Solutions: From Research to Reality:
Research provided innovative alternatives to address selenium in irrigation drainage
"This is an excellent example of some of the many ways Reclamation and innovators can approach seemingly intractable problems and provide a larger suite of potential solutions for decisionmakers rather than being limited to off-the-shelf solutions. This project shows the research process of problem identification, testing conventional alternatives and researching new and unproved techniques, followed by pilot-scale testing, extensive internal and external technical review, and now demonstration that leads to full-scale implementation."
Kevin Price, Advanced Water Treatment Research Coordinator, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-23: San Joaquin Selenium (PDF, 497 kB)
Photo showing hydrophones and boat to measure sediment movement
Acoustic Hydrophones to Measure Sediment Transport:
Measuring underwater sounds of moving sediment can help quantify sediment in rivers
"Collaborative efforts such as this hydroacoustic study that help develop methods for real-time river monitoring make the Trinity River a destination for scientists and science-based adaptive management, too."
Robin Schrock, Executive Director, Trinity River Restoration Program, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-22: Acoustic Hydrophones (PDF, 357 kB)
Screenshot of power system curves for optimal water releases
Advanced Algorithms for Hydropower Optimization:
Determining the most economic way to operate generator units
"Improved efficiency will result in the generation of more electric power using less water, benefitting water and power users as well as the American taxpayer."
Dr. David Harpman, Economist, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-21: Hydropower Algorithms (PDF, 372 kB)
This sketch shows a set of climate factors.
Effects of Climate Change on Riparian Vegetation Structure, Water Uptake, and Dependent Pollinators:
How could climate change affect semiarid riparian habitats, and what measures can we take?
"Semiarid and arid Western North America is environmentally diverse. However, many climate-change effects will vary in size or direction across the region. Immediate research priorities include determining riparian species' environmental requirements and monitoring riparian ecosystems to allow rapid detection and response to undesirable ecological change."
Perry, L.G., D.C. Andersen, L.V. Reynolds, S.M. Nelson, and P.B. Shafroth 2012. Vulnerability of riparian ecosystems to elevated CO2 and climate change in arid and semiarid western North America. Global Change Biology 18(3): 821-842.
Bulletin 2012-20: Riparian Effects from Climate Change (PDF, 315 kB)
Sketch of EOP repelling water
Electro-Osmotic Pulse (EOP) Technology:
Adapting EOP technology to handle water seepage problems at Reclamation's unique facilities
"EOP technology can mitigate many water-related problems from the interior of affected areas without the cost of excavation. This can mitigate corrosion damage to equipment and reinforcement and reduce operation and maintenance costs."
Daryl Little, Materials Engineer, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-19: EOP Technology (PDF, 513 kB)
Photo of canal breach.
Projecting Economic Consequences of Urban Canal Breaches:
Adapting risk management techniques for dams to canals
"We can use this analysis to help our efforts to protect the public and the environment from the risks posed by potential canal breaches."
Bill Goettlicher, Physical Scientist, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-18: Urban Canals (PDF, 520 kB)
Photo of overshot gate that the irrigation district constructed themselves.
Simplified Overshot Gate Development:
Overshot gates that irrigation districts can construct themselves
"The overshot gate on our spill structure fully meets our needs at a fraction of the cost of a commercially built gate. With the linear actuator, the gate is SCADA ready and will be automated for upstream level control."
Charlie Bartlett, Board Member, South Platte Ditch Irrigation Company, Colorado
Bulletin 2012-17: Overshot Gates (PDF, 365 kB)
Photo of concrete construction.
Best Practices for Preparing Concrete Surfaces for Repairs and Overlays:
Providing guidance for effective concrete repairs
"Regardless of the cost, complexity, and quality of repair material and application method employed, the quality of the surface preparation of the substrate prior to repair will often determine whether a repair project is a success or a failure, and whether a repaired structure meets the design objectives."
Vaysburd, A.M., G.M. Sabnis, P.H. Emmons, and J.E. McDonald, "Interfacial Bond and Surface Preparation in Concrete Repair," Indian Concrete Journal, No. 15, January 2001, 27-33.
Bulletin 2012-16:Best Concrete Practices (PDF, 279 kB)
Photo of fish swimming test.
Establish Swimming Performance Criteria for Fish:
Using fish swimming performance data to improve the design and operations at Reclamation facilities
"Reclamation engineers can use these data, particularly the swimming endurance curves, when designing screens and barriers for fish. These curves, which define the burst, prolonged, and sustained swimming performance, can be used to predict the approach velocities at Reclamation structures and screens that are likely to result in impingement or entrainment."
Zachary Sutphin, Fish Biologist, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-15: Fish Swimming Performance (PDF, 328 kB)
sketch of hydroacoustic survey at Glen Canyon Dam
Hydroacoustic Surveys of Pelagic Fishes in the Glen Canyon Dam Forebay:
Conducting research to help manage endangered species
"This study is an important component of the knowledge base that Reclamation will use for future determination of the feasibility of releasing warm, epilimnetic water below Glen Canyon Dam through a selective withdrawal, particularly with regard to impacts on native and non-native fish species."
Dennis Kubly, Program Manager, Environmental Resources Division, Upper Colorado Region, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-14: Pelagic Fish Surveys (PDF, 297 kB)

This photo shows a fish undergoing ultrasound testing.
Using Ultrasound as a Tool for Fish Research and Management:
Ultrasound provides non-invasive methods to assess fish
"Ultrasound is a rapid and non-invasive technique for fish. We can identify maturity and gender in less than 5 seconds per fish. Ultrasound is extremely accurate (greater than 90%) for both maturity status and gender determination, reducing our handling events from four to just two. Ultrasound models are both inexpensive and durable. I would highly recommend investigating this technology for your use."
Carlin McAuley, Fisheries Biologist, Manchester Research StationNOAA Fisheries,
Bulletin 2012-13: Ultrasound for Fish (PDF, 315 kB)
photo of canal construction
Radio Telemetered Flow Monitoring and Canal Control Technologies:
Accelerating adoption of canal modernization technologies by using hands-on demonstration sites
"The most important aspect of the workshop was to provide an exposure that was unavailable anywhere else. Now our employees are wanting to make improvements faster than we can fund them."
Mike Delka, Manager, Nebraska Bostwick Irrigation District, Nebraska
Bulletin 2012-12: Canal Modernization (PDF, 356 kB)
logo for Trinity River Restoration Portal
Trinity River Restoration Program's (TRRP) Online Data Portal:
New website allows agencies to share data for improved river system management efficiency and productivity
"The TRRP has been successful in linking the theory and practice of data stewardship in an efficient data portal. The TRRP system documents, preserves, and makes available valuable data collected by the program. By doing so, in a manner that is both user friendly and accessible to all interested parties, it has increased the value and utility of the datasets now and for years to come.
Eric Peterson, Data Steward for the Trinity River Restoration Program, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-11: Online Data Portal (PDF, 298 kB)
schematic showing desalination pilot plant elements
Reverse Osmosis (RO) Energy Savings for Seawater and Brackish Water:
Equipment and process design improvements reduce RO desalination energy usage and associated costs
"Desalination technology benefits all water managers and agencies that need to use saline water sources to minimize the risk of water supply shortages. Seawater and some brackish water sources are more reliable than many freshwater sources."
Kevin Price, Advanced Water Treatment Research Coordinator, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-10: RO Energy Savings (PDF, 291 kB)
chemical metering
Chemical Metering and Control System:
Delivers a constant, monitored flow of chemicals where needed-especially over fluctuating flow systems
"The control system in conjunction with the pumping system has excellent potential for precision delivery of herbicides in linear flow systems. The ability to deliver these defined doses should spur future studies with which to determine the minimum rates and exposures needed to control given nuisance species."
David Sisneros, Biologist, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-09: Chemical Metering System (PDF, 480 kB)
This sketch shows a plane conducting LiDAR testing.
Using USGS LiDAR for Aquatic Habitat Mapping and Hydraulic Modeling:
USGS LiDAR can measure channel depths to provide accurate representations of aquatic environments
"We can use these advanced tools and practices for increasing our knowledge base to help inform our water management decisions on other rivers where we have facilities."
Allyn Meuleman, Activity Manager, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-08: Aquatic Mapping LiDAR (PDF, 593 kB)
This shows a power generator.
Power System Stability Improvements:
Improving generator controller and power system performance through improved data analysis.
"Powerplant managers and regional power system managers will benefit from improved generator/controller simulation models. Improved power management and the reduced potential for problems such as blackouts will benefit all consumers."
J. Agee, Electrical Engineer, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-07: Power Stability Improvemetns (PDF, 84 kB)
This photo is of a rock weir.
Evaluation of River-spanning Rock Ramp Performance and Evaluation of River-spanning Rock Weir Performance:
Design guidelines will improve performance and reduce repairs and replacement costs
This research is part of a larger effort to evaluate the use of natural materials in many types of water engineering projects. Research results will be in a river-spanning rock structure design guidance document.
Bulletin 2012-06: Rock Ramps (PDF, 727 kB)
Bulletin 2012-05: Rock Weirs (PDF, 233 kB)

This is a photo of men fixing concrete.
Adding Materials to Concrete to Reduce Shrinkage Cracking:
New method can eliminate or reduce cracking in concrete
"Reclamation needs crack-free concrete repairs to extend the life of our aging infrastructure. Thus, finding effective ways to make concrete repairs with cementitious materials that will not crack are vital to lengthen the life of a repair and ensure structural stability."
Kurt Von Fay, Civil Engineer, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-04:Concrete Additives for Cracking (PDF, 47 kB)
This photo shows a desalination unit.
Desalination and Water Purification Research Program 2012 Awards:
Facilitates partnerships to develop more effective, environmentally sensitive ways to increase water supplies
"By investing in alternative water treatment technology research, we are working to find ways to stretch the nation's current water supply, use less energy, and reduce impacts to the environment. The research we are funding has the potential to unlock efficiencies that ensure future water supplies, strengthen our economy, and create jobs."
Commissioner Connor, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-03: Desalination Awards, 2012 (PDF, 300 kB)
This photo shows a pipe
Zebra and Quagga Mussels:
Preventing the spread and addressing the impacts from invasive mussels in Western U.S. waters
"Quagga mussels pose serious threats to Reclamation's infrastructure and operations at Hoover, Davis, and Parker Dams' hydroelectric generation facilities. Intakes, pipes,and strainers are becoming clogged with these creatures, reducing the abilities of these structures to pump and deliver water and generate hydropower."
Reclamation Lower Colorado Region News Release on quagga mussels at Davis Dam, June 13, 2011
Bulletin 2012-02: Zebra and Quagga Mussels Control (PDF, 701 kB)
This is a screenshot of the website discussed below.
Downscaled Climate and Hydrology Projections Website:
New daily climate and Western U.S. hydrology projections are now available
"Through July 2011, this web site has served projections to about 1,000 users, collectively issued through approximately 11,000 downloads. The requests have covered the contiguous U.S. and parts of southern Canada and northern Mexico."
Levi Brekke, Water and Climate Research Coordinator, Reclamation
Bulletin 2012-01: Climate Change Website (PDF, 575 kB)

This information was last updated on May 2, 2013
Contact the Research and Development Office with questions or comments about this page