February 23, 2018
The new year is well on its way, and I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the Bureau of Reclamation’s new newsletter. This is not only a way for us to communicate with you – our valued customers and stakeholders – but it is also a way to highlight the efforts and achievements of Reclamation staff. I am both excited and honored to make 2018 our best year ever, and I know it’s possible because of all the talented and hardworking people who are part of the Reclamation team.
It is a pleasure to work with our customers, partners and stakeholders to address important issues and challenges at the forefront of our agenda. We sincerely appreciate your feedback about our continued efforts and commitments toward ensuring water reliability, reinvesting in our infrastructure, formulating innovative financial strategies, streamlining our efforts to improve efficiency, and finally, how to do all of this while ensuring a culture of safety and respect.
In recent news, Reclamation convened a policy review group – a broad, multidisciplinary team of senior leaders and program specialists to perform a comprehensive review of Reclamation’s policy process. Based on this effort, Reclamation is working to improve how we develop and review our policies and directives.
In addition to our work to improve the policy review process, Reclamation recently released the Fiscal Year 2019 budget for Reclamation, in which the President proposed $1.049 billion for Reclamation. More information is available at https://www.usbr.gov/budget.
In the last few weeks, Reclamation announced the preparation of an EIS analyzing potential modifications during the long-term operations of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project.
We welcome the participation of our stakeholders throughout this process to determine the best strategies for maximizing water deliveries and power generation in light of the WIIN Act and current conditions of endangered and threatened fish populations.
Continuing on the track of collaboration, Reclamation has prepared legislation for title transfers to send to Congress for consideration. This bill intends to authorize the establishment of a title transfer program from within the Department of the Interior, to be managed by Reclamation. It would examine the public benefits of transferring portions of Reclamation projects and lands out of federal ownership, and would provide a predictable and efficient path toward title transfer. Additionally, the proposed legislation would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to convey all rights, title and interest in any eligible facility.
As the largest water provider in the West, all of us here at Reclamation have a significant duty to ensure water reliability while bringing parties together. I am confident in the strength, expertise and tenacity of this organization, and I know that together, we can address the challenges of today, and for generations to come.