Commissioner's Offce News Releases http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom News Releases from Reclamation's Commissioner's Office https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62292 Bureau of Reclamation provides $260,000 for two WaterSMART drought contingency planning projects
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman announced that the El Dorado County Water Agency and Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District will receive $260,000, combined, to prepare drought contingency plans. The funding provided is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior's WaterSMART initiative. <P> "Preparing for drought is imperative for communities throughout the Western United States," Commissioner Burman said. "Through drought contingency planning, communities can reduce impacts of drought, avoid the likelihood of catastrophic reductions and recover more quickly when drought conditions lessen." <P> The El Dorado County Water Agency in California will receive $100,000 to create a regional drought contingency plan for the upper American River and upper Consumnes River watersheds located east of Sacramento, California. These watersheds are an important source of water to meet residential, agricultural, recreation and hydroelectric generation water demands. There are numerous small rural communities and several concentrated populated areas within the planning area. The regional plan will build on existing planning efforts, including the on-going American River Basin Study, and the North American Basin Regional Drought Contingency Plan recently completed downstream under Reclamation’s Drought Response Program. <P> The Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District in Utah will receive $160,000 to develop a drought contingency plan for its service area in Salt Lake and Utah counties. The district's service area includes 15 cities and is home to nearly 25% of Utah's population and is expecting rapid population growth due to a healthy economy. The district will assemble stakeholders from all sectors to identify projects, actions and partnerships needed to prepare for and reduce water shortages and improve drought resilience for the areas water users. <P> Drought contingency planning is part of Reclamation's Drought Response Program. It helps communities recognize the next drought in its early stages, learn how droughts will impact them, and protect themselves during the next drought. It is structured to encourage an open and inclusive planning effort to build long-term resiliency to drought. Learn more at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/drought/">https://www.usbr.gov/drought/</a>. <P> Through WaterSMART, Reclamation works cooperatively with States, Tribes, and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts. Visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart">https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart</a> for additional information about WaterSMART. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62175 Bureau of Reclamation launches prize competition seeking improved methods for monitoring pathogens to facilitate water reuse
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation is launching a new prize competition that is seeking improved methods to sample and monitor for pathogens, specifically viruses, in order to help with indirect and direct reuse of wastewater. Solutions sought through this prize competition must improve on the current state of the technology for virus monitoring. <P> This is stage one of a planned two-stage challenge. This competition is a theoretical challenge where participants will be asked to submit ideas, along with detailed descriptions, specifications, supporting data or literature, and requirements necessary to bring the idea closer to becoming a product. Up to five prizes may be awarded for a total prize award pool of $80,000. To be successful in this competition, the solution must accelerate the development of either direct or indirect virus monitoring methods for water reuse applications. <P> If stage one demonstrates that a second stage is beneficial, stage two will launch as a subsequent competition. In the second stage of the competition, participants will be asked to present their technology and submit a working prototype that puts their idea into practice. Stage two anticipates having a larger prize purse. You will not have to participate stage one of the prize competition to participate in stage two. <P> Reclamation is the seeker on this competition and Xylem, Inc. is a co-sponsor, contributing to all aspects, including the prize purse. The Environmental Protection Agency and The Water Reuse Foundation are collaborating on various aspects of this competition. <P> To learn more, please visit the challenge website at: <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/research/challenges/pathogen.html">https://www.usbr.gov/research/challenges/pathogen.html</a>. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62170 Another dry year in the Colorado River Basin increases the need for additional state and federal actions
WASHINGTON - 2018 has brought record-low snowpack levels to many locations in the Colorado River Basin, making this the driest 19-year period on record. With the depressed snowpack and warming conditions, experts indicate that runoff from the Rocky Mountains into Lake Powell this spring will yield only 42 percent of the long-term average. <P> With drought and low runoff conditions dating back to 2000, this current period is one of the worst drought cycles over the past 1,200 plus years. <P> While many water users in the Colorado River Basin have already experienced significant hardships, three factors have avoided a crisis – so far – in the Basin: <P> <ul> <li>Water stored in Colorado River reservoirs during prior years of plentiful snowpack and runoff has helped ensure continued and reliable water and power from Reclamation infrastructure.</li> <li>Reclamation reservoirs were nearly full when drought conditions began in 2000 providing ample water supplies that have carried the Basin through this period of historic drought.</li> <li>Voluntary water conservation efforts taken by Reclamation, the seven Colorado River Basin states, water districts and Mexico have stabilized the decline of Lake Mead – delaying the onset of reductions to water users in Arizona, Nevada, Mexico, and ultimately California. But these efforts by themselves would not protect Lake Mead and Lake Powell if drought conditions persist.</li> </ul> <P> The infrastructure built by prior generations is working, but the best information available shows a high likelihood of significant water reductions in the Colorado River Basin in the years ahead. Concerns are increasing as forecast models predict a 52 percent chance of shortage conditions at Lake Mead beginning in 2020, with a greater than 60 percent likelihood of shortage thereafter. Over the past decade, the risk of declining to critical reservoir levels has approximately tripled. <P> Following strong calls for action in 2017, Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman is focused on the increased risk from another dry year in the Colorado River Basin. She noted that there is no indication that the current low runoff and drought conditions will end anytime soon. She emphasized that the extended drought and increased risk of crisis in the Colorado River Basin requires prompt action. <P> "We need action and we need it now. We can’t afford to wait for a crisis before we implement drought contingency plans," said Reclamation Commissioner Burman. "We all—states, tribes, water districts, non-governmental organizations—have an obligation and responsibility to work together to meet the needs of over 40 million people who depend on reliable water and power from the Colorado River. I’m calling on the Colorado River basin states to put real – and effective – drought contingency plans in place before the end of this year." <P> In 2017, the United States and Mexico agreed to a new strategy that would lead to increased savings of water by Mexico, but that agreement will only go into effect if the Lower Basin states of Arizona, California and Nevada finalize their drought contingency plan. <P> "Adoption of additional water conservation measures now is the best approach to protect Lake Mead as we continue to work on long-term solutions," said Lower Colorado Regional Director Terry Fulp. <P> Upper Colorado Regional Director Brent Rhees added, "We’ve weathered the past two decades of drought thanks to our water storage infrastructure. Completing drought contingency plans will provide better certainty for continued reliable water and power." <P> <em>The following individual statements were provided by the Governors' Representatives of the Colorado River Basin States:</em> <P> <ul> <li>Pat Tyrrell, Wyoming’s State Engineer stated: "This is a critical juncture and we must complete drought contingency plans in both the Upper Basin and the Lower Basin prior to crisis. Further delay is not an option, and I have to believe we can get to 'yes.' Full implementation of Minute 323 with Mexico is only possible when the drought contingency plans are complete, and with Lower Basin shortages likely by 2020, we have no other palatable solution."</li> <br /> <li>"Colorado is heartened by Commissioner Burman's call to action, stands at the ready to move drought contingency planning forward, and agrees that the situation is urgent. Paraphrasing Ben Franklin, the states must hang together or we'll hang separately," said Colorado's James Eklund.</li> <br /> <li>"With the threat of this unprecedented drought continuing, the Colorado River Basin States and Mexico need to complete drought contingency planning efforts in the near future. We need the participation of all these parties in order to ensure this goal’s accomplishment. It has never been more important to work together," said Eric Millis, Director of the Utah Division of Water Resources.</li> <br /> <li>"New Mexico believes that drought contingency plans are a key step to surviving this exceptional drought. Now is the time for us to come together and establish a path for the future of the Colorado River Basin," said Tom Blaine, New Mexico State Engineer.</li> <br /> <li>"This ongoing drought is a serious situation and Mother Nature does not care about our politics or our schedules," said John Entsminger, Southern Nevada Water Authority general manager. "We have a duty to get back to the table and finish the Drought Contingency Plan to protect the people and the environment that rely upon the Colorado River."</li> <br /> <li>California’s Colorado River Commissioner, Bart Fisher, stated that, "California’s Colorado River agencies recognize the continuing poor hydrologic conditions within both California and the Colorado River Basin, and remain fully committed to collaborate with our partner states in completing the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan and ensuring activation of the Mexican Binational Water Scarcity Contingency Plan contained within Minute No. 323."</li> <br /> <li>"The completion of the lower basin states’ Drought Contingency Plan is vitally important to Arizonans. The plan reduces the likelihood of Lake Mead declining to critically low levels and incentivizes the use of tools to conserve water in the Lake so that reductions in delivery of Arizona’s Colorado River supplies are avoided or lessened," said Thomas Buschatzke, Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources.</li> </ul> <P> In addition to Reclamation's ongoing work with the Colorado River Basin states, it also coordinates with the Upper Colorado River Commission. Felicity Hannay, Chair of the Upper Colorado River Commission, said that "The Commission takes the position that implementation of drought contingency plans in both basins is critical to get us through this dry spell." <P> Projections of Lake Powell and Lake Mead operations for the next five years can be found at <a href="https://go.usa.gov/xQNM7" target="_blank">https://go.usa.gov/xQNM7</a>. <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61950 Bureau of Reclamation extends public comment period for project use power draft directive and standard until May 11, 2018
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has extended the public comment period on the draft directive and standard that defines the eligible uses and recipients of project use power and related cost recovery and rate setting methodology. Comments are due by May 11, 2018. <P> The draft directive and standard is available at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/recman">https://www.usbr.gov/recman</a>. <P> This draft release is an update to an existing directive and standard, published in 2005 and reflects comments received per the initial review and comment period, announced in April 2017. Project use power is that electrical capacity, energy, and associated ancillary service components required to provide the minimum electrical service needed to operate and/or maintain Reclamation Project facilities in conformance with project authorization. <P> Various Congressional authorizations give Reclamation the ability to develop, generate, and use electrical power for the benefit of Reclamation project lands and other purposes. The power can be used for various functions, such as pumping water associated with irrigating Reclamation project lands. This directive and standard describes the various authorized uses. <P> Congressional authorizations for project use power vary across Reclamation projects; to the extent this directive and standard can be interpreted to conflict with such congressional authorizations, the congressional authorizations control. <P> Your questions or comments on this draft directive and standards should be sent to Clark Bishop at cbishop@usbr.gov. <P> Learn more about Reclamation's Power Program at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/power">https://www.usbr.gov/power</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61912 Bureau of Reclamation selects eight ideas for its More Water, Less Concentrate prize competition
WASHINGTON – Eight ideas were selected from the Stage 1 portion of the More Water, Less Concentrate prize competition. The competition sought innovative concepts to expand usable water supplies by maximizing fresh water production from inland desalination systems in a cost-effective and environmentally sound manner. The solvers will share $150,000. <P> "The demand for fresh water will be increasing, and we need to be able to develop new water supplies from non-traditional water sources, like brackish groundwater and surface water using desalination and novel technologies," Commissioner Brenda Burman said. <P> Currently, significant and desirable water supplies are trapped in concentrate streams that are a byproduct of desalination technologies. The cost to manage or dispose of concentrate is rather large and limiting to utilization of desalination in inland applications. This challenge sought innovative concepts to expand usable water supplies by maximizing fresh water production from inland desalination systems, and thereby reduce the volume of concentrate. <P> The National Academy of Sciences identified developing cost-effective approaches for concentrate management that minimize environmental impacts as one of their highest priority research topics to enable the more widespread use of desalination to expand water supplies in the United States. <P> The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation, and the Water Research Foundation collaborated with Reclamation on this competition. <P> To advance the concepts developed in Stage 1, Reclamation will be hosting a follow-up competition, seeking working prototypes of innovative technologies to reduce concentrate volumes at inland desalination facilities and increase water supplies. <P> The Stage 1 winners of the More Water, Less Concentrate Prize Competition are: <P> <strong>Lawrence Kearns, Chicago, Illinois</strong> <br /> Kearns’s SunTunnel system uses the favorable environment of a low-cost solar hoop house to improve the performance of evaporation pans and coiled evaporation hoses in high-density arrangements. This system dramatically reduces the land area required to process concentrate. <P> <strong>David Orlebeke, Ridgecrest, California</strong> <br /> Orlebeke proposes to treat reverse osmosis concentrate by utilizing a novel electrolytic oxidation process coupled with sub-micron regenerative diatomaceous earth filtration for conversion and removal of dissolved solids to insoluble oxidized precipitates; conversion of hydrocarbons to base elements; and inactivation of microbial pathogens without requiring the adjustment of pH, temperature, or coagulation chemical agents. <P> <strong>Emily Tow, Jaichander Swaminathan, David Warsinger and John Lienhard, Cambridge, Massachusetts </strong> <br /> This group proposed the use of concentrate from existing reverse osmosis plants that are acidified and then further concentrated using batch reverse osmosis. Batch RO is a variant of the RO process that can enhance water recovery due to its tolerance of adverse fouling conditions, and the team has developed novel configurations with high energy efficiency. <P> <strong>Edem Tsikata, Boston, Massachusetts</strong> <br /> Tsikata’s proposal utilizes electrochemical techniques to reduce fouling of reverse osmosis membranes and concentrate brine. The solution is inexpensive and readily scales to treat several million gallons of water per day. <P> <strong>William B. Krantz and Tzyy Haur Chong, Boulder, Colorado</strong> <br /> Krantz’s High Recovery RO process is a novel technology for treating inland water that has a high total dissolved solids content. It offers the advantages of a significantly increased overall water recovery at a reduced pressure and competitive specific energy consumption. A particular advantage is that it can be retrofitted to existing large-scale water treatment plants. <P> <strong>Tzahi Cath and Johan Vanneste, Golden, Colorado</strong> <br /> Cath’s concept utilizes high recovery membrane distillation with chemical-free mineral recovery. A continuous filter-integrated system design is proposed that can dramatically increase the water recovery and recover valuable minerals. <P> <strong>Amy Childress, Los Angeles, California</strong> <br /> Childress’s objective is to develop and demonstrate the performance of an integrated membrane distillation system using novel membrane materials by using a newly developed operational paradigm and powered by an integrated low-cost energy source. The proposed system will address the main issues that have prevented scale-up of membrane distillation systems for concentrate management. <P> <strong>Zachary Hendren, Durham, North Carolina</strong> <br /> Hendren’s proposed solution is to significantly increase water recovery in desalination systems using electrically conductive membrane distillation. The electric charge repulsion mechanism on the membrane distillation surface can alleviate scaling that would occur on a normal membrane process. <P> For more information about the More Water, Less Concentrate prize competition, visit: <a href="https://go.usa.gov/xneFZ">https://go.usa.gov/xneFZ</a>. <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61828 Bureau of Reclamation announces fiscal year 2018 WaterSMART Program funding opportunities for water and energy efficiency, small-scale water efficiency, and water marketing strategy projects
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has released three funding opportunities for fiscal year 2018, Water and Energy Efficiency Grants, Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects and Water Marketing Strategy Grants, all of which are part of the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART program initiative. <P> Through WaterSMART, Reclamation provides three types of grants. The Water and Energy Efficiency Grants will be awarded to projects that result in quantifiable water savings and those which support broader water reliability benefits. Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects will be awarded to small-scale water management projects that have been identified through previous planning efforts. Water Marketing Strategy Grants will be awarded to entities exploring actions that can be taken to develop or facilitate water marketing. <P> States, Indian tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority located in the Western United States or United States Territories are eligible to apply for these funding opportunities. <P> <blockquote>Applicants for Water and Energy Efficiency Grants must submit their proposals by 4:00 p.m. MDT on Thursday, May 10, 2018. To view this funding opportunity, please visit <a href="https://www.grants.gov">www.grants.gov</a> and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-18-F006.</blockquote> <P> <blockquote>Applicants for Water Marketing Strategy Grants must submit their proposals by 4:00 p.m. MDT, on Wednesday, July 17, 2018. To view this funding opportunity, please visit <a href="https://www.grants.gov">www.grants.gov</a> and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-18-F010.</blockquote> <P> <blockquote>Applicants for Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects must submit their proposals by 4:00pm MDT on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. To view this funding opportunity, please visit <a href="https://www.grants.gov">www.grants.gov</a> and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-18-F009. </blockquote> <P> The aforementioned project funding opportunities include financial assistance provided by Reclamation under its WaterSMART Grants program, on a 50/50 cost-share basis. To learn more about the WaterSMART Grants program, please visit: <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/">https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/</a>. <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61820 Bureau of Reclamation extends public comment period for project use power draft directive and standard until April 11, 2018
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has extended the public comment period on the draft directive and standard that defines the eligible uses and recipients of project use power and related cost recovery and rate setting methodology. Comments are due by April 11, 2018. <P> The draft directive and standard is available at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/recman">https://www.usbr.gov/recman</a>. <P> This draft release is an update to an existing directive and standard, published in 2005 and reflects comments received per the initial review and comment period, announced in April 2017. Project use power is that electrical capacity, energy, and associated ancillary service components required to provide the minimum electrical service needed to operate and/or maintain Reclamation Project facilities in conformance with project authorization. <P> Various Congressional authorizations give Reclamation the ability to develop, generate, and use electrical power for the benefit of Reclamation project lands and other purposes. The power can be used for various functions, such as pumping water associated with irrigating Reclamation project lands. This directive and standard describes the various authorized uses. <P> Congressional authorizations for project use power vary across Reclamation projects; to the extent this directive and standard can be interpreted to conflict with such congressional authorizations, the congressional authorizations control. <P> Your questions or comments on this draft directive and standards should be sent to Clark Bishop at cbishop@usbr.gov. <P> Learn more about Reclamation's Power Program at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/power">https://www.usbr.gov/power</a>. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61811 Bureau of Reclamation seeks comments on Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program funding opportunity evaluation criteria
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking comments on the updated evaluation criteria associated with the WaterSMART Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program. <P> Through the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, Reclamation provides financial assistance to local water agencies for the planning, design and construction of water reclamation and reuse projects. <P> These evaluation criteria will be used in the fiscal year 2018 Title XVI funding opportunity announcement which will be open to both congressionally authorized Title XVI projects and Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act Title XVI projects. Several changes to the criteria used in the 2017 Title XVI WIIN Act funding opportunity are being proposed for the FY 2018 announcement. <P> To see the list of criteria, visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/title/">https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/title/</a>. <P> Send your comments to Amanda Erath at aerath@usbr.gov. Comments will be accepted through April 12, 2018. <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61812 Reclamation provides early irrigation information to Klamath water users
Klamath Falls, Ore. – At a meeting in Klamath Falls this afternoon, the Bureau of Reclamation provided a preliminary hydrology outlook to irrigators in the Klamath Basin. While the late start to the rainy season this year has delayed Reclamation’s ability to get a clear picture for the irrigation season, officials pledged to continue to provide as much information as possible as soon as possible heading into spring. <P> Irrigators were told that the snowpack and snow water equivalent so far in water year 2018 are well below average. Typically, snowpack builds through December and January and peaks about now, but this year is far from typical. Dry conditions so far have resulted in very low water inflows to Upper Klamath Lake, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service currently projects inflow to be about 54% of the historic average between March and September. The Klamath Basin would have to receive very significant amounts of rain and snow to catch up. In addition, the National Weather Service model currently predicts drought development is likely in a portion of the Klamath Basin. <P> “As we have heard today, the outlook for this year continues to be challenging. We will remain engaged and partnered with the County, Water Users, the State of Oregon and other stakeholders to ensure the best information and data is available as early as possible to aid farmers with their operational and business plans,” said Jeff Nettleton, Manager of Reclamation’s Klamath Basin Area Office. <P> “We would like nothing more than to be able to provide our Klamath Project contractors with an allocation for the year as soon as possible, and I assure you we are all working hard to get there,” said Nettleton. “We have been working hard with stakeholders and partner agencies to find a path forward this year despite the dire hydrologic conditions. Discussions about Project start timing with Klamath County, the Klamath Water Users Association and individual irrigation districts will continue and we hope to be able to provide more information in the coming weeks.” <P> In addition to the dry start to the season, Reclamation officials have been working through other issues that influence the 2018 operations and water supply allocation for the Klamath Project. Officials are evaluating a wide range of creative water management alternatives to ensure that legal requirements are upheld and impacts to Project irrigators for the 2018 irrigation season can be minimized. To help irrigators as they make operational and financial decisions for this year’s growing season, Reclamation plans to provide, as soon as practicable, the most current water forecast projections and preliminary water allocations for irrigators on the Klamath Project. <P> “We get updated forecast information every two weeks, and will share what our models show based on those updates with our irrigators as soon as it is available,” Nettleton said. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61795 Bureau of Reclamation launches prize competition looking for new ways to detect leaks and flaws in large buried pipelines
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has launched a new prize competition seeking innovative methods and technologies to detect leaks and flaws in large buried pipelines that deliver water for municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses. Currently, no practical method exists to detect leaks and flaws in large diameter pipelines. <P> For example, leaks in pipes delivering treated drinking water result in billions of gallons of water lost annually - an amount that could fill more than three million Olympic-size swimming pools. Detecting leaks and flaws early is the key to solving this problem and preventing the loss of valuable and scarce water resources. <P> This competition is focused on steel pipe and prestressed concrete cylinder pipe with diameters greater than 48 inches. However, proposed solutions that can be applied to all size and type of pipelines in a wide variety of uses will be considered. <P> Proposed solutions must be cost-effective and scalable to pipelines with lengths of approximately 100 miles. Winning solutions that meet these criteria could have potential benefits not only to Reclamation and its water users, but to state and local municipal water utilities and customers. <P> This prize competition will consist of two stages. Stage one is a theoretical challenge that requires a written proposal. Reclamation is making a total prize purse of $75,000 available, to be divided by up to five winners. If successful, stage two is planned to provide proof-of-concept in a laboratory-scale demonstration. <P> Submissions to this competition must be received by May 8, 2018 at 11:59 PM EDT. Late submissions will not be considered. <P> Reclamation is partnering with the San Diego County Water Authority, Southern Nevada Water Authority, and Isle Utilities for this competition. <P> To learn more about this competition, visit: <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/research/challenges/leakypipes.html">https://www.usbr.gov/research/challenges/leakypipes.html</a>. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61730 Bureau of Reclamation awards $50,000 for five arsenic sensor solutions selected through prize competition
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman announced that five private sector and citizen solvers shared a prize competition purse of $50,000 for their submissions of concepts to improve arsenic measurement technologies in water. <P> "Current analytical methods are suitable for ensuring regulatory compliance, but there remains a need for rapid, low-cost monitoring of arsenic," Commissioner Burman said. "These selected ideas are a positive step forward to better understand and manage water quality, potentially opening up more usable supplies for the West and the country. We look forward to seeing the application of these proposed solutions." <P> Stage 1 of the arsenic sensor prize competition sought concepts for rapidly, accurately, and cost-effectively measuring arsenic in water through improved sensor technologies. Responses were judged, and winners each received a cash prize of $10,000. To advance these concepts, Reclamation will be hosting stage 2 of the competition, which seeks working prototypes of innovative arsenic sensing technologies. <P> The award recipients from stage 1 of the arsenic sensor prize competition are: <P> <strong>Natalie Cookson, President of Quantitative Biosciences, Inc.</strong> <br /> Cookson proposed the creation of a biosensor platform that uses synthetic microbial sensor strains that fluoresce in response to induction to continuously monitor water for the presence of arsenic. She says, "It will be small and cheap enough to deploy many units to enable mapping of real-time arsenic concentrations." <P> <strong>Tom Ferguson, Imagine H20 and FREDsense Technologies</strong> <br /> Ferguson's concept involves the use of bacteria to electrochemically detect and speciate arsenic. He says, "The system is highly portable, requires no training or sample preparation, and can be easily implemented across a variety of infrastructures for rapid detection of arsenic." <P> <strong>Elain Fu and Chih-hung Chang</strong> <br /> Fu and Chang's idea includes the use of a novel arsenic test design that is based on a porous substrate in which capillary flow enables instrument-free pumping of a water sample into the device. The design incorporates a porous metal organic framework composite; specific to arsenic binding. "It functions to collect arsenic from the sample and then concentrates the chemical within the substrate for high-sensitivity detection." <P> <strong>Pradeep Kurup</strong> <br /> Kurup's proposed solution is a low-cost, easy-to-use portable handheld arsenic sensor that is capable of detecting arsenic in water at concentrations as low as 1 part per billion. The PHASOR employs an accurate electrochemical technique that allows for arsenic detection in the presence of other metals. Kurup says, "The handheld electrochemical device will be lightweight, affordable, and the total measurement time will be less than thirty seconds." <P> <strong>Jason Robosky, FLIR Detection, Inc.</strong> <br /> Robosky's concept introduces an enzyme-based handheld analyzer for detecting a range of arsenic levels in water. He says, "By specifically inhibiting enzymatic reactions the produce a color change, arsenic levels can be calibrated and quantified spectrophotometrically." The proposed system consists of a consumable cartridge containing stabilized enzymes and substrates as well as a handheld electronic device to measure, analyze, and display detected arsenic concentration in water samples. <P> To learn more about prize challenges in the Federal government, visit <a href="https://www.challenge.gov">www.challenge.gov</a>. To learn more about Reclamation's Water Prize Challenge Center and past, current and planned competitions, visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/reserach/challenges/">www.usbr.gov/research/challenges/</a>. <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61712 Bureau of Reclamation announces Desalination and Water Purification Research Program funding opportunity
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a funding opportunity through its Desalination and Water Purification Research Program for fiscal year 2018. This funding opportunity invites private industry, universities, water utilities, and other research sponsors to submit proposals to cost share laboratory scale and pilot scale projects that address DWPR program goals and objectives. <P> This funding opportunity will support two groups, including (1) laboratory scale projects and (2) pilot scale projects. Separate evaluation criteria and funding will be applied to each group. <P> Individuals, institutions of higher education, commercial and industrial organizations, private entities, State and local governments, federally funded research and development centers, Tribal governments and organizations, United States-Mexico binational research foundations and inter-university research programs, and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. <P> For institutions of higher education and for United States-Mexico binational research foundations and inter-university research programs, non-Federal cost share is not required but highly encouraged. All other applicants must provide at least 75 percent non-Federal cost share. <P> To view this funding opportunity, please visit <a href="https://www.grants.gov">www.grants.gov</a> and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-18-F002. Applicants for desalination and water purification research projects funding must submit their proposals by 4:00 p.m. MDT on Tuesday May 1, 2018. <P> DWPR's goals include increasing water supplies, reducing costs and energy consumption, and decreasing the environmental impacts associated with water treatment. This DWPR funding opportunity is seeking proposals to address these issues. <P> Reclamation's DWPR Program works with researchers and partners to develop more innovative, cost-effective, and technologically efficient ways to desalinate or treat water. DWPR funding plays a critical role in iterating an idea from the lab to a real-world demonstration, which yields products that serve the water treatment community and attract commercialization interest. <P> This funding opportunity for desalination and water purification research and technology innovation, the DWPR program is supporting the Department of the Interior's priorities, including: creating a conservation stewardship legacy second only to Teddy Roosevelt, utilizing our natural resources, and restoring trust with local communities, among others. <P> To learn more about Reclamation's Desalination and Water Purification Research Program please visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/research/dwpr">www.usbr.gov/research/dwpr</a>. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61681 Marketa McGuire named Bureau of Reclamation's 2018 Engineer of the Year
WASHINGTON - Marketa McGuire, a hydraulic civil engineer, has been named the Bureau of Reclamation's 2018 Engineer of the Year. McGuire was recognized as a top 10 finalist for Federal Engineer of the Year by a panel of judges established by the National Society of Professional Engineers. An awards ceremony was held in Washington, D.C., on February 23, 2018. <P> "Engineers like Marketa are the heart of Reclamation," said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. "I'd like to extend my congratulations to Marketa for this incredible and well-deserved achievement. Her contributions to Reclamation's mission have enhanced our ability to meet our goals and will enable us to continue responding to long-term water resources needs in the western United States." <P> The majority of technical work completed for the Klamath River Basin Study was performed by McGuire. The knowledge gained from her work on this study equipped her with the tools necessary for a follow-up study to investigate improvements in forecasting streamflow and agricultural demands to enhance daily reservoir operations - a study of which is near its completion. <P> McGuire is completing the Upper Missouri River Impacts Assessment study to build a river systems model designed to characterize historical and future projected river conditions. Additionally, McGuire is working on another project to support the Skokomish Tribe in Washington in their salmon recovery planning efforts. <P> McGuire has completed multiple studies, advancing science in the fields of hydrology, climate and modeling of water resources systems. Her continued efforts to formulate working relationships with other scientists and engineers throughout federal and regional government agencies, universities, and local communities has furthered Reclamation's ability to collaborate across lines. She is also working to leverage existing hydrologic information through partnerships and collaboration with the USGS Alaska Climate Science Center and the University of Washington in an effort to perform a state of the art hydrologic and climate change impacts analysis. <P> Over the years, McGuire has received many awards and honors in appreciation of her work. In May 2015, she received an Award of Appreciation for the completion of the Basin Study Program. <P> She is currently a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Geophysical Union and the Colorado Water Education Foundation. <P> McGuire is committed to continued learning and spends much of her non-working hours volunteering for programs and projects that help build up communities. <P> Reclamation would also like to recognize the regional winners of the 2018 Engineer of the Year award: <P> <strong>Paul Christensen, Assistant Area Manager / Central Utah Project Completion Act Program Manager, Upper Colorado Region</strong> <P> Paul Christensen has worked for Reclamation for more than 15 years. Throughout the past three years, Christensen has been the Resident Engineer for the Spanish Fork Provo Reservoir Canal Pipeline Reach 1A and 1B projects, and the Olmsted Hydroelectric Power Plant Replacement Project. He oversees the day-to-day construction management of all associated projects, and effectively manages relationships with contractors and stakeholders. <P> Christensen's construction procedure knowledge and timeliness, his projects have been completed on time and under budget. Currently, Christensen is the Assistant Area Manager responsible for oversight of the Administrative Division, the Field Engineering Division and the Dam Safety modification work being completed in the Provo Area Office. Christensen is very professional and consistent in his duties. He is always striving to get things done right the first time, and has the utmost integrity. Christensen conducts his work admirably, to the benefit of Reclamation and the citizens of Utah. <P> <strong>Christopher Davidson, Lead Electrical Engineer, Grand Coulee Power Office, Pacific Northwest Region</strong> <P> Christopher Davidson is an experienced Commissioning Engineer in the Operations and Maintenance Engineering Group at the Grand Coulee Dam complex. Davidson has evolved his current role into a process, employing an effective blend of repeatable strategies, combined with coaching and mentoring of the teams supporting each commissioning event. Davidson is an active trainer, coach and advocate for the commissioning management sciences, and also integrates safety and situational awareness into all of his work. <P> Davidson has continued contributing to the enhancement of Grand Coulee's operational effectiveness, and has established a structure within which commissioning events result in reusable commissioning resources that work to both simplify and improve timeliness of activities over time. Davidson also supports Engineer Training Program participants by offering guidance and mentorship to further develop participants' general electrical engineering skills while learning about system operations. <P> <strong>Kyle Hughes, Civil Engineer (Resident Engineer), Mid-Pacific Construction Office, Mid-Pacific Region</strong> <P> Hughes has effectively managed a team of Mid-Pacific Construction Office engineers, inspectors and laboratory technicians throughout the execution of several high-profile construction contracts designed to improve Reclamation's infrastructure and refuge water delivery abilities. Most recently, Hughes has served as the Resident Engineer for the Safety of Dam Modification at Stampede Dam. His leadership and foresight for issue recognition and resolution has resulted in a number of instances where Reclamation was able to proactively correct potential issues without impacting facility operations. Hughes has been instrumental in building effective relationships with cooperating offices and agencies to effectively mitigate concerns, and to ultimately protect public safety. <P> Many of the practices Hughes implemented on the Stampede Dam project have become general practice for the construction office. Throughout his time working for Reclamation, Hughes' leadership has generated a high level of trust among his team. In addition, Hughes has become an effective training instructor for project managers throughout the region. <P> <strong>Allison Danner, Civil Engineer, Lower Colorado Region</strong> <P> Allison Danner served as the project manager for the Reclamation Water Information System and Reclamation Information Sharing Environment projects, designed to achieve new levels of data accessibility. She served as the lead civil engineer for the San Diego Basin Study which sought to obtain answers to resource availability questions, representing a significant effort to pursue Reclamation's mission of delivering water to the western United States. <P> Danner's hard work and exceptional leadership skills played an integral role in successfully launching these projects by providing necessary and effective coordination with team members throughout Reclamation. <P> <strong>Kurt Anderson, Construction Engineer, Great Plains Region</strong> <P> Kurt Anderson played a vital role in managing the design effort for a recreation site on Canyon Ferry Reservoir in Montana in 2014. He effectively kept the project on track which led to the assurance of the project's award that fiscal year. Today, that site is an attractive recreation facility, and is a popular destination for campers, boaters and anglers. <P> In 2015, Anderson was promoted to Regional Construction Engineer where he is responsible for all construction activities occurring in the Great Plains region. He manages construction administration for dozens of water resource rehabilitation projects each year, including Safety of Dams projects and powerplant rehabilitations. Anderson manages to accomplish this with a small staff of 20 employees, and does this by utilizing creative innovations to approach issues with heightened efficiency. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61680 The 51st Annual Colorado High School Bridge Building Competition at the Denver Federal Center on February 24
DENVER - The Bureau of Reclamation is set to host the 51st annual Colorado High School Bridge Building Contest at Reclamation's laboratory located at the Denver Federal Center, on February 24, 2018. The competition will begin at 8 a.m. and ends about noon with the grand finale: the crushing of a 1,500 lb. concrete cylinder in a 5-million-pound press. <P> This competition is open to the public and is a great way to introduce engineering to the family. Tours of the lab are provided throughout the event. <P> High school student winners are eligible to win scholarships and cash prizes to put toward a degree in engineering. Several professional engineers will be on-hand to meet with students, and to discuss what it's like to have a career in the engineering field. <P> Prizes include scholarships donated by the PEC, ACEC and the American Public Works Association. Additionally, students can win calculators and savings bonds donated by Reclamation employees. The top two winners from each of the two regions are then eligible to participate in the International Bridge Building Contest which will take place in Chicago this April. <P> Students construct model bridges to conform to specifications established by the PEC contest committee. Students construct their model bridges using wood and glue. The contest limits the allowable weight of each bridge. Each bridge is then tested by applying an increasing load until it breaks -- an occasionally dramatic event resulting in pieces of the bridge flying off the testing machine. The winning bridges are determined by the highest efficiency numbers, which is the maximum weight the bridge can hold divided by the weight of the bridge. In the past, some bridges have held more than 20,000 times their own weight! <P> The Colorado High School Bridge Building Contest began in 1968 with the aim of building bridges between students and engineering professionals. Reclamation has been a co-sponsor and host of the contest since 1974. Other sponsors include the Professional Engineers of Colorado (PEC) and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado. <P> To learn more about the upcoming contest, visit: <a href="http://nspe-co.org/events_bridge_building.php" class="tooltip-ng">http://nspe-co.org/events_bridge_building.php</a>. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61553 President proposed $1.0 billion fiscal year 2019 budget for the Bureau of Reclamation
WASHINGTON - Today, President Donald Trump proposed a $1.049 billion Fiscal Year 2019 budget for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation. The budget supports the Department's goals of ensuring the provision of secure and reliable water supplies, the efficient generation of American energy, celebration of America's resources and recreational opportunities, and fulfilling commitments to tribal nations. <P> Reclamation is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second-largest producer of hydroelectric power; its projects and programs are an important driver of economic growth in the Western states. Reclamation manages water for agricultural, municipal and industrial uses, and provides flood risk reduction and recreation for millions of people. <P> "President Trump's budget for Reclamation shows his strong commitment to our mission of delivering water and generating hydropower in the West," Commissioner Brenda Burman said. "The request also highlights how critical Reclamation's facilities are to the nation's infrastructure while also supporting tribal nations." <P> Reclamation's budget is offset by current receipts in the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund of $62.0 million, resulting in net discretionary budget authority of $987.0 million. Of this amount, $891.0 million is for Water and Related Resources, $61.0 million is for Policy and Administration, and $35 million is for California Bay Delta. Permanent appropriations in FY 2019 total $101.0 million. <P> The funding proposed in Reclamation's FY 2019 budget emphasizes Reclamation's core mission of reliable water delivery and efficient hydropower generation to address the water demands of a growing population; and to assist states, tribes and local entities in solving water resource issues. It also emphasizes investment in modernizing existing infrastructure -- beyond the operation and maintenance of Reclamation facilities -- in a safe, economic and reliable manner, ensuring measures are in place to protect the public and Reclamation facilities for the next 100 years. <P> Reclamation's dams, water conveyances and power generating facilities are critical components of the Nation's infrastructure. The safety and reliability of its dams is one of Reclamation's highest priorities. The Dam Safety Program is critical to effectively manage risks to the downstream public, property and natural resources. The budget request of $88.1 million for the Safety of Dams Program provides for risk management activities at Reclamation's high and significant hazard dams where loss of life or significant economic damage would likely occur if a dam was to fail. The budget also includes activities for several dam safety modifications, as well as for Interior's Dam Safety Program, which Reclamation oversees. <P> Furthermore, the proposed budget includes $45.0 million for various projects for Extraordinary Maintenance (XM) activities across Reclamation. Reclamation's XM budget is part of its overall Asset Management Strategy that relies on condition assessments, condition/performance metrics, technological research and deployment, and strategic collaboration to continue to improve the management of its assets and deal with aging infrastructure challenges. Significant additional XM items are directly funded by revenues, water and power customers, or other federal agencies. <P> Reclamation's projects and programs support tribal nation efforts and Native American programs. A total of $127.4 million in funding is requested for Indian water rights settlements. This includes $69.6 million for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, $12.8 million for the Crow Tribe Water Rights Settlement, $8.3 million for the Aamodt Litigation Settlement, and $10.0 million for the Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement. Other efforts to support tribal nations are long standing and range from species protection to rural water projects. <P> This budget request continues to support water delivery and quality concerns that address the special requirements in the Colorado River basin and in the state of California. While last year's precipitation was beneficial, the long-term impacts from droughts are not recovered in a few wet years. Groundwater must be replenished and the hydrologic system will need time to recover. The FY 2019 budget request through programs, such as the Lower Colorado River Operations Program ($31.2 million) and the Central Valley Project ($147.5 million), continues efforts to find a long-term solution to achieve a reliable water supply and quality for both areas. <P> The FY 2019 budget request supports and emphasizes activities designed to prevent and combat the infestation of quagga and zebra mussels across Reclamation states. These invasive species are rapidly reproducing and have infested multiple operational areas of Reclamation facilities. Research is continuing to find ways to impede the mussels' populations, and funding will support, in cooperation with the Western Governors Association, Reclamation activities established in the Quagga-Zebra Mussel Action Plan. This includes working with states and tribes to keep mussels from infesting the Columbia River Basin in the Pacific Northwest. <P> Other aspects of the FY 2019 budget proposal include: <P> <strong>Central Valley Project Restoration Fund</strong> - The budget of $62.0 million is expected to be offset in total by discretionary receipts, which are adjusted on an annual basis to maintain payments totaling $30.0 million (October 1992 price levels) on a three-year rolling average basis. The budget for the CVPRF was developed after considering the effects of the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act, which redirects certain fees, estimated at $2.0 million in FY 2019, collected from the Friant Division water users to the San Joaquin Restoration Fund. <P> <strong>Desalination and Water Purification Research Program</strong> - This program supports desalination research, development and demonstrations for converting unusable waters into useable water supplies. The FY 2019 request of $2.9 million supports projects in the laboratory-scale research studies, pilot-scale testing and full-scale testing. Funding also supports the operation and maintenance of Reclamation's Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility, which supports testing projects and potential work from Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, including one focused on produced waters from oil and gas extraction activities. <P> <strong>Science and Technology Program</strong> - The FY 2019 request of $11.0 million supports water and power technology prize competitions, technology transfer, and dissemination/outreach activities addressing critical water and power management obstacles. The S&T Program also supports the monitoring, detection and control of invasive mussels. <P> <strong>The Site Security program</strong> - The budget request will continue Reclamation's ongoing site-security program at $26.2 million, which includes physical security upgrades at key facilities, guards and patrols, anti-terrorism program activities and security risk assessments. <P> <strong>WaterSMART Program</strong> - Endorsing Theodore Roosevelt's principles of land and wildlife conservation, Reclamation strives to ensure future water delivery through the conservation of the resources available now. The funding proposed in Reclamation's FY 2019 WaterSMART budget ($19.9 million) supports Reclamation's collaboration with non-federal partners in efforts to address emerging water demands and water shortage issues in the West. <P> To view the budget request for Reclamation, see <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/budget">www.usbr.gov/budget</a>. <P> <P> <P> <P>