Commissioner's Offce News Releases News Releases from Reclamation's Commissioner's Office Reclamation seeks comments on e-bike regulations
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation announced an upcoming 60-day public comment period on proposed changes to its off-road vehicle regulations that would address use of electric bikes, also known as e-bikes. This effort supports Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt’s call to expand access to e-bikes on Reclamation open roads and trails where non-motorized bicycles are allowed. <P> “This is an important rule that will give more Americans access to lands that they may not have been able to access before,” <strong>said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman</strong>. “Reclamation is working hard to implement Secretary Bernhardt's order to make it easier for more Americans to recreate on and experience public lands.” <P> This public comment period provides an opportunity for the public to offer feedback on the proposed rule. This review includes an opportunity to comment on the potential criteria authorized officers would use in normal local planning processes when determining whether to allow e-bikes on trails closed to off-road vehicles. Reclamation will consider all public feedback in crafting its final rule. <P> The public comment period will begin once the rule is published in the Federal Register. Interested parties may submit comments, identified by the number RIN 1006-AA57, by any of the following methods: <P> <ul> <li>Mail/Personal or messenger delivery (utilizing social distancing): Bureau of Reclamation, Denver Federal Center Building 67, Attention: 86-67200 (RAlcorn), P.O. Box 25007, Denver, CO 80225-0007</li> <li>Federal eRulemaking portal: <a href=""></a>. Follow the instruction at this website.</li> </ul> <P> You can learn more about recreation on Bureau of Reclamation lands at <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> <P> Reclamation streamlines process for transferring facilities to local water users
WASHINGTON – Today, the Bureau of Reclamation released its <a href="">final guidelines</a> to streamline the transfer of eligible Reclamation facilities to local ownership. Title transfer is a voluntary conveyance of federal ownership of water projects or facilities, such as small dams, canals and associated lands, to local water users. Local ownership can leverage more capital funding and reduce federal paperwork requirements and costs while reducing federal liability. <P> “This Administration’s title transfer process embodies the President’s goals of streamlining bureaucratic processes and making our government more efficient and accountable,” said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “Title transfers are a win for local communities and a win for the American taxpayer. The Department looks forward to continuing our work with local water users to reduce title transfer costs, stimulate infrastructure investment through local ownership with the bottom-line goal of making this streamlined approach a major success.” <P> The title transfer streamlining guidelines will complement this Administration’s <a href="" target="_blank">Categorical Exclusion (CE)</a> process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The title transfer CE lists criteria that will determine if simple or uncomplicated facility transfer can be expedited under NEPA. Reclamation, water users and other stakeholders are already working together on pending title transfers across the western states. <P> “This streamlined process for title transfers provides more transparency and certainty to water districts who are pursuing ownership of Reclamation project facilities,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “We look forward to working with local water districts on this simplified process as they seek local ownership and investment for these facilities.” <P> The <a href="" target="_blank">John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act (P.L. 116-9)</a> gives Reclamation the programmatic authority to transfer title of certain Reclamation facilities without additional authorizing legislation. Each title transfer is voluntary and done on a case-by-case basis. <P> “We are strongly supportive of the Interior Department and the Bureau of Reclamation’s recent and encouraging administrative efforts to help facilitate certain Reclamation project and facilities transfers of title to non-Federal ownership,” said Executive Director of the Family Farm Alliance Dan Keppen. “We value our partnership with Reclamation, and Reclamation’s collaborative response to address our concerns on this matter further demonstrates the importance of that relationship.” <P> “The National Water Resources Association (NWRA) appreciates the efforts and strong leadership of the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation to develop a streamlined process to implement title transfers,” said Ian Lyle, Vice-President of the National Water Resources Association. “The federal government, taxpayers, and water users can all benefit from the transfer of Reclamation facilities where federal investments have been repaid. Title transfers reduce federal liability and provide water managers with enhanced management and financing tools that are necessary to build and maintain critical infrastructure for this and future generations.” <P> “The implementation of the title transfer authorities from the Reclamation Title Transfer Act, which I introduced in the Senate and was ultimately passed as part of the Dingell Act, is an important step to remove red tape and improve the state of our nation’s aging water infrastructure,” said U.S. Senator James Risch (R-ID). “Transferring titles of repaid Reclamation facilities puts local communities and water users in the driver’s seat, allowing them to determine how to best meet local needs.” <P> “The Bureau of Reclamation Title Transfer provision signed into law as part of the Dingell Act was crafted to streamline the process for the transfer of certain Reclamation projects to local beneficiaries,” stated House Natural Resources Ranking Republican Rob Bishop (R-UT). “Transferring these simple projects will allow water districts and other local beneficiaries to leverage non-federal financing through ownership equity while simultaneously decreasing federal liability. This will allow local infrastructure to be controlled by those who directly operate and benefit from it, not federal bureaucrats.” <P> “We appreciate Reclamation’s work to prioritize the needs of rural America,” said U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND). “The implementation of the new authorities provided by the Dingell Act are helping to provide flexibility and better utilization of our water infrastructure facilities, just like the agreement we’re working on to transfer the title for the Oakes Test Area from Reclamation to the Dickey-Sargent Irrigation District, which we hope to see completed later this year.” <P> “I’m grateful that the Bureau of Reclamation is streamlining the title transfer process. Local control is key to improving water infrastructure and operational efficiency,” said U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT). “I know that local water districts in Utah are eager to have additional flexibility to better serve their communities. Assuming sole ownership of their water infrastructure facilities will give them that flexibility. The faster we can make this happen the better.” <P> “I introduced the House title transfer legislation that served as the framework for the provisions in the Dingell Act and will now be the foundation for these Reclamation guidelines,” said Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO). “I commend the Interior Department and Reclamation in this effort to bring more title transfers to reality throughout the West. <P> “Aging water infrastructure is a challenge throughout the west, and in many places federal ownership of these facilities limits the flexibility and financing tools available to local water managers to tackle the problem,” said Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT). “In the past, the cost and length of the process prevented many water districts from pursuing title transfer. With the new authorities provided in the Dingell Act and this new policy from Reclamation, operators that have run these facilities for decades and have repaid all outstanding debt have a real path to gain ownership of their project if they choose. I applaud the Bureau of Reclamation for making implementation of this a priority.” <P> “I thank Commissioner Burman and the Department of the Interior for embracing the new Title Transfer authorities provided under the Dingell Act,” said U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND). “These actions will provide greater certainty and flexibility for local communities who will no longer be reliant on the federal government. I look forward to continuing our collaboration on transferring the Oakes Test Area in a manner that works for our constituents and irrigators.” <P> “In Central Washington and across the West, we have aging infrastructure that is in desperate need of maintenance. The ability to transfer these titles to local entities will empower active and efficient upkeep, rather than relying on the federal government,” said Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA). “I applaud the Interior Department and Commissioner Burman for prioritizing local management and control of these critical infrastructure projects we rely on." <P> These guidelines, called directives and standards, can be found on the Reclamation Manual site at <a href=""></a>. To learn more about the title transfer process, contact your regional title transfer coordinator by visiting <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> Reclamation provides $2.8 million for watershed group development and restoration planning
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has selected 29 projects to receive $2.8 million to complete watershed group development, watershed restoration planning and watershed management project design. The funding is shared with groups across 12 states, including groups in Alaska and Hawaii, who are receiving funding for the first time through this program. <P> "Locally driven, consensus-based solutions are some of the best ways to solve the many complex water issues that impact the West today," said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. "The Cooperative Watershed Management Program encourages diverse stakeholders to work together to improve water reliability and management within their communities." <P> Projects are divided into two groups: establishment of new watershed groups and further development of existing watershed groups. Reclamation will provide approximately $900,000 for nine groups to form a new watershed group and $1.9 million to 20 groups to further develop a watershed group. <P> An example of a new watershed group forming is the Blackfeet Tribe located in northwestern Montana. They will establish a new watershed group in the Blackfeet Two Medicine watershed and conduct watershed restoration planning. The watershed is the critical headwaters system along the continental divide and the first transition of the headwaters into a populated area within the Blackfeet Nation, the Rocky Mountain steppe, and the arid plains. Recent environmental changes, including shorter winters and earlier snowmelt, are reducing the amount of water available to meet demands for irrigation and habitat. The watershed group will identify best management practices for land use planning, complete GIS analyses, develop a water quality monitoring plan, and prioritize watershed restoration projects. <P> The Cook Inletkeeper group will collaboratively develop a new State of the Inlet watershed restoration plan in the Cook Inlet watershed in southern Alaska. The group will engage communities, local recreation and tourist businesses, and state and federal agencies, including the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The watershed is generally in good health, but recent droughts have led to large forest fires, drinking water shortages, and increased temperatures in cold-water fisheries. The watershed also faces water quality concerns related to septic tank and industrial contamination. The group will research existing and emerging threats to water resources on the Kenai Peninsula, survey stakeholders to understand community-specific concerns about threats, facilitate community conversations to generate project ideas for addressing threats, and produce a new State of the Inlet watershed restoration plan. <P> A complete description of the selected projects can be found at: <a href=""></a>. <P> Through WaterSMART, Reclamation works cooperatively with states, tribes and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply reliability through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts. Visit <a href=""></a> to learn more. <P> <P> <P> Reclamation awards $7.5 million for communities to prepare and respond to drought
WASHINGTON – Through a competitive process, the Bureau of Reclamation has selected 12 projects in the states of California, New Mexico and Utah to receive $7.5 million in drought resiliency grants as part of the WaterSMART Drought Response Program. Drought resiliency helps communities increase the reliability of their water supplies, improve water management and provide benefits to fish, wildlife and the environment. <P> “Communities throughout the West need to be taking steps to prepare and build drought resiliency,” Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman said. “The projects being funded will allow communities to help themselves with locally driven projects to prepare for drought.” <P> The 12 projects will leverage $7.5 million in WaterSMART funding with more than $65 million in non-federal funding. The communities selected across the three states are as follows: <P> <h3>California</h3> <ul> <li>City of Chino ($750,000)</li> <li>City of Clovis ($126,652)</li> <li>City of Santa Ana ($750,000)</li> <li>Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Chino ($750,000)</li> <li>Long Beach Water Department ($750,000)</li> <li>North Kern Water Storage District, Bakersfield ($750,000)</li> <li>Rancho California Water District, Temecula ($750,000)</li> <li>Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, Bakersfield ($750,000)</li> <li>Stanislaus Regional Water Authority, Turlock ($750,000)</li> </ul> <P> <h3>New Mexico</h3> <ul> <li>Village of Tijeras ($748,980)</li> </ul> <P> <h3>Utah</h3> <ul> <li>Navajo Nation ($300,000)</li> <li>Town of Genola ($300,000)</li> </ul> <P> To learn more about the projects selected, please visit Reclamation's drought website at <a href=""></a>. <P> Through WaterSMART, Reclamation works cooperatively with states, tribes and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply reliability through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts. Visit <a href=""></a> to learn more. <P> Reclamation provides $40.99 million in grants to improve water efficiency
WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Reclamation has selected 54 projects to share $40.99 million in WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants to help projects use water more efficiently and effectively in the western United States. <P> "The WaterSMART Program is helping Reclamation address the West's water challenges," said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. "Water and Energy Efficiency Grants provide water districts and communities the needed assistance to modernize their water delivery infrastructure and increase hydropower generation." <P> Projects are located in California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The types of projects receiving funding include canal lining, advanced water metering, flow measurement and real-time monitoring of water deliveries, and pressurized irrigation systems. <P> Examples of the selected projects are: <P> The City of Grand Junction, located in western Colorado, will receive $300,000 to upgrade 4,069 manual-read water meters with advanced metering infrastructure compatible meters. The city will also install a fixed network data collection system that will automatically collect and store hourly consumption data from its 9,867 customer meters. By providing customers with real-time data, the project is expected to result in annual water savings of 741 acre-feet, which is currently lost to customer overuse and leaks. As a result of the project, the city expects to reduce diversions from the Kannah Creek watershed, leaving water in the river system or otherwise making water available for other uses in the Upper Colorado River Basin. The Kittitas Reclamation District located near Yakima, Washington, will receive $975,000 to install 4,637 feet of double barrel 60-inch, steel reinforced polyethylene pipe on the existing earthen South Branch Canal. The project is expected to result in annual water savings of 515 acre-feet, which is currently lost to seepage and operational spills. The water conserved through the project will be delivered to Manastash Creek for instream flows to benefit threatened species, including Coho and Chinook salmon. The project is consistent with a memorandum of agreement between Reclamation, the Washington Department of Ecology, and the District to address water management issues in over-appropriated or flow-impaired tributaries to the upper Yakima River. <P> The Buffalo Rapids Irrigation Project—District 2 located in eastern Montana, will receive $300,000 to convert 8,660 feet of open canal to a closed plastic irrigation pipeline. The District has experienced drought conditions over the last five years, and leakage and conveyance losses have contributed to water shortages and water scheduling issues. In response to system inefficiencies, the District has frequently had to divert and pump additional water from the Yellowstone River. By completing the project and increasing efficiency, the District will be able to reduce diversions. The project is expected to result in annual water savings of 1,087 acre-feet currently lost to seepage, which will remain in the Yellowstone River. <P> Some projects complement on-farm improvements that can be carried out with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to accomplish coordinated water conservation improvements. A number of the projects selected today are expected to help make additional on-farm improvements possible in the future, including the Eden Valley Irrigation and Drainage District and the Dixie Bench Ditch Lateral Association projects. The Dixie Bench Ditch Lateral Association, located in southeastern Idaho, will decommission 8,000 feet of earthen canal and install 7,040 feet of high-density polyethylene pipeline and pressurized polyvinyl chloride pipeline, bypassing the original canal. The project is expected to result in annual water savings of 90 acre-feet, which is currently lost to seepage and operational spills. As a result of the project, the Association will reduce diversions from Maple Creek and reduce the need for imported water to meet late-season allocations, allowing water to remain instream. Once completed, the pipeline will complement a current Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program project to improve an existing irrigation system with pivots, wheel-line, pumping plants, and a variable frequency drive. <P> Learn more about all of the selected projects at <a href=""></a>. <P> Through WaterSMART, Reclamation works cooperatively with states, tribes, and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply reliability through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts. Visit <a href=""></a> to learn more. <P> <P> <P> <P> Jason Wagner selected as Reclamation's 2020 Engineer of the Year
WASHINGTON - Jason Wagner, P.E., a civil engineer, is the Bureau of Reclamation's 2020 Engineer of the Year for his work on designing fish passage structures around the West. He will be recognized by the National Society of Professional Engineers at an awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C., on February 14, 2020. <P> “Jason’s work has been important to Reclamation, its partners and the American public,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “His cutting-edge work as an engineer has led to projects that protect fish while ensuring water delivery commitments.” <P> Wagner is recognized for his work on fish passage design. For the past five years, he has served as the technical design lead for the novel Cle Elum Dam Fish Passage Facility in Washington, a project that involves more than 200 engineers, scientists, architects, and hydraulic modelers. The project united federal, state, city, tribal, agricultural, and environmental organizations to support the restoration of sockeye salmon in the Yakima River basin. The total project cost is estimated at about $200 million. <P> He has also led or played a significant role in the designs of the Battle Creek Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Project, Coleman National Fish Hatchery facility improvements, Link River Dam fish ladder and Nimbus Dam Fish Hatchery fish ladder. Additionally, he has served on various senior level planning reviews related to the San Joaquin River Restoration and Klamath Basin Fish Screening and Passage. <P> Wagner is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers and is registered as a project management professional. <P> Reclamation would also like to recognize the 2020 Regional Engineer of the Year, Jay Bytheway. He made great contributions to Reclamation through value engineering. Value engineering studies show significant ways to improve performance, reliability, quality, safety and life-cycle costs of projects within Reclamation. On projects Bytheway has participated in, the value engineering studies have shown a maximum projected savings of $74 million. He works for Reclamation in Interior Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin in Salt Lake City, Utah. <P> To learn more about the state-of-the-art helix design at the Cle Elum Dam Fish Passage Facility, watch the video at <a href=""></a>. <P> <img src="" alt="Wagner standing in front of the construction of the Cle Elum project." width="75%"><br /> <small>Jason Wagner is standing at the construction project for the Cle Elum Fish Passage.</small> <P> <P> Reclamation awards $3.5 million for 19 projects that will inform water management decisions
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Reclamation selected 19 projects to receive $3.5 million in WaterSMART Applied Science Grants to develop tools and information that will inform and support water management decisions. These projects will be matched by more than $4.5 million, non-federal cost-match, supporting a total project cost of $8 million. <P> “Water managers need the most updated information to ensure they are making the best water management decisions," said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. "Applied Science Grants fund tool development and studies that help make western water more reliable." <P> The projects selected are as follows: <P> <ul> <li>City of Sierra Vista (Arizona), Web-based Hydrologic Information Portal for the Upper San Pedro Basin, $99,000</li> <li>Mojave Water Agency (California), Integrated Model Development and Alternatives Evaluation, $150,000</li> <li>Pala Band of Mission Indians (California), Pala Tribe Innovative Practices in Hydrologic Data Acquisition and Use for Water Management, $55,120</li> <li>Point Blue Conservation Science (California), California Central Valley Wetlands Water Budget Tool Development, $150,000</li> <li>Rancho California Water District (California), Groundwater Modeling Enhancement for the Murrietta-Temecula Groundwater Basin, $195,000</li> <li>University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (California), A California Crop Coefficient Database to Enhance Agricultural Water Demand Estimations and Irrigation Scheduling, $299,627</li> <li>University of California, Merced (California), Defining the Rain-Snow Transition Zone in the Northern Sierra Nevada, $299,976</li> <li>Colorado Water Conservation Board (Colorado), Arkansas River Colors of Water and Forecasting Tool, $150,000</li> <li>The Henry's Fork Foundation (Idaho), Predictive Hydrologic Modeling and Real-Time Data Access to Support Water Resources Management, $273,211</li> <li>Idaho Power Company (Idaho), Precipitation Modeling Tools to Improve Water Supply Reliability, $300,000</li> <li>Desert Research Institute (Nevada), Quantifying Environmental Water Requirements for Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems, $296,740</li> <li>New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, New Mexico Water Data Initiative and Regional Pilot Project for Improved Data Management and Decision Support Tool in the Lower Pecos Valley, $300,000</li> <li>Office of the State Engineer/Interstate Stream Commission (New Mexico), Developing a Projection Tool for Rio Grande Compact Compliance, $141,272</li> <li>Oklahoma State University (Oklahoma), Improving Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts for Irrigation Districts by Incorporating Soil Moisture Information Derived from Remote Sensing, $88,476</li> <li>Oklahoma State University (Oklahoma), Applying Unmanned Systems for Water Quality Monitoring, $150,000</li> <li>Texas Water Trade (Texas), Modeling Aquifer Properties in the Contributing Zone of Comanche Springs, $150,000</li> <li>Gulf Coast Water Authority (Texas), Enhancement of Water Availability Models of the Lower Brazos Basin $30,000</li> <li>Utah State University (Utah), A Platform Toward an Early Warning System for Shortages in Colorado River Water Supply, $91,078</li> <li>Washington State University (Washington), Quantifying the State of Groundwater in the Columbia Basin with Stakeholder-Driven Monitoring, $299,940</li> </ul> <P> Learn more about all of the selected projects at <a href=""></a>. <P> Through WaterSMART, Reclamation works cooperatively with states, tribes and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply reliability through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts. Visit <a href=""></a> to learn more. <P> <P> President Proposes $1.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2021 for Bureau of Reclamation
WASHINGTON - President Trump today proposed a $1.1 billion Fiscal Year 2021 budget for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation. The budget builds on recent accomplishments and supports the Administration’s goals of ensuring reliable and environmentally responsible delivery of water and power for farms, families, communities and industry, while providing tools to confront widening imbalances between supply and demand throughout the West. <P> “President Trump’s 2021 budget request for the Department is about investing in our people and public lands and waters," <strong>said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt</strong>. "He is committed to the mission of conservation and creating more public access for Americans to fully enjoy our national treasures and landscapes. This budget is a critical step in the right direction and provides a path to restore commonsense in our budgeting process.” <P> "This budget reaffirms the administration’s commitment to water and power reliability in the West," said Commissioner Brenda Burman. “A significant portion of this request is dedicated to improving existing infrastructure—including dams and reservoirs; creating better water and power certainty for farmers, families and communities; and meeting our environmental stewardship responsibilities.” <P> The proposed FY 2021 budget includes $979 million for Reclamation’s principal operating account (Water and Related Resources), which will fund operation, maintenance and rehabilitation activities—including dam safety—at Reclamation facilities. This account will also fund planning, construction, water conservation, management of Reclamation lands and efforts to address fish and wildlife habitat needs. It builds on the 2019 Biological Opinion and upcoming record of decision for the Central Valley Project in California by providing $33.0 million to implement the California Bay-Delta Program to help address California’s current water supply and ecological challenges and $55.9 million for the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund to protect, restore, and enhance fish, wildlife, and associated habitats in the Central Valley and Trinity River Basins. It also provides $60.0 million to develop, evaluate, and directly implement Reclamation-wide policy, rules and regulation as well as other administrative functions. <P> Specific funding within the Water and Related Resources operating account will also build on 2020 spending to continue work on the Arkansas Valley Conduit project, which will provide an alternate clean drinking water supply to rural communities grappling with groundwater contamination issues. <P> The proposed budget includes $103.2 million in appropriations for extraordinary maintenance (XM) activities across Reclamation—part of a strategy to improve asset management and deal with aging infrastructure to ensure continued reliable delivery of water and power. Examples of XM expenditures include spillway repairs, modifying fish screens, hydroelectric generator maintenance and rewinds, and pumping plant gate maintenance and replacements. Additional XM items are directly funded by revenues, water and power customers, or other federal agencies (e.g., Bonneville Power Administration). <P> Reclamation provides services through many of its projects and programs to fulfill its trust responsibilities to tribes. The FY 2021 budget request includes a total of $112.1 million for Indian water rights settlements. This includes $43.6 million for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project to continue important construction work; $12.8 million for the Crow Tribe Water Rights Settlement; $4.0 million for the Aamodt Litigation Settlement; and $25.9 million for the Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement. Other settlements include the Nez Perce Settlement within Columbia and Snake Rivers Salmon Recovery Project ($5.6 million), the San Carlos Apache Tribe Water Settlement Act ($1.6 million), the Ak-Chin Indian Water Rights Settlement Act ($15.3 million) and the Colorado Ute Settlement Act within the Animas La Plata Project ($3.4 million). <P> The FY 2021 budget, through programs such as the Lower Colorado River Operations Program ($37.6 million) and the Central Valley Project ($141.5 million), will continue efforts in both areas to find long-term, comprehensive water supply solutions for farmers, families and communities in the Colorado River Basin and California. It builds on the incredible work of Colorado River partners and stakeholders to implement drought contingency plans in 2019 and funds federal government obligations under those DCPs. <P> Other highlights of Reclamation’s FY 2021 budget proposal include: <P> <ul> <li>$107.1 million for the <a href="">Dam Safety Program</a> to effectively manage risks to the downstream public, property, project and natural resources and provide for risk management activities at Reclamation’s high and significant hazard dams.</li> <li>$30.3 million for ongoing authorized rural water projects to deliver water supplies to defined rural communities. This includes projects that benefit tribal nations such as the Mni Wiconi Project in South Dakota, the Pick Sloan-Missouri Basin Program – Garrison Diversion Unit in North Dakota, the Fort Peck Reservation/Dry Prairie Rural Water System in Montana, and the Rocky Boy’s/North Central Rural Water System in Montana.</li> <li>$2.9 million for the <a href="">Desalination and Water Purification Research Program</a> to support new and continued projects in three funding areas -- laboratory scale research studies, pilot-scale testing projects and full-scale testing projects.</li> <li>$11.0 million for the <a href="">Science and Technology Program</a> to support continued science and technology projects; water and power technology prize competitions; technology transfer; and outreach activities that address critical water and power management issues.</li> <li>$27.3 million for the Site Security Program which includes physical security upgrades at key facilities, guards and patrols, anti-terrorism program activities and security risk assessments.</li> <li>$18.2 million for the <a href="">WaterSMART Program</a> to support Reclamation’s collaboration with non-federal partners in efforts to address emerging water demands and water shortage issues in the West, as well as promote water conservation and improved water management.</li> </ul> <P> Additional details about Reclamation’s budget request are available at <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> Statement from Commissioner Brenda Burman on President Donald J. Trump's State of the Union Address
WASHINGTON – Commissioner of Reclamation Brenda Burman released the following statement on President Donald J. Trump's State of the Union Address. <P> "In 2018, President Trump directed Reclamation to further improve the reliability of water supplies for Americans in the West and we’re doing just that. At Reclamation, we worked with our partners to bring more water certainty in light of drought in important basins like the Colorado River; coordinated with regulatory agencies to improve operational flexibility of our water projects; worked to bring clean drinking water to rural and tribal communities; and have pushed to expand and improve much needed water infrastructure throughout the West. As directed by the President, we will continue to fight for more reliable water supplies for farms, communities, and fish and wildlife." <P> -- <b>Commissioner of Reclamation Brenda Burman </b> <P> <P> Reclamation allocates $120 million to tribal water projects
WASHINGTON – Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman initiated the first annual allocation of $120 million from the Reclamation Water Settlements Fund for Indian water rights settlements. The allocation will provide important funding for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project in northern New Mexico and water projects on the Blackfeet Reservation in northwestern Montana. <P> “This funding represents an investment in vital water infrastructure for tribal communities,” said Commissioner Burman. “Reclamation remains focused on meeting our Indian water rights settlement commitments and helping to fulfill the Department of the Interior’s Indian trust responsibilities.” <P> Specific amounts under this allocation include: <P> <u>Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project - $100 million</u>. The Navajo Gallup Water Supply project is a key element of the Navajo Nation Water Rights Settlement on the San Juan River in New Mexico. Construction of the project is well underway, with the first project water deliveries anticipated before the end of 2020. When fully complete, the project will provide reliable municipal, industrial, and domestic water supplies from the San Juan River to 43 Chapters of the Navajo Nation; the city of Gallup, New Mexico; the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry; and the southwest portion of the Jicarilla Apache Nation Reservation. <P> <u>Blackfeet Settlement - $20 million</u>. The “Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement Act” authorizes Reclamation to plan, design and construct facilities to supply domestic water and support irrigation—including developing new water infrastructure on the Blackfeet Reservation, located in northwestern Montana. Under the Settlement Act, Reclamation will plan, design and construct the Blackfeet Regional Water System, which at full buildout will serve an estimated 25,000 reservation residents in the communities of Browning, Heart Butte, Babb, East Glacier, and Blackfoot, as well as rural farms and ranches. <P> Today’s allocation is in accordance with the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-11), which established the Reclamation Water Settlements Fund, detailed how funding is to be deposited into the fund, and described the way the fund is to be expended. <P> <P> U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation: A Joint Commitment to the Nation’s Water Infrastructure
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation recently released <em>The State of the Infrastructure: A Joint Report by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers</em>. The two agencies have a long history of collaboration to construct, operate and maintain the nation’s crucial water-related infrastructure. <P> National water-related infrastructure provides water supply, hydroelectric power generation, navigation, flood control, recreation and other benefits. Combined, the Army Corps and Reclamation oversee and manage more than 1,200 dams, 153 hydroelectric power plants, over 5,000 recreation areas, 25,000 miles of navigable waterways and tens of thousands of miles of canals and other water conveyance infrastructure. Those facilities provide enough water for 130 million people and irrigation for 10 million acres of farmland. And, combined hydroelectric power plants generate renewable electricity for 10 million homes. <P> “Millions of people rely on this infrastructure for their water, their food, and their electricity,” said Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tim Petty, Ph.D. "This partnership is important; it helps us coordinate attention and resources to ensure that infrastructure is robust and well-maintained. I appreciate the partnership between Reclamation and the Army Corps and look forward to continued success moving forward.” <P> The partnership between the Army Corps and Reclamation brings together a wide array of resources that serve to enrich public services as well as water resource management and environmental protection. The agencies regularly assess the health, safety and sufficiency of existing infrastructure and continually work to upgrade aging infrastructure and construct new projects to meet the needs of families, farms and communities. <P> "This report provides visibility to the public on the vast and diverse federal portfolio of water-related infrastructure our agencies maintain and their value to the safety and economic prosperity of the nation" said Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) R.D. James. "This is a great example of how the Army Corps' partners and collaborates with other agencies on water-related infrastructure by sharing challenges, best practices and strategies to utilize resources to most efficiently and effectively maintain this critical infrastructure". <P> Affordable power production, reliable water supply, navigation, flood risk reduction, and recreation have a positive impact on the Nation’s economy and are a daily way of life for countless Americans. The rigorous and systematic maintenance programs both agencies use ensure these precious water-related resources will be available for years to come. <P> Ongoing attention to the Nation’s water-related infrastructure will provide maximum value to the American people. The Army Corps and Reclamation are jointly committed to the management and maintenance of this critical infrastructure both today and in the future. <P> The report is available at <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> <P> Bureau of Reclamation awards $1.6 million to four water reclamation and reuse research studies
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Reclamation today announced awards totaling $1.6 million for four Title XVI water reclamation and reuse research studies. The resulting research will lead to increased water management flexibility and more reliable western water supplies. When non-federal cost-share contributions are included, these studies will accomplish more than $7.6 million in water reclamation and reuse research. <P> “Water treatment and wastewater recycling are essential tools for stretching limited water supplies in the western United States,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “These Title XVI research studies will enable better use of recycled water to provide growing communities with new sources of clean water.” <P> Title XVI research projects are selected to receive funding through a competitive process. The four projects selected for funding are: <P> • City of San Diego (California) <P> Demonstrating Innovative Control Strategies for Reverse Osmosis Membrane Degradation and Preserving Water Quality in Potable Reuse Application with Optimized Chloramination Strategies <P> Reclamation funding: $155,113; Non-federal funding: $465,338 <P> • The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (California) <P> Demonstration of Pathogen Removal through an Alternative Treatment Technology to Treat Non-Nitrified Secondary Effluent for Potable Reuse <P> Reclamation funding: $750,000; Non-federal funding: $3,237,785 <P> • Padre Dam Municipal Water District (California) <P> East County Advanced Water Purification Facilities Preformed Chloramines Research to Ensure California Toxics Rule Compliance <P> Reclamation funding: $45,150; Non-federal funding: $135,453 <P> • City of Norman (Oklahoma) <P> Lake Thunderbird Water Reuse - Field Research Project for Inland Indirect Potable Reuse <P> Reclamation funding: $700,109; Non-federal funding: $2,100,326 <P> The Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program supports the President's memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West. Reclamation provides funding through the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program for projects that reclaim and reuse municipal, industrial, domestic or agricultural wastewater and impaired ground or surface waters. Reclaimed water can be used for a variety of purposes, such as environmental restoration, fish and wildlife, groundwater recharge, municipal, domestic, industrial, agricultural, power generation or recreation. Learn more at <P> Title XVI is part of the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program. 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 reduce local water conflicts. Visit for additional information about the program. <P> A complete description of the selected projects is available at: <P> Bureau of Reclamation makes funding available for Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Projects
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Reclamation has published a new funding opportunity for sponsors of congressionally authorized Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse projects to request cost-shared funding for the planning, design, and/or construction of those projects. <P> “Reclamation is pleased to announce this funding opportunity to increase water recycling and reuse,” said Program Coordinator Amanda Erath. “As part of these Title XVI projects, Reclamation will partner with local entities to take significant steps to ensure water supply reliability in their communities.” <P> Reclamation expects to select approximately six to ten projects for funding. Applicants must provide a 75% non-federal cost share for the funding requested. The funding opportunity is available at by searching for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-20-F008. Applications are due on Feb. 19, 2020 at 4 p.m. MST. <P> This funding opportunity is only open to sponsors of the 53 congressionally authorized Title XVI projects, provided that the Title XVI project has not reached its federal funding ceiling as specified in the Title XVI Act. A separate funding opportunity for Title XVI projects eligible under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act will be released later in the fiscal year. <P> To learn more about the Title XVI Program, please visit <P> For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have worked to develop a sustainable water and power future for the West. This program is part of the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program, which focuses on improving water conservation and reliability while helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. To find out more information about Reclamation's WaterSMART program, visit <P> Reclamation Announces Funding Opportunity for Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Reclamation has released a funding opportunity for small-scale water efficiency projects as part of the WaterSMART Program. The projects funded with these grants include installation of flow measurement devices and automation technology, canal lining or piping to address seepage, municipal meter upgrades, and other projects to conserve water. This funding announcement supports small-scale water efficiency projects that have been prioritized through planning efforts led by the applicant. <P> These cost-shared projects conserve and use water more efficiently, help water resource managers make sound decisions about water use, and accomplish other benefits that contribute to a reliable water supply in the West. To learn more about small-scale water efficiency projects or learn more about projects that have been previously funded, please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> "With this funding opportunity, Reclamation will cost share with partners to accomplish meaningful small-scale on-the-ground projects that seek to conserve, better manage or otherwise make more efficient use of water supplies," said Robin Graber, program coordinator. <P> The funding opportunity is available at <a href=""></a> by searching for opportunity number BOR-DO-20-F006. Applications are due by Mar. 04, 2020, 4 p.m. MST. <P> Funding of up to $75,000 is available per project and total project costs should generally be $200,000 or less. Recipients must also provide at least a 50% non-federal cost share. Those eligible to apply for funding include states, Indian Tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, or other organizations with water or power delivery authority located in the western United States or United States Territories as identified in the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902, as amended. Alaska and Hawaii are also eligible to apply. <P> For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have worked to develop a sustainable water and power future for the West. This program is part of the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program, which focuses on improving water conservation and reliability while helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. To find out more information about Reclamation's WaterSMART program, visit <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> Tim Brown named Chief of Civil Engineering Services
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Reclamation announced the selection of Tim Brown, P.E., as chief of one of the two civil engineering services divisions at the Technical Service Center in Denver, Colorado. Brown will start his new position on December 9, 2019. <P> "The Technical Service Center is a critical part of Reclamation's mission to deliver reliable water and power supplies to the West," said David Palumbo, deputy commissioner for operations. "Mr. Brown's technical expertise and leadership will ensure the continued success of the Technical Service Center and position Reclamation to effectively address the technical needs of our infrastructure." <P> "Mr. Brown brings more than 30 years of civil engineering design experience to his new position," said Tom Luebke, director of the Technical Service Center. "He consistently combines his passion for the work with his broad knowledge base to bring novel solutions to complex problems." <P> Brown joined Reclamation in 1989 as a civil engineer and has served for the last 8 years as the manager for two of the groups that make up the division—Water Conveyance and Civil Structures. As chief of the Civil Engineering Services Division 1, Brown will lead the following four groups: <P> Plant Structures – which provides project management, planning, structural analysis and design, architectural design, and construction support services for pumping plants, powerplants, and service buildings. <P> Water Conveyance – which produces final designs, appraisal studies, and feasibility studies for pipelines and canals. <P> Civil Structures – which provides analysis and designs for heavy civil structures including tunnels, roads, bridges, canal appurtenant structures, and in-river structures. <P> Water Treatment – which provides engineering and research services for the treatment of contaminated water supplies, wastewater, hazardous and industrial waste streams, and agricultural drainage. <P> Previously, Brown spent 12 years working in Reclamation’s Building Seismic Safety Program, first as a team member and then as the program manager. Notably, during his tenure the program provided design and construction support to improve the seismic performance for several Reclamation-owned buildings including the Provo Area Office Building, Yuma Area Office Building, and Lower Colorado’s Regional Administration and Annex Buildings. <P> In addition, Brown has 6 years of private industry experience, including a position designing residential and commercial buildings and a position managing a group that specialized in structural forensic investigations and repairs. <P> Brown grew up in Leadville, Colorado and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Arizona. He has been a registered professional engineer since 1994. He is an avid outdoorsman and loves playing and coaching team sports. <P> # # # <P> The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR. <P> <P>