Commissioner's Offce News Releases News Releases from Reclamation's Commissioner's Office 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=""></a>. <P> <P> <P> <P> Bureau of Reclamation seeks public comment on project use power draft directive and standard
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public comment 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. The draft directive and standard is available at <a href=""></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. <P> 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> Any questions or your comments on this directive and standard may be sent to Clark Bishop at Comments are due on March 12, 2018. <P> Learn more about Reclamation's Power Program at <a href=""></a>. <P> Bureau of Reclamation and American Membrane Technology Association select award recipients for novel membrane technologies
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman announced that four graduate students were each awarded $11,750 for their research pertaining to novel membrane technologies in an effort to conserve water and protect water quality through the widespread application of membrane technology. <P> "Innovative water treatment methods using novel membrane research have the potential to provide new sources of water and assist water users' efforts to improve water quality," Burman said. "We are looking forward to seeing how these technologies can improve desalination and water purification efforts." <P> The AMTA-Reclamation Fellowship Award program sought novel membrane research focused on the production of innovative water treatment strategies using novel membrane technologies. This research will advance future water treatment innovations for water users, wastewater managers, and water reuse industries. <P> Reclamation has partnered with AMTA to support universities, water utilities, private industry, and other entities in their efforts to address needs associated with desalination and water purification. Reclamation and AMTA's goal in this funding award program was to award research with widespread benefits of national significance, and to offer financial support when participants' research lacks the ability to fully invest in the research, and when the entity is unable to assume all research-related liability. <P> To see a full description of the selected projects of the award program, visit [site]. <P> The recipients of the AMTA-Reclamation Fellowship Award are: <P> <strong>Mackenzie Anderson, University of California, Los Angeles</strong><br /> Anderson is a doctoral student studying novel, chemically tolerant membranes for desalination and industrial water reuse. <P> <strong>Carlo Alberto Amadei, Harvard University</strong> <br /> Amadei is a doctoral student working on the development of novel, fully carbon membranes for wastewater reclamation. <P> <strong>Alma Beciragic, University of North Carolina</strong> <br /> Beciragic is a doctoral student who is developing methods for the detection of membrane leachates and byproducts during water treatment. <P> <strong>Mengyuan Wang, University of Colorado</strong> <br /> Wang is a doctoral student studying the gel-liquid interfacial polymerization process, and mechanisms and applications in thin film composite membranes. <P> Each Fellowship Award recipient will attend the AMTA-AWWA Membrane Technology Conference and Exposition in March 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana to present their research and to receive recognition of their fellowship award. <P> For more information about the fellowship program, please visit <a href="" class="tooltip-ng"></a>. <P> Mike Black appointed Regional Director for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Great Plains Region
WASHINGTON – Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman announced that Michael S. Black will succeed Michael J. Ryan as Reclamation’s Great Plains Regional Director on January 21. An experienced engineer and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, Black has a strong background in infrastructure and is Reclamation’s first Native American regional director. <P> "Mike brings a history of developing partnerships through collaboration with regional, local, tribal and international parties on a variety of issues that will benefit Reclamation and the numerous stakeholders in the Great Plains Region," said Commissioner Burman. “Mike is a great asset to our leadership team.” <P> “I am honored to take on this assignment,” said Black. “This region is my home and I look forward to working with our many water and power customers in the Great Plains Region.” <P> Most recently, Black has served as a Senior Advisor to the Commissioner. Prior to his appointment in October 2017, he served as the Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs for the Department of the Interior. From 2016 to 2017, he was the Senior Advisor to the Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 2010, he was appointed Director of BIA and held that position until 2016. From 2008 to 2010, he served as Regional Director of BIA’s Great Plains Regional Office. Black began his federal career in 1987 with BIA. <P> Black graduated from Aberdeen Central High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. <P> Ryan served with distinction as the Great Plains Regional Director for more than 12 years and will now provide his leadership and management skills to Reclamation as a Senior Advisor to the Commissioner. Commissioner Burman said, “We value all of the service Mike Ryan has provided and I look forward to working with him in his new capacity.” <P> Mike Ryan appointed Bureau of Reclamation’s Senior Advisor to the Commissioner
WASHINGTON – Commissioner Brenda Burman announced the appointment of Michael J. Ryan as Senior Advisor to the Commissioner. Ryan joined Reclamation in 1982 and has served as the Great Plains Regional Director for the last 12 years. <P> “We are very lucky to have someone of Mike’s caliber working for our office,” said Commissioner Burman. “Having someone with 35 years of experience in Reclamation is a tremendous asset. I look forward to working with him in his new capacity.” <P> “It is a great honor to be taking on this new assignment,” said Ryan. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to take the lessons learned from my many years in Reclamation and use them to continue to serve the West’s customers and stakeholders.” <P> Prior to serving as the Great Plains Regional Director, Ryan was the Northern California Area Manager in Redding, California. He also served as Chairman of the Trinity Management Council, tasked with developing and implementing the Trinity River Restoration Program and advising the Secretary of the Interior on Trinity River anadromous fishery restoration issues. Ryan has been recognized on numerous occasions for significant achievements in the fields of water and power operations and resource management. <P> A native of Deer Lodge, Montana, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering in 1984 from Montana State University, Bozeman. <P> <P> Bureau of Reclamation launches prize competition looking to eradicate invasive quagga and zebra mussels
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has launched a new prize competition seeking innovative solutions for the 100-percent eradication of invasive quagga and zebra mussels from large reservoirs, lakes and rivers in a cost-effective and environmentally sound manner. Invasive mussel infestations pose significant logistical and economic challenges for local communities, recreationists, and water managers by potentially disrupting water deliveries, increasing facility maintenance cost, and impacting the local ecology. <P> "Currently, no known broad scale application for open water exists to safely eradicate mussels in an environmentally sound manner," Reclamation's Science Advisor David Raff said. <P> Solutions may be novel treatments or approaches that build upon existing treatments. They must be specific to invasive mussels without significant harm to non-target organisms such as native mussels or threatened and endangered species. They must already be in compliance with existing federal discharge permits and environmental protection regulations or must be implementable with reasonable modifications to existing regulations. Successful treatments must be cost-effective and scalable to large water bodies. <P> The challenge will consist of three stages. Stage one is a theoretical challenge. It requires the submission of a white paper that describes novel treatments/methods for open-water mussel eradication. Reclamation is making a total prize purse of $100,000 available, to be divided among a maximum of five winners. If successful, stage two is planned to provide proof-of-concept in a laboratory-scale demonstration. <P> Reclamation is collaborating with the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Molloy & Associates. <P> This prize competition is part of a series of initiatives that were developed through a collaboration with western governors and federal, state and Tribal agencies and highlighted by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke last June. Read the full list of actions. <P> Learn more by visiting <a href=""></a>. <P> Navajo Generating Station Extension Lease Approved, Securing Operations through 2019
PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Bureau of Reclamation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have approved an extension lease for the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) which enables operation of the coal-fired power plant to continue through December 22, 2019. Without the extension, activities to retire the plant would be required to begin in the coming year. <P> The Department of the Interior bureaus approved the extension lease following an environmental review which concluded earlier this week. The Navajo Generating Station Extension Lease Environmental Assessment (EA) and draft Findings of No Significant Impact were issued for public review and comment from October 5 to November 3, 2017. Comments were received from 10 entities. Minor corrections and clarifications to the EA were made where appropriate. <P> Under the extension lease approved today, coal combustion at NGS will cease by December 22, 2019. Retirement of the facility would then begin, to be completed by December 22, 2024. The lease provides five years for the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District to complete plant retirement and 30 years for long-term monitoring and remediation. <P> While the extension lease does not authorize coal combustion after December 22, 2019, efforts are continuing between the Navajo Nation and NGS stakeholders to develop agreements for post-2019 operations, which would require appropriate approvals and environmental review. Reclamation and BIA are monitoring developments to anticipate potential impacts to those who historically have received benefits from NGS operations, including Navajo and Hopi stakeholders and other Tribal interests. <P> An electronic copy of the revised EA and signed FONSIs are available at <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> <P> <P> <P> Bureau of Reclamation Announces Fiscal Year 2018 Drought Response Program Funding Opportunities
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has released two funding opportunities for fiscal year 2018 through its Drought Response Program, which is part of the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART program. These funding opportunities are available for entities to develop drought contingency plans and build long-term solutions to drought. <P> The drought resiliency project funding opportunity is available for projects that will increase water management flexibility, and improve the resiliency of water resources throughout the West. Award recipients will leverage their resources by cost-sharing with Reclamation on drought resiliency projects. <P> Drought resiliency projects mitigate drought impacts by increasing the reliability of water supplies, improving water management, and providing benefits for fish, wildlife and the environment. <P> Applicants for drought resiliency projects funding must submit their proposals by 4:00 p.m. MST on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. To view this funding opportunity, please visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-18-F008. <P> The drought contingency planning funding opportunity is available for applicants interested in developing a new drought plan or updating an existing drought plan. Applicants may request technical assistance from Reclamation for developing elements of the drought contingency plan. <P> Applicants for drought contingency planning must submit their proposals by 4:00 p.m. MST on Wednesday, February 7, 2018. To view this funding opportunity, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-18-F007. <P> Reclamation's Drought Response Program supports a proactive approach to drought by providing financial assistance to water managers to: develop and update comprehensive drought plans (drought contingency planning), and implement projects that will build long-term resiliency to drought (drought resiliency projects). <P> To learn more about Reclamation's Drought Response Program please visit <a href=""></a>. <P> Bureau of Reclamation Announces WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program Funding Opportunity for 2018
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has announced its 2018 funding opportunity for Phase I of the Cooperative Watershed Management Program. This funding opportunity is seeking proposals for activities to develop a watershed group, complete watershed restoration planning activities, and to design watershed management projects. <P> Applicants must submit their proposals by Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at 4:00 p.m. MST. To view this funding opportunity, please visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-18-F005. Up to $100,000 in federal funds may be awarded to an applicant per award, with no more than $50,000 made available in a year for a period of up to two years. <P> States, tribes, local and special districts (e.g., irrigation and water districts), local governmental entities, interstate organizations, and non-profit organizations, including existing watershed groups, within the 17 western states are eligible to apply. <P> The Cooperative Watershed Management Program contributes to the Department of the Interior’s priorities to create a legacy of conservation stewardship and to restore trust with local communities by providing funding to local watershed groups to encourage the development of collaborative solutions designed to address water management needs among Reclamation’s diverse stakeholders. By providing this FOA, Reclamation leverages federal funding to support stakeholder efforts to stretch scarce water supplies and avoid conflicts over water. <P> To learn more about the WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Phase I grants for fiscal year 2018, visit <a href=""></a>. <P> Working together with stakeholders, WaterSMART provides support for sustainably developing energy and natural resources, modernizing infrastructure through public-private partnerships, and by improving relationships and communication with states, tribes and local governments, communities, landowners and water users. Visit <a href=""></a> for additional information about WaterSMART. <P> Bureau of Reclamation and American Membrane Technology Association Announce Fellowship Funding Opportunities for Membrane Technology
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation and American Membrane Technology Association are seeking nominees for graduate student fellowships to utilize innovative membrane technology research to study water treatment and desalination systems. These fellowships will consist of competed awards given to graduate students pursuing a full-time masters or Ph.D. at a university or college in the United States conducting research in innovations for water treatment in membrane-related research. <P> Reclamation and AMTA are collaborating to provide funding opportunities for addressing the need to reduce the cost, energy usage and environmental impacts associated with advanced water treatment and desalination utilizing membrane technology. These fellowships are focused on new innovation or optimization of existing technology. <P> Applications are due Thursday, November 30, 2017, by 2:00 p.m. EST. <P> Membrane technology innovation is necessary to increase the viability of desalination and advanced water treatment as a means of increasing water supply in arid regions, such as the western United States. Research must pertain to the advancement of membrane technologies in the water, wastewater, or water reuse industries. Funding is provided by the American Membrane Technology Association and the Bureau of Reclamation. <P> To learn more about this opportunity please visit: <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> Bureau of Reclamation Provides Technical Assistance Funding Opportunity to Tribes
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has issued a funding opportunity for technical assistance to Indian tribes and tribal organizations through the Native American Affairs Technical Assistance to Tribes Program. This program is intended to establish cooperative working relationships, through partnerships with Indian tribes and tribal organizations, to ensure that tribes have the opportunity to participate fully in Reclamation’s Program as they develop, manage, and protect their water and related resources. <P> Approximately $1,500,000 in Fiscal Year 2018 funding is anticipated to be made available. The funding per award will not exceed $200,000 total over two (2) years ($100,000 per year). Awards will be determined and administered by Reclamation’s five regional offices located in Boise, Idaho; Sacramento, California; Boulder City, Nevada; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Billings, Montana. <P> Project awards will be made through grants or cooperative agreements, as applicable to each project. If a cooperative agreement is awarded, the recipient should expect Reclamation to have substantial involvement in the project. Applicants should describe in their proposal the level of Reclamation involvement. Reclamation participation will be subject to the availability of resources. <P> This funding opportunity is available on by searching for funding opportunity BOR-DO-18-F001. The deadline for submission of proposals is January 17, 2018. Reclamation will complete proposal reviews as soon as practicable after the deadline. After selection, financial assistance agreements will be awarded to applicants that successfully pass all pre-award reviews and clearances. <P> Eligible proposals that are not awarded during the current fiscal year due to a lack of time or available funding may be retained by Reclamation for consideration in the next fiscal year if the applicant agrees. Reclamation will contact applicants should this circumstance arise to discuss available options. <P> For additional information, please visit <a href=""></a> or contact Kelly Titensor at <P> <P> Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Indian Affairs Issue Navajo Generating Station Extension Lease Environmental Assessment
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Indian Affairs have issued the environmental assessment for the Navajo Generating Station Extension Lease. It is now available for public review and comment. The environmental assessment describes the potential environmental impacts resulting from federal actions that would approve a new lease for the Navajo Generating Station and its related facilities. <P> Without the extension lease, NGS would cease operations by the end of December 2017, requiring retirement of the plant to be complete by 2020. However, to enable NGS operations to continue until December 2019, with plant retirement to begin in 2020, the Navajo Nation and SRP (on behalf of NGS non-Federal participants) have agreed to the extension lease. Reclamation and BIA have made preliminary determinations that the bureaus’ respective federal approvals and actions related to the extension lease would not result in findings of significant impact to the human environment. <P> Under the extension lease, coal combustion at NGS would cease by December 22, 2019. Retirement of NGS would begin at that point and be completed by December 22, 2024. The lease provides five years for the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District to complete plant retirement and 30 years for long-term monitoring and remediation. The lease extension would also allow time for new owners to come forward to operate the plant beyond 2019. <P> A public review and comment period will remain open until November 3, 2017, and both Reclamation and BIA will consider all relevant comments received throughout this time on the adequacy of the EA and draft decision documents. The Extension Lease is available for public review at <a href=""></a>. <P> Comments should be as specific as possible, and provide data and information to support statements or conclusions. Please send written communication to: <P> NGS Extension Lease Public Comments<br /> ERO Resources Corporation<br /> 1842 Clarkson Street<br /> Denver, CO  80218 <P> You may fax your comments to ERO Resources Corporation at 303-830-1199, or send your written comments by email to To ensure comments are considered prior to Reclamation and BIA making final determinations regarding the extension lease, please ensure they are delivered by November 3, 2017. <P> If you would like a CD copy of the EA and draft FONSI, please call Ms. Alice Jenkins at the Phoenix Area Office, Reclamation, at 623-773-6251, or email her at <P> Your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you may request that we withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. <P> If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Mr. Sean M. Heath, Bureau of Reclamation Phoenix Area Office at 623-773-6250, or Ms. Harrilene Yazzie, Bureau of Indian Affairs-Navajo Region at 404-863-8287. <P> Bureau of Reclamation Releases Public-Private Partnerships Request for Information Summary
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a summary of comments received regarding potential public-private partnerships (P3). <P> Reclamation summarized the comments received. The vast majority of respondents expressed strong support for a potential Reclamation P3 initiative. Many believed some or all of the five projects identified in the RFI are suitable for P3 delivery. Reclamation is highly motivated and encouraged by the RFI responses, and is engaging in internal efforts to further analyze the potential for leveraging P3 to deliver benefits to Reclamation’s stakeholders. <P> On April 25, Reclamation released a formal Request for Information (RFI No. R17PS00874) seeking market feedback on the potential use of alternative finance and delivery structures, such as P3, to advance Reclamation’s mission and deliver infrastructure. The RFI requested general feedback regarding market interest in leveraging alternative finance and delivery structures for Reclamation’s portfolio, as well as specific feedback on a handful of projects deemed “representative” of the broader portfolio. The RFI process was complemented by an industry forum held in Denver, Colorado, on May 9. <P> The summary is available at <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> Reclamation Awards $20,000 for Ideas to Limit Rodents from Burrowing into Canals, Levees and Earthen Dam Embankments
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has selected five ideas to receive $20,000 to limit rodents from burrowing into canals, levees and earthen dam embankments. The two top ideas submitted will each receive $5,500. Edem Tsikata of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Lawrence Kearns of Chicago, Illinois, were selected as the top prize winners. <P> Rodents can burrow through both sides of an embankment providing a pathway for water to move through and erode the embankment, potentially causing serious issues for the surrounding communities. Burrows may also intersect or expose other anomalies in the embankment that may result in a failure of the embankment. Offending rodents include squirrels, badgers, moles, muskrats, mice and beavers. <P> Tsikata's idea proposes installation of a geotextile with embedded steel wool as a barrier cloth placed on or just under the embankment surface. It addresses rodent burrow prevention, is likely to be effective long-term, and allows small vegetation and moisture to penetrate the mesh. "I had read about a thorny plant (African Myrrh) used to deter lions in Southern Africa and steel mesh used to prevent damage by beavers in Germany," Tsikata described. "I thought combining these ideas might solve the problem." <P> Kearns’ solution proposes a subsurface cut-off wall approach that is known to be technically viable. However, the wall would be constructed using a unique hydro-excavation technique that would create a narrower trench, with less structural impact to the embankment, than what has previously been used for this application. <P> Others selected to receive prizes are: John McNabb of Pocatello, Idaho, for proposing the introduction of natural predators combined with hydro-seeded plant deterrents ($4,000), Leaf Jiang of Lexington, Massachusetts, for proposing a robotic smart trap ($2,500), and a team led by David Orlebeke of Ridgecrest, California, for proposing a wind-powered subsurface random acoustic emitter ($2,500). <P> The Bureau of Reclamation collaborated with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources Dam Safety Division, and federal canal operating entities including the Boise Project Board of Control and the South Columbia Basin Irrigation District, to design and judge this prize competition.   To learn more about Reclamation's Water Prize Competition Center, please visit: <a href=""></a>. <P> <P> <P> Reclamation Awards $20,000 for Ideas to Solve Issues About Detecting Soil Movement within Earthen Dams, Canals and Levees
WASHINGTON - Reclamation has selected five ideas as potential solutions for the Detection of Movement of Soils within Earthen Dams, Canals and Levees prize competition. Ted Grygar of San Diego, California, and David Orlebeke of Ridgecrest, California, were selected as having the two top ideas. Each received $6,250. <P> This prize competition sought methods to detect the movement of material earlier than observable by currently used visual inspection and instrumentation methods. This could help prevent the loss of life, property and interruption of the service the infrastructure provides. <P> Grygar's solution proposes using geophones and an impact hammer as an active seismic solution in a permanent installation. "The solution has options including refraction tomography and shear wave reflection depending on the geophones used," Grygar said. "It may be best suited for smaller structures. Larger structures may need geophones or sources placed at depth." <P> Orlebeke's solution was based on unique magnetic sensor called superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) with extremely high sensitivity for low level magnetic fields with ability to detect their minimal changes. SQUID was used to register small changes of Earth's magnetic field near underground areas with movement of soil (internal erosion). Combining obtained data with GPS coordinates permits mapping of internal erosion areas within earthen dams, canals, levees and their foundations. <P> Others selected to receive $2,500 each through this prize competition are Jean-Louis Briaud of College Station, Texas, for a robot enabled underwater flowmeter, Cliff Gilbert of Southborough, Massachusetts, for a brine water seepage tracer and Michal Kardauskas of Billerica, Massachusetts, for shear-wave reflection seismic imaging. <P> Reclamation collaborated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Colorado Dam Safety Program to design and judge this prize competition.   To learn more about Reclamation's Water Prize Competition Center, please visit: <P>