Upper Colorado Region News Releases http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom News Releases from Reclamation's Upper Colorado Region http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=69423 Reclamation to host Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group meeting
TEMPE, Ariz. – The Bureau of Reclamation will host the winter meeting of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group Federal Advisory Committee on February 12 and 13 in Tempe, Arizona. The AMWG brings together diverse partners and stakeholders along the Colorado River to provide recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior regarding the operation of Glen Canyon Dam and related scientific research and management actions. <P> These meetings are open to the public. <P> What: AMWG Federal Advisory Committee Meeting <P> When: February 12, 2020, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (MST) and February 13, 2020, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (MST) <P> Where: Hilton Garden Inn, 7200 South Price Road, Tempe, Arizona 85283 <P> Discussion topics at this meeting include updates on current basin hydrology and projected reservoir operations; non-native fish issues; tribal and cultural resources; science results from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center; fiscal year 2020 budget and work plans; and other resource and administrative issues. AMWG members are appointed by the Secretary and include representatives from federal agencies, Native American tribes, Colorado River Basin states, environmental groups, recreation interests, and contractors for federal hydropower. <P> Visit the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program Adaptive Management Work Group website for more information, including webinar access, at https://www.usbr.gov/uc/progact/amp/amwg.html. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=69343 Reclamation extends comment period on alternatives to reduce salinity and improve water quality in the Colorado River
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation is extending the public comment period on a draft Environmental Impact Statement that analyzes alternatives to reduce salinity in the Colorado River from sources in the Paradox Valley in western Colorado. The public comment period now closes February 19, 2020. <P> Currently, the Paradox Valley Unit in Montrose County, Colorado, is intercepting naturally occurring brine and injecting it 16,000 feet underground via a deep injection well. The PVU began operating in 1996 and is nearing the end of its useful life. The United States has a water quality obligation to control salt in the Colorado River, in compliance with the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act and a 1944 treaty with Mexico. <P> Reclamation is preparing an EIS and has released a draft for public review and comment. Alternatives analyzed in the draft EIS include a new injection well; evaporation ponds; zero liquid discharge technology; and no action, which would result in no salinity control in the Paradox Valley. <P> The draft Environmental Impact Statement is available online at www.usbr.gov/uc/progact/paradox/index.html or a copy can be requested by contacting Reclamation. <P> Reclamation will consider all comments received by 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on February 19, 2020. Those interested may submit comments by email to paradoxeis@usbr.gov or to Ed Warner, Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Avenue, Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81501. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=69183 Reclamation advances water delivery project for Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Nations
Media Advisory <P> DURANGO, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation invites members of the press and public to a meeting to continue negotiations with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority. The purpose of these negotiations is to agree to terms for an operations, maintenance and replacement contract for the federally-owned Cutter Lateral features of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, located near Bloomfield, New Mexico. <P> This operations, maintenance and replacement contract for Cutter Lateral will facilitate water delivery to the Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Nations. The negotiations and subsequent contract provide the legal mechanism for delivery of the Navajo Nation’s Settlement Water in the state of New Mexico. <P> What: Public meeting to negotiate the Cutter Lateral operations, maintenance and replacement contract. <P> When: Wednesday Jan. 22, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. MST. <P> Where: Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Walter F. Wolf Conference Room 2nd Floor GM Suite, Indian Navajo Route 12, Fort Defiance, Arizona 86504 <P> Why: The contract to be negotiated will provide terms and conditions for the operation, maintenance and replacement of specific project features. All negotiations are open to the public as observers and the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments pertaining to the contract during a thirty-minute comment period following the negotiation session. <P> The proposed contract and other pertinent documents will be available at the negotiation meeting. They can also be obtained on our website at: http://www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/index.html in the “Current Focus” section or by contacting Marc Miller at 185 Suttle Street, Suite 2, Durango, Colorado, 81303, 970-385-6541, mbmiller@usbr.gov. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=69063 Reclamation holds Lake Powell Pipeline public scoping meetings
UTAH – The Bureau of Reclamation, acting for the Department of the Interior, invites members of the public and media to attend three scoping meetings on the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline project. <P> The Utah Board of Water Resources is proposing to build the Lake Powell Pipeline to increase and diversify the water supply in southwestern Utah. The pipeline would deliver up to 86,249 acre-feet of water from Lake Powell to Washington and Kane counties to meet future water demands. <P> The locations and times for the public meetings are as follows: <P> • January 7, 2020, (Tuesday) Kanab Center, 20 N 100 E, Kanab, UT 84741; 6-8 p.m. • January 8, 2020, (Wednesday) Dixie Center, 1835 S Convention Center Dr., St. George, UT 84790; 6-8 p.m. • January 9, 2020, (Thursday) Valley High School, 325 W 11000 S, South Jordan, UT 84095; 6-8 p.m. <P> These scoping meetings provide an opportunity for the public to identify and comment on reasonable alternatives, concerns and issues that should be addressed in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Two pipeline alignments have been proposed in addition to the No Action Alternative. The proposed alignments are the Southern Alternative and Highway Alternative. The Southern Alternative would travel south of the Kaibab Indian Reservation and the Highway Alternative would cross lands held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, following Arizona State Route 389. Both alternatives will begin and end in the same locations. <P> To learn more about the project and how to participate please visit: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/eis/LakePowellPipeline/index.html or send an email to lpp@usbr.gov and request to be added to the mailing list. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=68843 Reclamation announces Wayne Pullan as deputy regional director for its Interior Region 7 – Upper Colorado Basin
SALT LAKE CITY — The Bureau of Reclamation recently announced Wayne Pullan as deputy regional director for its Upper Colorado Basin Region. As deputy regional director, Pullan will oversee a variety of water and hydropower programs in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. He begins his new assignment December 9, 2019. <P> “I am dedicated to Reclamation’s mission in the Upper Colorado River Basin—providing water and power to citizens in the growing communities of the west,” said Pullan. <P> Pullan most recently served as Reclamation’s Provo area office manager with responsibility for Reclamation’s projects in Utah and southwestern Wyoming. In that role, he worked on issues related to rehabilitating and upgrading infrastructure, dam safety modifications, recreation facilities, title transfer, Indian water rights settlements, endangered species, and municipal and irrigation water supply planning. <P> “Wayne brings a wealth of experience and expertise in management of water supply issues in this region,” said Regional Director Brent Esplin. “We are looking forward to adding Wayne’s strong background to our regional office’s leadership team as we meet the unique challenges of the Upper Colorado Basin.” <P> Pullan’s many years of service include the completion of the Central Utah Project; negotiation and implementation of settlements with the Ute Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation and the Navajo Nation; creation of a new state park at Echo Reservoir, Utah; and facilitation of development of Utah and Wyoming shares of water under the Colorado River Compact. <P> His experience also includes assignments as a Reclamation deputy area manager, assistant area manager, chief of the planning and water resource group, contracts and repayment specialist, and economist. Before joining Reclamation, Pullan worked for the State of California on the Governor’s School-to-Career Transition Initiative as well as the Agricultural Export Program. He began his professional career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, where he implemented an agricultural marketing and food aid program in Asia and the Middle East. <P> Pullan is a native of Midvale, Utah, and holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and Asian studies as well as a Master of Science degree in agricultural economics with an emphasis in agribusiness management—all from Brigham Young University. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=68804 Reclamation seeks public input on alternatives to reduce salinity and improve water quality in the Colorado River
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public input on alternatives to reduce salinity in the Colorado River from sources in the Paradox Valley in western Colorado. Currently, the Paradox Valley Unit (PVU) in Montrose County, Colorado, is intercepting naturally occurring brine and injecting it 16,000 feet underground via a deep injection well. The PVU began operating in 1996 and is nearing the end of its useful life. The United States has a water quality obligation to control salt in the Colorado River, in compliance with the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act, the Clean Water Act, and a 1944 treaty with Mexico. <P> “The Paradox Valley Unit is a cost-effective salinity control project in the Colorado River Basin as it prevents 95,000 tons of salt annually from reaching the Dolores River and eventually the Colorado River—that’s approximately 7% of total salinity control occurring in the basin,” said Area Manager for Reclamation’s Western Colorado Area Office Ed Warner. “Reducing salt in the rivers improves water quality, crop production and wildlife habitat in the basin.” <P> Reclamation is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement and has released a draft for public review and comment. Alternatives analyzed in the draft EIS include a new injection well; evaporation ponds; zero liquid discharge technology; and no action, which would result in no salinity control in the Paradox Valley. <P> The public is invited to attend public meetings to learn more, ask questions and provide comments. Two public meetings will be held on: <P> - Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 in Paradox, Colorado at the Paradox Valley Charter School, 21501 6 Mile Rd., at 5 p.m. - Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 in Montrose, Colorado at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 1391 S. Townsend Ave., at 6 p.m. <P> The draft Environmental Impact Statement is available online at www.usbr.gov/uc/progact/paradox/index.html or a copy can be requested by contacting Reclamation. <P> Reclamation will consider all comments received by 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on Feb. 4, 2020. Those interested may submit comments by email to paradoxeis@usbr.gov or to Ed Warner, Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave, Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81501. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=68803 Reclamation seeks public comment on the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline Project
PROVO, Utah - The Department of the Interior, through the Bureau of Reclamation, has issued a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Lake Powell Pipeline Project (LPP), in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. Interior is seeking public comment on the scope of the environmental documents. This is the first step in the public scoping process. <P> The proposed pipeline would establish a second source of water for Washington and Kane counties in Utah, through an approximately 140-mile-long water delivery pipeline from Lake Powell near Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Arizona, to Sand Hollow Reservoir near St. George, Utah. The project will help meet future water demands, diversify the regional water supply portfolio and enhance the reliability of the water supply. <P> Interior has designated Reclamation as the lead federal agency, with responsibility for coordinating the environmental compliance effort of all Interior agencies. Through this effort, Interior will assess the environmental impacts of the proposed pipeline. The proposed action to be analyzed in the draft EIS includes construction of the pipeline and associated facilities, entering into a water exchange contract, and potentially amending the Arizona Strip Resource Management Plan. <P> “The public scoping process is an important step in informing interested parties of the proposed action and gathering their issues and concerns,” said Reclamation’s Provo Area Office Manager Wayne Pullan. “Their input will help Interior define the scope of the EIS and identify significant issues to be analyzed in depth.” <P> In addition to Reclamation, other Interior agencies involved in the development of the draft EIS will include the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service. <P> Comments and requests to be added to the mailing/notification list may be submitted by mail, web form, e-mail or fax to: <P> Lake Powell Pipeline Project Bureau of Reclamation, Provo Area Office 302 East Lakeview Parkway Provo, Utah 84606 <P> Web form: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/eis/LakePowellPipeline/index.html Email: lpp@usbr.gov FAX: 801-379-1159 <P> Comments should be received by 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on Jan. 10, 2020. <P> A link to the Federal Register Notice regarding this proposed action can be found at https://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/eis/LakePowellPipeline/index.html. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=68563 Reclamation advances water delivery project for Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Nations
Media Advisory <P> Reclamation advances water delivery project for Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Nations DURANGO, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation invites members of the press and public to a meeting to continue negotiations with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority. The purpose of these negotiations is to agree to terms for an operations, maintenance and replacement contract for the federally-owned Cutter Lateral features of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, located near Bloomfield, New Mexico. <P> This operations, maintenance and replacement contract for Cutter Lateral will facilitate water delivery to the Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Nations. The negotiations and subsequent contract provide the legal mechanism for delivery of the Navajo Nation’s Settlement Water in the state of New Mexico. <P> What: Public meeting to negotiate the Cutter Lateral operations, maintenance and replacement contract. <P> When: Thursday, November 14, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. <P> Where: Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Walter F. Wolf Conference Room 2nd Floor GM Suite, Indian Navajo Route 12, Fort Defiance, AZ 86504 <P> Why: The contract to be negotiated will provide terms and conditions for the operation, maintenance and replacement of specific project features. All negotiations are open to the public as observers and the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments pertaining to the contract during a thirty-minute comment period following the negotiation session. <P> The proposed contract and other pertinent documents will be available at the negotiation meeting. They can also be obtained on our website at: http://www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/index.html, under Current Focus or by contacting Marc Miller at 185 Suttle Street, Suite 2, Durango, Colorado, 81303, 970-385-6541, mbmiller@usbr.gov. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=68543 EPA and Bureau of Reclamation advance federal cooperation on funding for water supply and reuse projects
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Reclamation announced a Memorandum of Understanding that advances federal collaboration on funding for water supply and water reuse projects nationwide. Consistent with the Administration’s commitment to infrastructure resiliency, the agencies are collaborating on approaches to effectively and efficiently help ensure that all Americans have access to sustainable supplies of clean water by leveraging the core expertise of each agency. <P> “With 80 percent of U.S. states anticipating some freshwater shortages in the next decade, diversifying our country’s water portfolio is a nationwide priority,” said EPA Assistant Administrator David Ross. “Our new MOU with Reclamation will accelerate federal cooperation and support for water supply reliability and water reuse projects to help address this challenge.” <P> “We owe it to the next generation to make the investments necessary to ensure reliable water supplies,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “This partnership will help water managers make those investments; the new MOU gives Reclamation and EPA the structure to collaborate together on important water infrastructure projects.” <P> “Building and rehabilitating water infrastructure in the west is critical to providing the drought resilience our farms and communities need. This agreement between Reclamation and the EPA is an important step toward providing a much needed financing tool that will allow water managers to solve the unique challenges they face in a cost effective manner. I will continue to work in the Senate to pass legislation that ensures Arizona and the west’s water supply is sustainable for the future,” said Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ). <P> “Encouraging local water agencies to invest in more water recycling and storage projects is critical to improving our drought resiliency. That’s why we pushed to create these new loans in last year’s water bill. By signing the MOU, low-cost Treasury loans will soon be available for water agencies to use to improve their infrastructure for significantly less, reducing costs for water projects by as much as 25 percent,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). <P> “I have spent my career in Congress working to ensure secure and abundant water supplies for Californians,” said Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42). “Today’s MOU between the EPA and Bureau of Reclamation seeks to prioritize and expand federal financing options to water recycling and desalination projects. These projects stretch existing water supplies and create secure local supplies of drinking water in regions like southern California where high-quality, local surface water is less available. I applaud Commissioner Burman and Assistant Administrator Ross for their proactive efforts to enhance water security for all Americans.” <P> “Water supply reliability is a big challenge for many areas throughout the Western U.S. – especially in California, where misguided policies from Sacramento waste countless gallons of water per year. This MOU allows EPA and BOR to effectively work together in order to accomplish their shared goal of improving our nation’s long-term water supply by investing in local projects from water storage to wastewater recycling. I applaud the efforts by this Administration to streamline the federal processes for improving our nation’s water infrastructure,” said Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-01). <P> “This critical agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Bureau of Reclamation unlocks low-interest federal financing for municipal water supply, recycling, and irrigation projects in California’s Central Valley and across the American West. I worked on a bipartisan basis with other members of Congress from the California delegation and western states to get this enacted into law last year. With the agreement now finalized, the EPA and Bureau of Reclamation can now start financing water supply projects to meet California’s future needs and those of other growing western states,” said Congressman John Garamendi (CA-03). <P> “Last Congress, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act was signed into law. This legislation contained language of a bill I co-introduced, the New WATER Act, to help localities and non-federal entities improve and update water storage and recycling projects,” said Congressman Dan Newhouse (WA-04). “As this critical law continues to be implemented, this partnership between EPA and the Bureau of Reclamation will ensure communities in Central Washington and across the West have access to the clean water and strong water infrastructure we rely on.” <P> “Cities and communities across the country depend on reliable water supplies, which is why this MOU is so important. As Ranking Member on the House Water Resources Subcommittee, I’m grateful for EPA’s commitment to expanding and supplementing water recycling projects, and look forward to future hearings on this issue,” said Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04). <P> “Every community, farm, and business in this nation relies on access to a safe, affordable and reliable supply of water,” said National Water Resources Association (NWRA) President Cheryl Zittle. “We are grateful to Reclamation and the EPA for signing this important MOU. These efforts will help provide resources that are needed for developing and improving water infrastructure for this and future generations.” <P> “Irrigated farms and ranches in the West have always depended on long-term investments in water supply infrastructure,” said Family Farm Alliance Executive Director Dan Keppen. “The WIFIA program can provide the longer repayment and lower interest terms necessary to allow for new investments in the water supply facilities crucial to meet the challenges of tomorrow. We are pleased to see this formal commitment by the agencies to work together to implement WIFIA in a way that can assist in providing new capital for important water storage and conveyance projects in the West.” <P> By signing this MOU, the agencies are committing to work together to implement existing water infrastructure financing programs, specifically EPA’s Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program and Reclamation’s Title XVI and Desalination programs. <P> Reclamation will look for opportunities to leverage funding provided by WIFIA with existing Reclamation funding programs to better support the country’s water reuse and recycling projects. EPA and Reclamation also commit to identifying other opportunities to leverage the resources of both agencies to help make each Federal dollar go further. <P> The MOU is effective immediately and will remain in effect for five years. The MOU meets the statutory requirements section 4301 of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. <P> To read the MOU and for more information about EPA’s WIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia. <P> Learn more about the Bureau of Reclamation at https://www.usbr.gov. <P> Background <P> Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. WIFIA’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term and low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. EPA’s WIFIA program plays an important part in President Trump’s infrastructure plan, which calls for expanding project eligibility. The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs. To date, EPA has issued 14 WIFIA loans totaling more than $3.5 billion in credit assistance to help finance more than $8 billion for water infrastructure projects while creating more than 15,000 jobs. <P> Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control and benefits to recreation as well as and fish and wildlife. Title XVI of P.L. 102-575, as amended (Title XVI), provides authority for Reclamation’s water recycling and reuse program, titled “Title XVI.” Through the Title XVI program, Reclamation identifies and investigates opportunities to reclaim and reuse waste waters and impaired ground and surface water in the 17 Western States and Hawaii. Title XVI includes funding for the planning, design, and construction of water recycling and reuse projects in partnership with local government entities. In 2018, an estimated 431,000 acre-feet of water was recycled through Title XVI projects. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=68363 Reclamation reduces salinity and improves water quality in western slope canals
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation is reducing salinity and improving water quality in the Colorado River Basin by reducing salt loading into the river from the Crawford Clipper Center Lateral in Delta County and the Gould Canal in Delta and Montrose Counties. Naturally-occurring salts in the sediment along the canals are picked up by water leaching from the earthen ditches and entering the Colorado River system. The resulting reduction in water quality creates a negative economic impact to downstream infrastructure and crops. The purpose of the projects is to prevent seepage and reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Basin. <P> The Crawford Clipper Center Lateral Pipeline Project will replace approximately 4.3 miles of open irrigation ditch with buried pipe. The Gould Canal Improvement Project will convert 12.4 miles of the canal to pipeline and geomembrane lining. These improvements will reduce seepage along the canals, enhancing water supply and improving water quality by preventing approximately 8,303 tons of salt per year from entering the Colorado River. <P> “Reducing salt along the Clipper Center Lateral and the Gould Canal will help improve the water quality, crop production and wildlife habitat in the Colorado River Basin,” said Ed Warner, area manager for Reclamation’s Western Colorado Area Office. <P> Copies of the final Findings of No Significant Impacts and Environmental Assessments on the projects are available online at www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html or by contacting Reclamation. Historical and photographic documentation on the canals is available at www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/rm/cr/index.html. <P> Piping and lining of the projects tentatively scheduled to begin in November 2019. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=68343 Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Advisory Council to hold semi-annual meeting
PHOENIX, AZ – Members of the public and media are invited to attend the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Advisory Council’s semi-annual fall meeting. Discussions will include status of salinity control activities as high levels of salinity concentration in the Colorado River water is a major threat to the Upper and Lower Colorado River Basins as it affects agricultural, municipal and industrial water users. <P> The Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act directed the Secretary of the Interior to proceed with a program to control salinity in the Colorado River for use in the United States and Republic of Mexico, which is the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program. Without the Salinity Control Program, it is estimated that economic damages would be over $618 million per year. Current measures in place control approximately $382 million or a 62% reduction in economic salinity damages. <P> WHEN: October 24, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (MST) October 25, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. <P> WHERE: State Capitol – Executive Tower, 1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ <P> WHY: The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the accomplishments of federal agencies and make recommendations on future activities to control salinity and other items within the jurisdiction of the Council. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=68143 Reclamation completes safety modifications at Steinaker Dam and resumes normal operations
VERNAL, UTAH – Dam safety modifications at Steinaker Dam are substantially complete and the Bureau of Reclamation has returned to full normal operations at the reservoir. In July 2018, Reclamation began modification work to repair a slope failure on the upstream face of the right abutment by flattening the abutment slope. Other modifications included extending the outlet works intake to accommodate the flattened embankment, re-coating the outlet work gates and installing a new hydraulic system for gate operation. <P> Dam safety modifications were performed by Weeminuche Construction Authority Inc., located in Towaoc, Colorado and owned and operated by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. <P> “I’m impressed by the hard work and technical capabilities of both Weeminuche Construction Authority and the Reclamation employees who worked on this project,” said Wayne Pullan, Provo Area Office Manager. “With these improvements, Reclamation, the Uintah Basin Water Conservancy District and the basin’s water users can all look forward to the continued safe and successful operation of this facility.” <P> The dam, which is owned by Reclamation and operated by the Uintah Water Conservancy District, provides off-stream water storage from Ashley Creek and is an important feature of the Vernal Unit of the Central Utah Project. The dam and reservoir provide certainty and reliability for water users in the Uintah Basin—delivering 15,000 acre-feet of water each year for irrigation. The reservoir also provides excellent fishing, boating, water skiing and other recreational opportunities. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67983 Pojoaque Basin regional water system moves toward construction
SANTA FE, NM - The Bureau of Reclamation is one step closer to constructing a water system to bring safe, reliable drinking water to four Pueblos and parts of Santa Fe County under the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Agreement. Today, Reclamation’s Commissioner Brenda Burman joined settlement parties to sign an agreement that renegotiated cost shares and cost savings measures in the project. She also delivered the signed decision document completing the final environmental impact statement process for the construction. <P> The Pojoaque Basin regional water system will divert water from the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico. The system will include water treatment facilities on the Pueblo de San Ildefonso, along with storage tanks and transmission and distribution pipelines to supply up to 4,000 acre-feet (about 1.3 billion gallons) of drinking water annually to the Pueblos of Nambé, Tesuque, San Ildefonso and Pojoaque, and other Santa Fe County customers in the Pojoaque Basin. <P> “I commend the Pueblos, the county and all the settlement parties for reaching an agreement on revising the cost share arrangements and on making changes to allow for cost savings on this complicated project. This is a great accomplishment,” said Commissioner Brenda Burman “This agreement, along with our signed record of decision completing the environmental process for this project allow us to move forward to break ground on construction early next year.” <P> Section 611(g) of the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act allows the settlement parties to renegotiate the existing cost-share of the project should the real costs exceed the original estimated costs. After nearly a year of negotiations, settlement parties reached an agreement that contains approximately $15 million in cost-savings measures and additional financial commitments from the partners. <P> With the 611(g) agreement negotiated, the Department of the Interior was able to finalize the environmental compliance process with a decision to construct the Pojoaque Basin regional water system. The preferred alternative selected will result in the least ground disturbance and the lowest cost for both construction and operation. The Pojoaque Basin regional water system is part of the Aamodt Settlement Agreement and was authorized by Congress under the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act of 2010 to settle Indian water rights disputes in the Pojoaque Basin. <P> A total of five design alternatives for constructing the regional water system were considered in the environmental impact statement. The record of decision also approves two connected actions analyzed in the EIS. Reclamation prepared the record of decision in cooperation with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the four settlement Pueblos, New Mexico Department of Transportation, Santa Fe County and the City of Santa Fe. The decision made in the ROD is based on how this alternative helps offset the effects of groundwater pumping and in consideration of how the components of this alternative avoid or minimize potential environmental impacts, while providing a reliable, firm and safe supply of treated drinking water for distribution in the Pojoaque Basin in compliance with the Settlement Act. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67943 Reclamation joins Aamodt Settlement parties to sign agreement and present Record of Decision
Reclamation joins Aamodt Settlement parties to sign agreement and present Record of Decision <P> SANTA FE, NM - The Bureau of Reclamation’s Commissioner Brenda Burman will join officials from the State of New Mexico, Pueblos of Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso and Tesuque and Santa Fe County to sign an agreement to move toward construction of a water system to bring safe drinking water to the Pueblos and part of Santa Fe County. In addition to signing the agreement that renegotiated cost shares and cost savings measures in the project under the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act, Commissioner Burman will deliver the signed decision document completing the final environmental impact statement process for construction. <P> Who: Reclamation’s Commissioner Burman and partners in the Aamodt Indian Water Rights Settlement. <P> What: Formal signing of the 611(g) agreement under the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act and presentation of the Record of Decision on the final environmental impact statement process for the construction of the Pojoaque regional water system. <P> When: Tuesday, September 17, 2019, at 10 a.m. <P> Where: Buffalo Thunder Resort, 20 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87506 <P> Why: To learn more about the latest developments in the process to construct the Pojoaque regional water system under the Aamodt Indian Water Rights Settlement. Which include components that will avoid or minimize potential environmental impacts, and provide reliable, firm and safe supply of treated drinking water for distribution in the Pojoaque Basin in compliance with the Settlement Act. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67883 Reclamation crews work to improve Rio Grande flows to Elephant Butte Reservoir
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Bureau of Reclamation construction crews are working to realign a portion of the Rio Grande around a sediment plug that has formed within the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. This construction work will ensure that water is effectively delivered to Elephant Butte Reservoir. <P> Large equipment will be working in the area for about two months as crews excavate a channel that formed naturally this year during high flows. While water levels were high, water continued to flow around the plugged area with minimal reductions in flow reaching Elephant Butte. The Bosque del Apache stretch of the river began to naturally dry last week due to reduced flows on the mainstem of the Rio Grande and continued high temperatures, allowing Reclamation construction crews improved access to the area. <P> “The Rio Grande used to migrate back and forth across the valley, choosing its own path,” said Albuquerque Area Manager Jennifer Faler. “Whenever we have a lot of water like we had this summer, the river channel at this location fills with sediment and starts to seek a better flow path. This year, we had already completed the analysis and environmental compliance and were ready to start the work needed to allow the river to move to the lower, eastern side of the floodplain.” <P> The Rio Grande is being rerouted in an area that has historically plugged with sediment during high flow years. Sediment plugs occur at this location because the river channel is perched above the adjacent floodplain. Most of the sediment in the river moves along the bottom of the channel. As water levels rise above the river banks during high flows, water leaves the main channel and inundates the overbank area. The water remaining in the channel becomes concentrated with sediment, which deposits rapidly and fills the main channel with sand. Channel plugging most recently occurred in 2017. <P> The realignment project aims to reduce plugging, improve downstream water delivery and direct water away from important riverside infrastructure. This pilot project within Reclamation’s River Maintenance Program will provide data and could lead to additional realignment work in the area. <P> Reclamation hydrologists continue to monitor and model river flows. Reclamation will also coordinate with the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission to remove a separate sediment plug that has developed directly above the Elephant Butte Reservoir pool. <P> <P>