The mission of the Bureau of Reclamation is to manage, develop and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public.
Originally conceived under the Reclamation Act of 1902 as a means to help settle the West by providing infrastructure for agricultural development, the Reclamation program focused on the construction of dams and facilities to store and convey water. As the potential for additional project purposes were identified by the states and local entities, Congress supplemented the Reclamation Act to add hydropower production, flood control, municipal and industrial water, recreation, and fish and wildlife enhancement to the list of authorized project purposes.
Today, Reclamation projects continue to support this multipurpose mission. And, as the demand for water increases, Reclamation is improving its water management expertise and expanding partnerships with states, Indian tribes, local communities and other Federal agencies to meet the increased demand for water. Existing projects are being modified to meet the changing needs and desires of society, to support economic development, to enhance environmental benefits, and to continue to ensure public safety.
The Columbia Cascades Area Office (CCAO) is in Reclamation’s Pacific Northwest Region and has its headquarters in Yakima, Washington. Area manager Talmadge Oxford oversees all aspects of the management, development and protection of water and related resources in the Columbia Cascades drainage basin.
The Columbia-Cascades Area Office has a staff of over 170 employees, and includes four field offices — Yakima Field Office, Ephrata Field Office, Umatilla Field Office and Bend Field Office.
Through the operation and maintenance of our 33 dams and three powerplants, the Columbia-Cascades Area Office provides valuable services including delivery of water, generation of power, flood control prevention and recreation opportunities. Reclamation also places great emphasis on continual compliance with the Endangered Species Act, promoting public awareness through Water Conservation activities and developing partnerships with our customers, states and Native American tribes.
Map of Columbia Cascades Area PDF 1.03 mb