Science and Technology Program



About S&T Program

    The Science and Technology Program (S&T) is a Reclamation-wide competitive, merit-based applied research and development program. The program focuses on innovative solutions for water and power challenges in the Western United States for Reclamation water and facility managers and the stakeholders they serve. The program has contributed many of the tools and capabilities Reclamation and western water managers use today.

    Research authorization is conducted under the Reclamation Act of 1902 (PDF, 5.6 MB) and the Reclamation Project Act of 1939 (PDF, 2.7 MB).


    Stories & Media
    • Quarterly Magazine

      Spring 2018 - Invasive Species

      (Spring 2018) Welcome to the Spring 2018 edition focusing on better detection, monitoring, and control of invasive quagga and zebra mussels. This research category is one of the Science and Technology Program’s priorities and supports the Department of the Interior's initiative to protect Western U.S. ecosystems and hydroelectric facilities from the effects of invasive mussels.

      Over the last ten years since the discovery of quagga mussels in Lake Mead on the Colorado River in January 2007, Reclamation has implemented a coordinated response through a Reclamation-wide Mussels Task Force. The Research and Development Office, through its Science and Technology Program, played a key role in this response and continues to do so by supporting research efforts. Read Issue →

    • News - Science and Technology Program

      FY 2019 Science and Technology Call for Proposals

      (April 17, 2018) The Research and Development (R&D) Office is seeking your expertise and experience to address the Bureau of Reclamation’s many challenges associated with managing water and generating power in the West. If you know of a problem our agency faces that can be solved through applied research and the development of new tools, methods, or practices, we strongly encourage you to submit a research proposal under the Science and Technology (S&T) Program by June 26, 2018. Detailed instructions for submitting a proposal are available at the Google site (for Reclamation employees only): FY19 S&T Call

    • News - Water Prize Competition Center

      Bureau of Reclamation selects eight ideas for its More Water, Less Concentrate prize competition

      (April 4, 2018) Eight ideas were selected from the Stage 1 portion of the More Water, Less Concentrate prize competition. The competition sought innovative concepts to expand usable water supplies by maximizing fresh water production from inland desalination systems in a cost-effective and environmentally sound manner. The solvers will share $150,000.

      "The demand for fresh water will be increasing, and we need to be able to develop new water supplies from non-traditional water sources, like brackish groundwater and surface water using desalination and novel technologies," Commissioner Brenda Burman said. Currently, significant and desirable water supplies are trapped in concentrate streams that are a byproduct of desalination technologies. The cost to manage or dispose of concentrate is rather large and limiting to utilization of desalination in inland applications. This challenge sought innovative concepts to expand usable water supplies by maximizing fresh water production from inland desalination systems, and thereby reduce the volume of concentrate. Read More →

    • News - Water Prize Competition Center

      Bureau of Reclamation launches prize competition looking for new ways to detect leaks and flaws in large buried pipelines

      (March 8, 2018) The Bureau of Reclamation has launched a new prize competition seeking innovative methods and technologies to detect leaks and flaws in large buried pipelines that deliver water for municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses. Currently, no practical method exists to detect leaks and flaws in large diameter pipelines.

      This competition is focused on steel pipe and prestressed concrete cylinder pipe with diameters greater than 48 inches. However, proposed solutions that can be applied to all size and type of pipelines in a wide variety of uses will be considered. Proposed solutions must be cost-effective and scalable to pipelines with lengths of approximately 100 miles. Winning solutions that meet these criteria could have potential benefits not only to Reclamation and its water users, but to state and local municipal water utilities and customers. Read More →

    • News - Water Prize Competition Center

      Bureau of Reclamation awards $50,000 for five arsenic sensor solutions selected through prize competition

      (March 2, 2018) Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman announced that five private sector and citizen solvers shared a prize competition purse of $50,000 for their submissions of concepts to improve arsenic measurement technologies in water.

      "Current analytical methods are suitable for ensuring regulatory compliance, but there remains a need for rapid, low-cost monitoring of arsenic," Commissioner Burman said. "These selected ideas are a positive step forward to better understand and manage water quality, potentially opening up more usable supplies for the West and the country. We look forward to seeing the application of these proposed solutions."

      Stage 1 of the arsenic sensor prize competition sought concepts for rapidly, accurately, and cost-effectively measuring arsenic in water through improved sensor technologies. Responses were judged, and winners each received a cash prize of $10,000. To advance these concepts, Reclamation will be hosting stage 2 of the competition, which seeks working prototypes of innovative arsenic sensing technologies. Read More →

Last Updated: 4/17/18