S&T Program Science Priorities

Each spring, the S&T Program seeks research proposals from BOR employees through an annual call for proposals. The call for proposals requests detailed information about a project's research strategy, the benefits to Reclamation Regions, expected impacts and outcomes, and other information to support a relevancy and technical review that enables the S&T Program to select the best projects for funding each year.

Science priorities for the S&T Program are organized by research areas and categories. Within each research area, the S&T Program identifies the highest priority research needs that researchers may choose to submit proposals to address. The Annual Science Strategy Implementation Plan will communicates these highest priority research needs.


Download the S&T Science Strategy FY2018-FY2021


Download the S&T Science Strategy FY18 Annual Implementation Plan


Fiscal Year 2018-2021 Science Priorities

The table and narrative descriptions below represent the S&T Program’s priority research areas and categories for fiscal year (FY)-2018-2021.

Research Area Research Category
Water Infrastructure (WI)
Dams - View Roadmap
Canals- View Roadmap
Pipelines
Miscellaneous Water Infrastructure
Power and Energy (PE) Hydro Powerplants
Energy Efficiency
Pumping Plants - View Roadmap
Non-Hydropower Renewable
Environmental Issues for Water Delivery and Management (EN) Water Delivery Reliability
Invasive Species
Water Quality*
Sediment Management
River Habitat Restoration
Water Operations and Planning (WP) Water Supply and Streamflow Forecasting - View Roadmap
Water Operations Models and Decision Support Systems
Open Data*
Climate Change and Variability - View Roadmap
Developing Water Supplies (WS) Advanced Water Treatment
Groundwater Supplies
Agricultural and Municipal Water Supplies
System Water Losses
*Cross-cutting research areas


Research Areas and Category Descriptions

Water Infrastructure (WI)

Improve the resiliency of Reclamation water storage, water delivery, and facilities by producing or advancing effective solutions, tools, and practices that Reclamation facility managers can use to cost effectively maintain, modernize, and extend the life of Reclamation’s aging infrastructure. These should be related to Reclamation’s operations and maintenance responsibilities.

    Research Categories
  • Dams (WI1): Examine and develop tools, methods, practices, and strategies to improve condition assessment, repair and maintenance, reliability, service life, and safety.
  • Canals (WI2): Examine and develop tools, methods, practices, and strategies to improve condition assessment, repair and maintenance, reliability, efficiency, service life, and safety.
  • Pipelines (WI3): Examine and develop tools, methods, practices, and strategies to improve condition assessment, repair and maintenance, reliability, efficiency, service life, and safety.
  • Miscellaneous Infrastructure (WI4): Examine and develop tools, methods, practices, and strategies to improve condition assessment, repair and maintenance, reliability, efficiency, service life, and safety.

Power and Energy (PE)

Develop and advance solutions, tools, and practices that improve the reliability, efficiency, and safety of Reclamation’s hydropower facilities in order to reduce costs and increase energy supplies. Develop tools and strategies to increase energy supplies through renewable energy development and energy efficient practices and policies within Reclamation pumping plants and other facilities in support of Reclamation’s operations and maintenance responsibilities.

    Research Categories
  • Hydropower Plants (PE1): Examine and develop tools, methods, practices and strategies to improve safety, operations and maintenance, reliability, efficiency, outage time, and output.
  • Energy Efficiency (PE2): Examine and develop tools, methods, practices and strategies to improve energy efficiency at Reclamation buildings and non-hydropower facilities.
  • Pumping Plants (PE3): Examine and develop tools, methods, practices and strategies to improve safety, operations and maintenance, reliability, efficiency, and outage time.
  • Non-Hydropower Renewable Energy (PE4): Examine and develop tools, practices, and strategies for generating and using non-hydro renewable energy within Reclamation including solar, wind, geothermal, and other forms of non-hydro renewable energy.

Environmental Issues for Water Delivery and Management (EN)

Improve the reliability of Reclamation water deliveries by producing effective solutions, tools, and practices that Reclamation water managers can use to address water state and federal environmental compliance and court orders.

    Research Categories
  • Water Delivery Reliability (EN1): Improve the reliability of Reclamation water supplies by finding innovative means to address aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem and species needs while still meeting water delivery contracts.
  • Invasive Species (EN2): Develop and improve techniques for managing aquatic and riparian invasive species that consume Reclamation water supplies or impede Reclamation water deliveries, or harm threatened or endangered species.
  • Water Quality (EN3): Develop and advance tools and practices that Reclamation has the mission responsibility and authority to use in managing water quality issues that are (1) linked to reclamation operations and (2) could impact the reliability of Reclamation water deliveries if not addressed.
  • Sediment Management (EN4): Develop and improve sediment management solutions and tools that improve the reliability and sustainability of water deliveries from Reclamation reservoirs and associated river systems, and improve habitat conditions for threatened and endangered species.
  • River Habitat Rehabilitation (EN5): Develop and improve river rehabilitation solutions and tools that improve the ability to comply with regulatory requirements or mitigation measures assigned to Reclamation programs including channel improvements, floodplain connectivity, channel complexity, and riparian vegetation enhancement.

Water Operations and Planning (WP)

Develop solutions and tools that help Reclamation water managers make effective reservoir and river system operational and planning decisions. Improve the integration, evaluation, understanding, and presentation of critical data and information.

    Research Categories
  • Water Supply and Streamflow Forecasting (WP1): Develop and improve solutions and tools to forecast and monitor water supplies, including hydrologic events, and water demands.
  • Water Operations Models and Decision Support Systems (WP2): Develop and improve reservoir/river system operations and planning models and decision support systems in order to optimally manage water delivery and use for Reclamation.
  • Open Data (WP3): Develop methods and tools to improve management of Reclamation’s water and related data to make it more comparable across locations, more easily found, and more shareable with other agencies, stakeholders, and the public.
  • Climate Change and Variability (WP4): Develop methods and tools to increase adaptive management and flexibility in the planning, design and operations of Reclamation’s facilities in a variable and changing climate, including management through drought and floods.

Developing Water Supplies (WS)

Develop, enhance, and protect water supplies for Reclamation stakeholders with new technologies, solutions, and practices that expand, liberate, or conserve water supplies.

    Research Categories
  • Advanced Water Treatment (WS1): Develop technologies, methods, tools and approaches to advance the treatment of impaired water sources that allow Reclamation to better utilize existing supplies, increase existing Reclamation supplies through augmentation, or prolong existing Reclamation supplies by expanding or developing non-traditional supplies from an outside source such as impaired groundwater or surface water.
  • Groundwater Supplies (WS2): Develop and improve solutions and tools that advance and optimize groundwater storage and conjunctive groundwater/surface water storage and use for Reclamation projects.
  • Agricultural and Municipal Water Supplies (WS3): Develop and improve solutions and tools that automate, measure, and deliver agricultural water resulting in liberated water or a cost savings for Reclamation or its stakeholders.
  • System Water Losses (WS4): Develop and improve solutions and tools that conserve water and/or reduce water losses, in Reclamation water storage and delivery systems.

Last Updated 10/13/17