United States Bureau of Reclamation

The Bureau of Reclamation (formerly the United States Reclamation Service) is an agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and oversees water resource management, specifically as it applies to the oversight, operation, or both, of numerous water diversion, delivery, and storage, and hydroelectric power generation projects it built throughout the western United States. [] as it filled for the first time did not diminish Reclamation's strong international reputation in water development circles. However, this first and only failure of a major Reclamation dam did shake the Bureau, which subsequently strengthened its dam-safety program to avoid similar problems in the future. Even so, the failure of Teton Dam, the environmental movement, and the announcement of the President Carter's "hit list" on water projects profoundly affected the direction of Reclamation's programs and activities in the United States.

Reclamation operates about 180 projects in the 17 western states. The total Reclamation investment for completed project facilities in September 1992 was about $11.0 billion. Reclamation projects provide agricultural, household, and industrial water to about one-third of the population of the American West. About 5% of the land area of the West is irrigated, and Reclamation provides water to about one-fifth of that area, some 9,120,000 acres (37,000 km²) in 1992. Reclamation is a major American generator of electricity. As of 2007, Reclamation had 58 power plants on-line and generated 125,000 GJ of electricity.

From 1988–94, Reclamation underwent major reorganization as construction on projects authorized in the 1960s and earlier drew to an end. Reclamation wrote that "The arid West essentially has been reclaimed. The major rivers have been harnessed and facilities are in place or are being completed to meet the most pressing current water demands and those of the immediate future". Emphasis in Reclamation programs shifted from construction to operation and maintenance of existing facilities. Reclamation's redefined official mission is to "manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public". In redirecting its programs and responsibilities, Reclamation substantially reduced its staff levels and budgets but remains a significant Federal agency in the West.

Reclamation commissioners that have had a strong impact and molding of the Bureau include Michael W. Straus and Floyd Dominy, a Democrat and a Republican respectively, both public-power boosters who ran the Bureau during its heyday years.

Robert W. (Bob) Johnson is the current commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation having been confirmed on September 30, 2006.

List of Reclamation Projects

* Animas-La Plata Water Project
* Central Arizona Project Aqueduct
* Central Utah Project
* Central Valley Project
* Colorado-Big Thompson Project
* Columbia Basin Project
* Fryingpan-Arkansas Project
* Huntley Project
* Klamath Project
* Moon Lake Project
* Strawberry Valley Project
* Elwha River Dam Removal Project

See also

* Colorado River Aqueduct
* Yuma Valley Railway – A predecessor of the Yuma Valley Railroad that was owned by USG along Colorado River in Yuma, Arizona.
* Riverside Canal (El Paso)

Further reading

* Marc Reisner, "Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water." Revised edition (Penguin, 1993). ISBN 0-14-017824-4


External links

* [http://www.usbr.gov U.S. Bureau of Reclamation] – official site
* [http://www.usbr.gov/dataweb List of Reclamation projects, dams and powerplants]

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