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Overview:

Part of the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Reclamation is all about dams and ambitious water projects. During the 20th Century, Reclamation was responsible for building some of the nation’s most ambitious dam projects and for helping shape the American West. Because of the hundreds of dams the bureau created, Reclamation is the largest wholesaler of water in the United States, responsible for bringing water to more than 31 million people and hundreds of farms. Also, the bureau is the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the western United States, managing 58 power plants. Its legacy of dam building has made the bureau a magnet for controversy, both during its heyday of large water projects and today as ecosystems and fish species struggle to survive downstream of river diversions.

 
more
History:

By the turn of the 20th Century, Western farmers and settlers had clamored long and hard for the federal government to assist with the reclaiming of arid lands where water supplies were limited. In response to the lobbying effort, Congress adopted the Reclamation Act of 1902, which led to the establishment of the US Reclamation Service within the US Geological Survey (USGS). The new Reclamation Service studied potential water development projects in each Western state with federal lands because revenue from the sale of such lands was the initial source of the program’s funding.

 
From 1902 to 1907, the Reclamation Service began about 30 projects in Western states. Then, in 1907, the Secretary of the Interior separated the Reclamation Service from the USGS and established it as an independent bureau within the department, although it was not until 1923 that the Bureau of Reclamation name was officially created. During its early years, the bureau encountered a variety of problems with water projects, including unsuitable lands for irrigation, failure by irrigators to pay the government for use of federal lands and expensive efforts to drain waterlogged lands.
 
Until the late 1920s, the bureau maintained a relatively unimportant profile among federal agencies. But in 1928, Congress authorized the Boulder Canyon Project, which led to the building of the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River in southern Nevada. This huge undertaking required large appropriations by Congress that greatly expanded the bureau’s budget. Over the next 40 years, the bureau embarked on hundreds of dam-building and other water projects across the West, including the Glen Canyon Dam (Arizona), Grand Coulee Dam (Washington) and the Central Valley Project (California).
 
The bureau’s heyday began to wind down in the 1960s with the launch of the modern environmental movement. The damming of rivers began to be seen as a scar upon the land rather than a marvel of human engineering over nature. Even the bureau’s reputation for conquering difficult water projects began to dwindle with the collapse of the Teton Dam in Idaho in 1976. In the succeeding decades of the 1980s and 1990s, the bureau moved away from large water projects and even engaged with environmentalists on ways to remove some smaller dams on Western rivers. Between 1988 and 1994, the bureau underwent major reorganization, as its mission shifted from construction to operation and maintenance of existing facilities. As a result of this change, the bureau’s staff levels and budget were reduced.
 
Today, Reclamation operates about 180 projects in 17 Western states. Over the course of its history, the bureau has spent approximately $11 billion on water projects. 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.
 

The History of Large Federal Dams

(PDF)

more
What it Does:
As an office in the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Reclamation oversees hundreds of dams, reservoirs and other water projects that the bureau helped build during the 20th Century. These dams, powerplants, and canals are managed in an effort to balance the economic and ecological priorities of communities ranging from Washington to Texas.
 
Reclamation is the largest wholesaler of water in the United States, responsible for bringing water to more than 31 million people. The bureau’s water projects also provide one out of five Western farmers (140,000) with irrigation water for 10 million acres of farmland that produce 60% of the nation's vegetables and 25% of its fruits and nuts. Reclamation is the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the western United States, managing 58 power plants that produce enough electricity to serve 6 million homes.
 
To meet the water needs of households, farms, businesses, Native American Tribes and other parties, the bureau operates numerous programs, initiatives and activities including:
-        Dam Safety - Created in 1978 in the wake of the Teton Dam disaster, this office performs site evaluations to identify potential safety deficiencies on Reclamation and other Interior bureaus’ dams.
-        Drought Program - Under Title I, the Drought Program allows Reclamation to undertake activities designed to minimize or mitigate drought damages or losses within the 17 Western states in the bureau’s jurisdiction and Hawaii. Any construction activities undertaken are limited to temporary facilities, with the exception of underground wells.
-        Fisheries and Wildlife Resources Group - Combining fisheries scientists, wildlife biologists, environmental regulatory specialists and environmental chemists, this group conducts multidisciplinary environmental field and laboratory studies concerning aquatic and terrestrial habitats, wildlife, water quality and environmental impacts involving bureau dams and water projects.
-        Flood Hydrology and Meteorology Group - This group works heavily with the Dam Safety Program and provides services to other Interior Department agencies. Standards and criteria are developed and coordinated with other federal agencies concerned with flood hydrology, hydrometeorology and dam safety.
-        Hydropower Technical Services Group - Providing expertise to the bureau’s engineers, this group serves as a centralized resource for Reclamation’s hydroelectric power facilities to access technical expertise in diagnostics, troubleshooting, hydroelectric power-plant control, automation and incident investigations.
-        Materials Engineering and Research Lab (MERL) - Based at the Denver Federal Center, MERL has facilities to test concrete, concrete reinforcement, selected metals, plastics, geotextiles, coatings and other materials used in the construction or maintenance of water projects. Tests include physical properties, corrosion, durability, environmental and drying and shrinkage.
-        Research Program - The bureau’s research seeks to improve water management practices, increase water supply and ensure cost-effective power generation operations. The program operates two research operations: Desalination and Water Purification Research & Development and Science & Technology Program (Denver)
-        Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Group - This group conducts studies on how rivers and reservoirs have or will respond to changes in river flow, sediment supply or channel modification. Studies are prepared for a variety of purposes including operation and maintenance, dam safety, and fish and wildlife habitat restoration.
-        Security, Safety and Law Enforcement Office - The office is responsible for physical, personnel and information security, safety of dams, continuity of operations, law enforcement, employee safety and health and emergency planning programs of the Bureau of Reclamation. These programs are administered by five sub-organizations within the SSLE Office: Security Office, Law Enforcement Office, Dam Safety Office, Safety and Health Services and a liaison staff in Washington, DC.
-        Water 2025 - This initiative is working to develop new ways of thinking about how to avoid water conflicts before a crisis occurs. By working with irrigation and water districts, state governments, tribes and other local entities to develop innovative solutions to water supply problems, competing interests can be brought together to find collaborative, local solutions for the future.
-        Water Operations - The bureau’s operation of its hundreds of water projects is broken down into five regions: Great Plains Region; Lower Colorado Region; Mid-Pacific Region; Pacific Northwest Region; and Upper Colorado Region.

-        Hydraulic Investigations and Laboratory Services Group

- This group applies hydraulic modeling, analysis and field testing expertise to the solution of water resources, hydraulics and fluid mechanics problems.

more
Where Does the Money Go:
Since FY 2000, more than $2.2 billion has been spent by the Bureau of Reclamation on private contractors, according to USAspending.gov. The largest expenditures made to the 12,293 contractors were for maintenance and construction of dams and other water facilities. The top 10 recipients of bureau contracts are:
Communications Products Inc
$137,220,804
Shimmick Construction Company
$47,913,400
Alstom 
$42,343,705
Grand Coulee Consortium
$41,537,535
MWH Global
$38,556,790
Ajac Enterprises
$38,363,269
URS Corporation
$37,500,929
Delhur Industries
$36,397,324
The Gardner-Zemke Company
$33,955,088
Warwick & York
$33,538,815
 
Examples of Reclamation contracts
A $5.7 million contract was awarded by the bureau to L&S Electric of Schofield, Wisconsin, for the modernization of hydroelectric generating units at Hoover, Davis and Parker Dams on the lower Colorado River. The modernization consisted of upgrading the governors, protective relays and unit control equipment on 26 hydroelectric generators at the three dams.
 
Under the same contract, subcontractor Koontz Electric was awarded a $984,358 deal to help modernize the hydroelectric generator unit control at Hoover, Davis and Parker dams. Koontz was responsible for replacing mechanical and analog control equipment that has been in service for more than a decade with new digital technology.
 

DD-M Crane and Rigging of Alameda, CA, was awarded a $3.2 million contract by Reclamation as part of a series of construction contracts for Dam Safety Modifications at Folsom Dam and Reservoir.

more
Controversies:

Bureau Violates Endangered Species Act

In 2005, a federal court ruled that the Bureau of Reclamation violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it renewed long-term contracts for irrigation water diverted from the San Joaquin River at Friant Dam near Fresno. As a result of the water diversion, 60 miles of California’s second longest river remained bone dry, causing harm to endangered salmon and other threatened fish and wildlife.
 
The court ruled that the bureau had ignored the ESA requirement to recover endangered species rather than simply prevent a further decline toward extinction. While environmentalists hailed the decision, farmers and bureau officials expressed concerns that voiding the contracts would have dire economic effects on the agriculture industry.
 
The bureau’s decision to sign long-term water contacts perpetuated the environmental disaster that occurred after Friant Dam was finished in the late 1940s. The diversion of the river resulted in the extermination of the historically large and vibrant San Joaquin River spring Chinook run that ascended the Sierra Nevada before Friant Dam blocked upstream migration.
 
Glen Canyon Dam
Since its creation, Glen Canyon Dam has been one of the Bureau of Reclamation’s most notorious and longstanding controversies. The dam, constructed on the lower Colorado River in Arizona, took 10 years to build and was pushed through by bureau officials on the grounds that it would help tame the river and expand hydroelectric power for growing Arizona. But environmentalists were furious with the project, for damming that portion of the river meant flooding one of the most pristine regions in the Southwest by creating Lake Powell. As early as the mid-1970s, some environmentalists proposed blowing up the dam to restore Glen Canyon to its original state.
 
Forty years after building the dam, Glen Canyon was again a source of controversy. This time the problem was over dwindling fish species and loss of sediments in the Grand Canyon. Because of the dam, sediments were trapped behind the massive concrete structure, altering the downstream river’s temperature and water quality critical for fish habitat and denying the Grand Canyon beaches vital sand and silt to maintain sandbars and embankments.
 
The solution, environmentalists, biologists and engineers insisted, was to release some water behind the dam to allow sediments to flow downstream. The first effort during the Clinton administration failed to achieve the desired goals. During the Bush administration, Reclamation officials came up with another water-release plan from Glen Canyon Dam which was first implemented in 2004 and then again in 2008.
 
While bureau officials lauded the releases, some environmentalists blasted the events as good only for the agency’s PR, but not the ecosystem downstream. At the rate Reclamation was going with its planned releases of river water, environmental recovery would take 40 to 50 years, argued critics. Much more would be required, they argued, such as trucking sediments downstream or building a slurry pipeline.
Rearranging Deck Chairs at Glen Canyon Dam (by John Weisheit, Counterpunch)
Glen Canyon Dam begins a grand flush (by Joe Bauman, Deseret News)

Opening dam's floodgates provokes controversy

(by Candus Thomson, Seattle Times)

more

Comments

Joyce Bohn 2 years ago
i live in an area of michigan that has salt water from deep wells and all of the shallow wells are not good quality and volume low or dry. people using ditch water to run home, proof of septic waste. need help to get good water. wells 3-4 miles away could be good. home on saginaw bay lake huron.

Leave a comment

captcha

Founded: 1902
Annual Budget: $996 million
Employees: 5,337
Official Website: http://www.usbr.gov/
Bureau of Reclamation
Connor, Mike
Commissioner

Heading up the federal government’s key agency for managing water resources is Michael L. Connor, a lawyer who has spent most of his career in Washington, DC, quietly working for the Senate and the Department of the Interior during the Clinton administration. He was confirmed by the Senate May 21, 2009.

 
A native of New Mexico, Connor, 45, attended Las Cruces Public Schools and graduated from Las Cruces High School. He received a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from New Mexico State University and his JD from the University of Colorado’s School of Law. He was admitted to the bars of Colorado and New Mexico. 
 
Connor worked for General Electric before joining the Interior Department through its Solicitor’s Honors Program in 1993. After working in the Interior Solicitor’s Office in Washington, DC, and Albuquerque, NM, Connor served as a deputy director within the Interior Department. Beginning in 1998, he served as deputy director and then director of the Indian Water Rights Office, representing the Secretary of the Interior in negotiations with Indian tribes, state representatives, and private water users to secure water rights settlements consistent with the federal trust responsibility to tribes. 
 
In May 2001, he joined the staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as legal counsel, directing the committee’s water and power subcommittee, managing legislation for both the Bureau of Reclamation and the US Geological Survey, developing water resources legislation and handling Native American issues.
 
more
Johnson, Robert
Previous Commissioner
A native of Lovelock, Nevada, Robert W. (Bob) Johnson served as the 17th Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation from September 30, 2006 until he annouced his retirement in December 2008. A graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, Johnson has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture and resource economics.
 
Johnson joined the Bureau of Reclamation in 1975 and has spent his federal career with the agency. He began his career at Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Regional Office in Sacramento, CA. From Sacramento, he moved to the Boulder City, NV, office, then on to Washington, DC, where he served in a management position in the commissioner’s office. He returned to Boulder City from Washington, first as the chief of the region’s Water, Land and Power Operations Division and then as the deputy regional director before being named regional director.
 
From 1995 to September 2006, Johnson was the regional director of the Lower Colorado Region, an area that encompasses southern Nevada, southern California, most of Arizona and small portions of Utah and New Mexico. Among his duties as regional director, Johnson was the “Water Master” of the lower Colorado River on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior.
 
Water Shaped Commissioner's Career (by Henry Brean, Las Vegas Review-Journal)
more
Bookmark and Share
Overview:

Part of the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Reclamation is all about dams and ambitious water projects. During the 20th Century, Reclamation was responsible for building some of the nation’s most ambitious dam projects and for helping shape the American West. Because of the hundreds of dams the bureau created, Reclamation is the largest wholesaler of water in the United States, responsible for bringing water to more than 31 million people and hundreds of farms. Also, the bureau is the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the western United States, managing 58 power plants. Its legacy of dam building has made the bureau a magnet for controversy, both during its heyday of large water projects and today as ecosystems and fish species struggle to survive downstream of river diversions.

 
more
History:

By the turn of the 20th Century, Western farmers and settlers had clamored long and hard for the federal government to assist with the reclaiming of arid lands where water supplies were limited. In response to the lobbying effort, Congress adopted the Reclamation Act of 1902, which led to the establishment of the US Reclamation Service within the US Geological Survey (USGS). The new Reclamation Service studied potential water development projects in each Western state with federal lands because revenue from the sale of such lands was the initial source of the program’s funding.

 
From 1902 to 1907, the Reclamation Service began about 30 projects in Western states. Then, in 1907, the Secretary of the Interior separated the Reclamation Service from the USGS and established it as an independent bureau within the department, although it was not until 1923 that the Bureau of Reclamation name was officially created. During its early years, the bureau encountered a variety of problems with water projects, including unsuitable lands for irrigation, failure by irrigators to pay the government for use of federal lands and expensive efforts to drain waterlogged lands.
 
Until the late 1920s, the bureau maintained a relatively unimportant profile among federal agencies. But in 1928, Congress authorized the Boulder Canyon Project, which led to the building of the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River in southern Nevada. This huge undertaking required large appropriations by Congress that greatly expanded the bureau’s budget. Over the next 40 years, the bureau embarked on hundreds of dam-building and other water projects across the West, including the Glen Canyon Dam (Arizona), Grand Coulee Dam (Washington) and the Central Valley Project (California).
 
The bureau’s heyday began to wind down in the 1960s with the launch of the modern environmental movement. The damming of rivers began to be seen as a scar upon the land rather than a marvel of human engineering over nature. Even the bureau’s reputation for conquering difficult water projects began to dwindle with the collapse of the Teton Dam in Idaho in 1976. In the succeeding decades of the 1980s and 1990s, the bureau moved away from large water projects and even engaged with environmentalists on ways to remove some smaller dams on Western rivers. Between 1988 and 1994, the bureau underwent major reorganization, as its mission shifted from construction to operation and maintenance of existing facilities. As a result of this change, the bureau’s staff levels and budget were reduced.
 
Today, Reclamation operates about 180 projects in 17 Western states. Over the course of its history, the bureau has spent approximately $11 billion on water projects. 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.
 

The History of Large Federal Dams

(PDF)

more
What it Does:
As an office in the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Reclamation oversees hundreds of dams, reservoirs and other water projects that the bureau helped build during the 20th Century. These dams, powerplants, and canals are managed in an effort to balance the economic and ecological priorities of communities ranging from Washington to Texas.
 
Reclamation is the largest wholesaler of water in the United States, responsible for bringing water to more than 31 million people. The bureau’s water projects also provide one out of five Western farmers (140,000) with irrigation water for 10 million acres of farmland that produce 60% of the nation's vegetables and 25% of its fruits and nuts. Reclamation is the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the western United States, managing 58 power plants that produce enough electricity to serve 6 million homes.
 
To meet the water needs of households, farms, businesses, Native American Tribes and other parties, the bureau operates numerous programs, initiatives and activities including:
-        Dam Safety - Created in 1978 in the wake of the Teton Dam disaster, this office performs site evaluations to identify potential safety deficiencies on Reclamation and other Interior bureaus’ dams.
-        Drought Program - Under Title I, the Drought Program allows Reclamation to undertake activities designed to minimize or mitigate drought damages or losses within the 17 Western states in the bureau’s jurisdiction and Hawaii. Any construction activities undertaken are limited to temporary facilities, with the exception of underground wells.
-        Fisheries and Wildlife Resources Group - Combining fisheries scientists, wildlife biologists, environmental regulatory specialists and environmental chemists, this group conducts multidisciplinary environmental field and laboratory studies concerning aquatic and terrestrial habitats, wildlife, water quality and environmental impacts involving bureau dams and water projects.
-        Flood Hydrology and Meteorology Group - This group works heavily with the Dam Safety Program and provides services to other Interior Department agencies. Standards and criteria are developed and coordinated with other federal agencies concerned with flood hydrology, hydrometeorology and dam safety.
-        Hydropower Technical Services Group - Providing expertise to the bureau’s engineers, this group serves as a centralized resource for Reclamation’s hydroelectric power facilities to access technical expertise in diagnostics, troubleshooting, hydroelectric power-plant control, automation and incident investigations.
-        Materials Engineering and Research Lab (MERL) - Based at the Denver Federal Center, MERL has facilities to test concrete, concrete reinforcement, selected metals, plastics, geotextiles, coatings and other materials used in the construction or maintenance of water projects. Tests include physical properties, corrosion, durability, environmental and drying and shrinkage.
-        Research Program - The bureau’s research seeks to improve water management practices, increase water supply and ensure cost-effective power generation operations. The program operates two research operations: Desalination and Water Purification Research & Development and Science & Technology Program (Denver)
-        Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Group - This group conducts studies on how rivers and reservoirs have or will respond to changes in river flow, sediment supply or channel modification. Studies are prepared for a variety of purposes including operation and maintenance, dam safety, and fish and wildlife habitat restoration.
-        Security, Safety and Law Enforcement Office - The office is responsible for physical, personnel and information security, safety of dams, continuity of operations, law enforcement, employee safety and health and emergency planning programs of the Bureau of Reclamation. These programs are administered by five sub-organizations within the SSLE Office: Security Office, Law Enforcement Office, Dam Safety Office, Safety and Health Services and a liaison staff in Washington, DC.
-        Water 2025 - This initiative is working to develop new ways of thinking about how to avoid water conflicts before a crisis occurs. By working with irrigation and water districts, state governments, tribes and other local entities to develop innovative solutions to water supply problems, competing interests can be brought together to find collaborative, local solutions for the future.
-        Water Operations - The bureau’s operation of its hundreds of water projects is broken down into five regions: Great Plains Region; Lower Colorado Region; Mid-Pacific Region; Pacific Northwest Region; and Upper Colorado Region.

-        Hydraulic Investigations and Laboratory Services Group

- This group applies hydraulic modeling, analysis and field testing expertise to the solution of water resources, hydraulics and fluid mechanics problems.

more
Where Does the Money Go:
Since FY 2000, more than $2.2 billion has been spent by the Bureau of Reclamation on private contractors, according to USAspending.gov. The largest expenditures made to the 12,293 contractors were for maintenance and construction of dams and other water facilities. The top 10 recipients of bureau contracts are:
Communications Products Inc
$137,220,804
Shimmick Construction Company
$47,913,400
Alstom 
$42,343,705
Grand Coulee Consortium
$41,537,535
MWH Global
$38,556,790
Ajac Enterprises
$38,363,269
URS Corporation
$37,500,929
Delhur Industries
$36,397,324
The Gardner-Zemke Company
$33,955,088
Warwick & York
$33,538,815
 
Examples of Reclamation contracts
A $5.7 million contract was awarded by the bureau to L&S Electric of Schofield, Wisconsin, for the modernization of hydroelectric generating units at Hoover, Davis and Parker Dams on the lower Colorado River. The modernization consisted of upgrading the governors, protective relays and unit control equipment on 26 hydroelectric generators at the three dams.
 
Under the same contract, subcontractor Koontz Electric was awarded a $984,358 deal to help modernize the hydroelectric generator unit control at Hoover, Davis and Parker dams. Koontz was responsible for replacing mechanical and analog control equipment that has been in service for more than a decade with new digital technology.
 

DD-M Crane and Rigging of Alameda, CA, was awarded a $3.2 million contract by Reclamation as part of a series of construction contracts for Dam Safety Modifications at Folsom Dam and Reservoir.

more
Controversies:

Bureau Violates Endangered Species Act

In 2005, a federal court ruled that the Bureau of Reclamation violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it renewed long-term contracts for irrigation water diverted from the San Joaquin River at Friant Dam near Fresno. As a result of the water diversion, 60 miles of California’s second longest river remained bone dry, causing harm to endangered salmon and other threatened fish and wildlife.
 
The court ruled that the bureau had ignored the ESA requirement to recover endangered species rather than simply prevent a further decline toward extinction. While environmentalists hailed the decision, farmers and bureau officials expressed concerns that voiding the contracts would have dire economic effects on the agriculture industry.
 
The bureau’s decision to sign long-term water contacts perpetuated the environmental disaster that occurred after Friant Dam was finished in the late 1940s. The diversion of the river resulted in the extermination of the historically large and vibrant San Joaquin River spring Chinook run that ascended the Sierra Nevada before Friant Dam blocked upstream migration.
 
Glen Canyon Dam
Since its creation, Glen Canyon Dam has been one of the Bureau of Reclamation’s most notorious and longstanding controversies. The dam, constructed on the lower Colorado River in Arizona, took 10 years to build and was pushed through by bureau officials on the grounds that it would help tame the river and expand hydroelectric power for growing Arizona. But environmentalists were furious with the project, for damming that portion of the river meant flooding one of the most pristine regions in the Southwest by creating Lake Powell. As early as the mid-1970s, some environmentalists proposed blowing up the dam to restore Glen Canyon to its original state.
 
Forty years after building the dam, Glen Canyon was again a source of controversy. This time the problem was over dwindling fish species and loss of sediments in the Grand Canyon. Because of the dam, sediments were trapped behind the massive concrete structure, altering the downstream river’s temperature and water quality critical for fish habitat and denying the Grand Canyon beaches vital sand and silt to maintain sandbars and embankments.
 
The solution, environmentalists, biologists and engineers insisted, was to release some water behind the dam to allow sediments to flow downstream. The first effort during the Clinton administration failed to achieve the desired goals. During the Bush administration, Reclamation officials came up with another water-release plan from Glen Canyon Dam which was first implemented in 2004 and then again in 2008.
 
While bureau officials lauded the releases, some environmentalists blasted the events as good only for the agency’s PR, but not the ecosystem downstream. At the rate Reclamation was going with its planned releases of river water, environmental recovery would take 40 to 50 years, argued critics. Much more would be required, they argued, such as trucking sediments downstream or building a slurry pipeline.
Rearranging Deck Chairs at Glen Canyon Dam (by John Weisheit, Counterpunch)
Glen Canyon Dam begins a grand flush (by Joe Bauman, Deseret News)

Opening dam's floodgates provokes controversy

(by Candus Thomson, Seattle Times)

more

Comments

Joyce Bohn 2 years ago
i live in an area of michigan that has salt water from deep wells and all of the shallow wells are not good quality and volume low or dry. people using ditch water to run home, proof of septic waste. need help to get good water. wells 3-4 miles away could be good. home on saginaw bay lake huron.

Leave a comment

captcha

Founded: 1902
Annual Budget: $996 million
Employees: 5,337
Official Website: http://www.usbr.gov/
Bureau of Reclamation
Connor, Mike
Commissioner

Heading up the federal government’s key agency for managing water resources is Michael L. Connor, a lawyer who has spent most of his career in Washington, DC, quietly working for the Senate and the Department of the Interior during the Clinton administration. He was confirmed by the Senate May 21, 2009.

 
A native of New Mexico, Connor, 45, attended Las Cruces Public Schools and graduated from Las Cruces High School. He received a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from New Mexico State University and his JD from the University of Colorado’s School of Law. He was admitted to the bars of Colorado and New Mexico. 
 
Connor worked for General Electric before joining the Interior Department through its Solicitor’s Honors Program in 1993. After working in the Interior Solicitor’s Office in Washington, DC, and Albuquerque, NM, Connor served as a deputy director within the Interior Department. Beginning in 1998, he served as deputy director and then director of the Indian Water Rights Office, representing the Secretary of the Interior in negotiations with Indian tribes, state representatives, and private water users to secure water rights settlements consistent with the federal trust responsibility to tribes. 
 
In May 2001, he joined the staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as legal counsel, directing the committee’s water and power subcommittee, managing legislation for both the Bureau of Reclamation and the US Geological Survey, developing water resources legislation and handling Native American issues.
 
more
Johnson, Robert
Previous Commissioner
A native of Lovelock, Nevada, Robert W. (Bob) Johnson served as the 17th Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation from September 30, 2006 until he annouced his retirement in December 2008. A graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, Johnson has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture and resource economics.
 
Johnson joined the Bureau of Reclamation in 1975 and has spent his federal career with the agency. He began his career at Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Regional Office in Sacramento, CA. From Sacramento, he moved to the Boulder City, NV, office, then on to Washington, DC, where he served in a management position in the commissioner’s office. He returned to Boulder City from Washington, first as the chief of the region’s Water, Land and Power Operations Division and then as the deputy regional director before being named regional director.
 
From 1995 to September 2006, Johnson was the regional director of the Lower Colorado Region, an area that encompasses southern Nevada, southern California, most of Arizona and small portions of Utah and New Mexico. Among his duties as regional director, Johnson was the “Water Master” of the lower Colorado River on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior.
 
Water Shaped Commissioner's Career (by Henry Brean, Las Vegas Review-Journal)
more