Connecting Waterpeople

USBR invests $6.6 million for innovative water and power solutions

  • USBR invests $6.6 million for innovative water and power solutions

About the entity

Bureau of Reclamation
Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits.
Analytical Technology (ATi)

The Bureau of Reclamation is investing $6.6 million in internal research for the development of innovative solutions for water and power challenges in the West. This includes funding for 21 new research projects and 120 continuing, multi-year projects.

"The projects selected will directly benefit water and power facility managers, customers, stakeholders and industry," said Senior Advisor for Research and Development Levi Brekke. "The Science and Technology Program contributed to many of the tools and capabilities that western water managers use today."

The research projects were selected through an internal competitive process. Many of these projects partner with internal and external organizations. Partners include technical professionals from federal and state governments, tribes, universities, private and local organizations. The partners will provide $13.43 million in cost-share. To view descriptions of all the projects receiving funding please visit the Research Program's Science and Technology website.

The Science and Technology Program addresses needs in five research areas including water infrastructure, power and energy, environmental issues in water delivery management, water operations and planning, and developing water supplies. Research needs are identified using input from the administration, Department of the Interior, and Reclamation priorities. This includes climate change and drought. The needs of the Reclamation regional directors and input from technical experts within Reclamation are also used.

  • New projects receiving funding this year include:
  • Improving snow water equivalence measurements in the San Juan Chama Project
  • Analyzing climate change impacts on groundwater availability in California
  • Improving river restoration guidance
  • Identifying new corrosive-resistant coatings for hydraulic infrastructure.
  • Automated repairs of in-place equipment in older facilities.

Partnerships are a key component of success for the Science and Technology research projects. A diverse group of partners for these newly funded projects include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tennessee Valley Authority, U.S. Geological Survey, California Department of Water Resources, Arizona State University, University of Illinois, University of Wyoming, Sherwin-Williams Company, and G.E. Renewable Energy. Several Tribal Nations will partner on a project exploring the reintroduction of anadromous fish in the Upper Columbia River, including the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and Spokane Tribe.

The Science and Technology Program seeks to develop cost-effective solutions for the technical and scientific challenges that affect Reclamation’s mission. It also seeks to build and strengthen scientific and engineering capacity for Reclamation, communicate solutions to Reclamation offices, other water and power management officials, and the public to build partnerships with other water and power management agencies and stakeholders.

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