The Bureau of Reclamation announced today the selection of approximately $2 million in Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency grants for Fiscal Year 2018. Combined with local cost-share contributions, approximately $4 million in water management improvement projects will be implemented during the next 24 months.
Despite another dry winter on the Colorado River, Lake Mead and the millions of people who rely on it will avoid a water shortage for at least one more year. According to new projections from the Bureau of Reclamation, there will be just enough water in the reservoir east of Las Vegas at the end of 2018 to stave off a first-ever federal shortage declaration that would trigger mandatory cuts in Nevada and Arizona.
Today’s [Aug. 15] release of the Bureau of Reclamation’s August 24-month study is what in my old newspaper days we would have called “a great news peg”. It’s been clear for a while that we’ll likely have a first-ever federal shortage declaration in the Lower Colorado River Basin in 2020, and that chance is growing. But in the interests of never letting a good Colorado River shortage news peg go unused….
Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman announced that 16 entities will receive $3.5 million for laboratory and pilot-scale research projects as part of the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program. The DWPR Program works with Reclamation researchers and partners to develop more innovative, cost-effective and technologically efficient ways to desalinate water. “Desalination is an increasingly important source of water for Western communities” Commissioner Burman said.
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke was in Redding, California, this week to see impacts of the Carr Fire, including impacts to DOI public lands and facilities. Reclamation facilities, including Shasta Dam and Keswick, Carr and Spring Creek power plants,were in the thick of the fire earlier this month. Facilities were evacuated, and half of the Northern California Area Office’s employees were personally evacuated from their homes.
A Klamath County court case that could affect both endangered Lost River and shortnose sucker and the outcome of the irrigation season in the Klamath Basin has been moved from San Francisco to Portland, with a hearing date yet to be determined.
Idaho’s 65,000-acre Sharps Fire near Reclamation’s Little Wood Dam and Reservoir is 81 percent contained. Little Wood Campground’s campsite, tables, and vault toilets amazingly were unharmed by the fire, though this Reclamation campground will remain closed to the public for the time. Some Reclamation lands were scorched in the wildfire, but the riparian corridor on BOR land was minimally affected, meaning there should be few if any sedimentation impacts on the reservoir.
One of the unintended consequences of the devastation of Carr Fire in Shasta County is that is has been providing more water to Klamath and Trinity river fish in a time when river conditions have been looking tenuous. Hoopa Valley Tribe’s Fisheries Director Mike Orcutt said the dam-controlling U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has nearly doubled flows on the Trinity River since late July.
Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region’s hearts go out to its fellow Northern California Area Office employees who have either lost their homes or been evacuated and are continuing to cope with the Carr Fire’s devastation.
The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources have scheduled a negotiation session with seven Cross Valley Contractors on long-term conveyance contracts for the delivery of federal Central Valley Project water conveyed through state-owned facilities.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation will hold a public Open House on Thursday, July 31, 2014, to present and solicit comments on the Central Valley Project Improvement Act Annual Work Plans for Fiscal Year 2015.
Lake Mead, the reservoir created by Hoover Dam, is anticipated this week to reach its lowest water level since the lake’s initial filling in the 1930s. The Bureau of Reclamation’s Boulder Canyon Operations Office is projecting the elevation to drop to 1,081.75 feet above sea level during the week of July 7 and to continue to drop, reaching approximately 1,080 feet in November of this year.
For the first time in the more than half a century that the federal government had been diverting Sierra Nevada water to farmers, there would be no deliveries to most Central Valley irrigation districts. In the third year of drought, there wasn’t enough water to go around.
Late-hour motorists on Interstate 5 should expect long delays between Cottage Grove and Sutherlin tonight while an oversize load carrying a massive [Folsom] dam gate is transported through the area, the state Department of Transportation said Tuesday. …
“The Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled a meeting to update the public on the current status of the ongoing Cost Allocation Study for the Central Valley Project. The focus of the meeting will be to discuss the methodology on calculating the economic benefits for irrigation and municipal and industrial water supply.”
“Addressing the Western Governors’ Association today [June 9], Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the Bureau of Reclamation will make $17.8 million in water and energy efficiency grants available to 36 projects in the western United States and will provide $1.8 million for three river basin studies—for a total of $19.6 million in Federal funding.”
“The Bureau of Reclamation today [June 6] announced its selection of six projects across California to receive a total of $1.8 million in CALFED Water Use Efficiency grants for Fiscal Year 2014. Combined with local cost-share contributions, more than $11.7 million in water management improvement projects will be implemented during the next 24 months.”