Public Release: 

Bureau of Reclamation invests $9.2 million in water and power research

Research focuses on providing innovative solutions for Reclamation water and power managers including its customers and stakeholders

Bureau of Reclamation

Following a year of record drought, water managers throughout the west are searching for information and ideas to ensure a reliable and sustainable water supply. To meet this growing need for information, Bureau of Reclamation Principal Deputy Commissioner Estevan López announced today that Reclamation has awarded $9.2 million for 131 research projects. The complete list of selected projects is available at

"Reclamation and its partners in the West are confronting an ever widening imbalance between supply and demand," López said. "By investing in research to develop innovative solutions we can provide tools to guide a sustainable water and power future for the West."

Although Reclamation and its customers face many challenges, particular emphasis is given to addressing knowledge gaps in five research priority areas.

  • Increasing water supplies through advanced water treatment technologies

  • Optimizing water availability under a changing and variable climate

  • Controlling invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussels that can interrupt water and power deliveries

  • Optimizing Hydropower and other forms of renewable energy

  • Improving water infrastructure reliability and safety

The identified knowledge gaps are filled by both competed and directed research.

Partnerships are key for Reclamation in completing these research projects. This year, Reclamation has leveraged its $9.2 million with an estimated $3.8 million in non-federal cost-shared funding. Partners include federal and non-federal agencies, research centers and laboratories, universities and private companies. In addition to funding, partners also serve as subject matter experts and advisors for the research projects. Research projects are identified using two different methodologies. 1. Reclamation hosts an internal competition where research is proposed by Reclamation employees. Once received the proposals are ranked, reviewed to ensure they are relevant to Reclamation's mission and checked to ensure they are technically valid. 2. The Research and Development Office facilitates forming and funding high performing research teams that can meet Reclamation's high priority needs that are not well or comprehensively addressed through the internal competitive process. These teams are typically a mix of federal and non-federal experts and organizations.

Reclamation's Research and Development Office uses science and technology to advance Reclamation's mission to manage, develop and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public. To learn more, please visit


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