U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation

U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation

Established in 1902, the Bureau of Reclamation is best known for the dams, powerplants, and canals it constructed in the 17 western states. These water projects led to homesteading and promoted the economic development of the West. Reclamation has constructed more than 600 dams and reservoirs including Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and Grand Coulee on the Columbia River. Today, we are the largest wholesaler of water in the country. We bring water to more than 31 million people, and 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 also the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States. Our 53 powerplants annually provide more than 40 billion kilowatt hours generating nearly a billion dollars in power revenues and produce enough electricity to serve 3.5 million homes.

Today, Reclamation is a contemporary water management agency with a Strategic Plan outlining numerous programs, initiatives and activities that will help the Western States, Native American Tribes and others meet new water needs and balance the multitude of competing uses of water in the West. Our mission is to assist in meeting the increasing water demands of the West while protecting the environment and the public's investment in these structures. We place great emphasis on fulfilling our water delivery obligations, water conservation, water recycling and reuse, and developing partnerships with our customers, states, and Native American Tribes, and in finding ways to bring together the variety of interests to address the competing needs for our limited water resources.

At a Glance

Members 0
Partners 0

Organization Type

There is no Organization Type selected.


Bureau of Reclamation
1849 C Street NW
Washington DC 20240-0001

T : 202-513-0501

Organization Mission

Mission Statement

The mission of the Bureau of Reclamation is to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public.

Vision Statement

Through leadership, use of technical expertise, efficient operations, responsive customer service and the creativity of people, Reclamation will seek to protect local economies and preserve natural resources and ecosystems through the effective use of water.

The Commissioner's plan for how Reclamation will attain its vision:

  • Directing our leadership and technical expertise in water resources development and in the efficient use of water through initiatives including conservation, reuse, and research.
  • Protecting the public and the environment through the adequate maintenance and appropriate operation of Reclamation's facilities.
  • Managing Reclamation's facilities to fulfill water user contracts and protect and/or enhance conditions for fish, wildlife, land, and cultural resources.
  • Working with Reclamation's customers and stakeholders to achieve mutual objectives.
  • Assisting the Secretary in fulfilling Indian Trust responsibilities.
  • Implementing innovative, sound business practices with timely and cost-effective, measurable results.
  • Promoting a culturally diverse workforce which encourages excellence, creativity, and achievement.

Understanding and striving to attain our vision are critical to effectively implement the Government Performance and Results Act. GPRA was enacted in 1993 to improve public confidence in Federal agency performance by holding agencies accountable for achieving program results; and to improve congressional decision making by clarifying and stating program performance goals, measures, and costs "up front." Basic GPRA requirements include:

  • 6-year Strategic Plan
  • Annual Performance Plans
  • Annual Performance Reports

Area of Focus

The Bureau of Reclamation:

Manages, develops, and protects water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public.

Is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier, operating 337 reservoirs with a total storage capacity of 245 million acre-feet (an acre-foot, 325,851 gallons of water, supplies enough water for a family of four for one year).

Provides 1 out of 5 (or, 140,000) Western farmers with irrigation water for 10 million farmland acres that produce 60 percent of the nation's vegetables and one quarter of its fresh fruit and nut crops.

Is the second largest producer of hydropower in the United States and operates 53 hydroelectric powerplants that annually produced, on average, 40 billion kilowatt-hours for the last 10 years.

Delivers 10 trillion gallons of water to more than 31 million people each year.

Manages, with partners, 289 recreation sites that have 90 million visits annually.

Reclamation’s management and recreation activities contribute $46 billion in economic output, and support about 312,000 jobs.

The Bureau of Reclamation priorities are to:

Ensure the continued delivery of water and power benefits in conformity with contracts, statutes, and agreements.

Operate and maintain projects in a safe and reliable manner, protecting the health and safety of the public and Reclamation employees and improve financial accountability and transparency to our contractors.

Honor State water rights, interstate compacts, contracts with Reclamation users, further the Secretary of the Interior's Indian Trust responsibilities, and comply with all environmental statutes.

Plan for the future using programs that focus Reclamation's financial and technical resources on areas in the West where conflict over water either currently exists or is likely to occur in the coming years.

Enhance the business operations of Reclamation in accord with the Managing for Excellence initiative.

Provide for the implementation of the newly authorized Loan Guarantee Program that can assist districts with large operation and maintenance/replacement projects on Reclamation facilities and facilities used to deliver Reclamation supplies.

The Bureau of Reclamation is:

Developing strategies to manage and deliver water more efficiently and effectively to our customers in order to help satisfy the many needs of irrigation, municipalities, power and the environment and serving as a technical resource for water users and planners.

Working in partnership with states, Tribes, water and power customers, and others to seek creative and collaborative solutions to Western water issues.

Ensuring our dams do not create unacceptable risk to the public by monitoring, evaluating, and when appropriate, performing risk reduction modifications.

Funding Opportunities