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Bureau of Reclamation

Bureau of Reclamation
US-DOI-BureauOfReclamation-Seal.svg
Agency overview
Formed 1902
Type Office
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Employees 5,425
Annual budget $1.17 billion
Agency executive
  • Estevan López , Commissioner
Parent agency United States Department of the Interior
Website www.usbr.gov

The United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), and formerly the United States Reclamation Service (not to be confused with the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement), is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees water resource management, specifically as it applies to the oversight and operation of the diversion, delivery, and storage projects that it has built throughout the western United States for irrigation, water supply, and attendant hydroelectric power generation. Currently USBR is the largest wholesaler of water in the country, bringing water to more than 31 million people, and providing one in five Western farmers with irrigation water for 10 million acres of farmland, which produce 60% of the nation's vegetables and 25% of its fruits and nuts. USBR is also the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the western United States.

On June 17th 1902, in accordance with the Reclamation Act, Secretary of the Interior Ethan Allen Hitchcock established the U.S. Reclamation Service within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The new Reclamation Service studied potential water development projects in each western state with federal lands—revenue from sale of federal lands was the initial source of the program's funding. Because Texas had no federal lands, it did not become a Reclamation state until 1906, when Congress passed a special Act including it in the provisions of the Reclamation Act.



  • Estevan López , Commissioner
  • Börk, Karrigan S., “‘The Wilderness and the Dry Land Will Be Glad; and the Desert Will Rejoice and Blossom like a Rose’: The Origins of the Bureau of Reclamation,” Journal of the West 50 (Spring 2011), 60–74.
  • Marc Reisner, Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. Revised edition (Penguin, 1993). .
  • Christopher Sneddon, Concrete Revolution: Large Dams, Cold War Geopolitics, and the US Bureau of Reclamation, 2015, University of Chicago Press
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Wikipedia

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