Bureau of Reclamation (BR)

Agency/Department

FLC Region

Security Lab

No

Address

Denver Federal Center
6th & Kipling, Bldg 67
Denver, CO 80225-0007
United States

Laboratory Representative

Description

Established in 1902, the Bureau of Reclamation is best known for the dams, power plants, 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 percent of the nation's vegetables and 25 percent of its fruits and nuts. Reclamation is also the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the western United States. Our 58 power plants annually provide more than 40 billion kilowatt hours generating nearly a billion dollars in power revenues and produce enough electricity to serve 6 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.

Mission

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 Indian Tribes, and in finding ways to bring together the variety of interests to address the competing needs for our limited water resources.

Tech Areas

Available Technologies
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7
Catch Cup
Cellulose Acetate Membrane
Chemical Metering System
CHLORINE RESISTANT POLYAMIDES AND MEMBRANES MADE FROM THE SAME
Flexible Flux Probe
Forward Osmosis (FO)
Hydrophilic Polyurethane Impregnated Rubber for Sealing Water Leaks
Funding

WaterSMART Grants provide cost-shared funding for the following types of projects:

  • Water and Energy Efficiency Grants - for projects that save water, improve energy efficiency, address endangered species and other environmental issues, and facilitate transfers to new uses. Read More→
  • System Optimization Review Grants - A System Optimization Review is a broad look at system-wide efficiency focused on improving efficiency and operations of a water delivery system, water district, or water basin. The Review results in a plan of action that focuses on improving efficiency and operations on a regional and basin perspective. Read More→
  • Advanced Water Treatment and Pilot and Demonstration Project Grants - for pilot and demonstration projects that address the technical, economic, and environmental viability of treating and using brackish groundwater, seawater, impaired waters, or otherwise creating new water supplies within a specific locale. Read More→
  • Grants to Develop Climate Analysis Tools - for projects focused on the information gaps detailed in the joint Reclamation and United Stated Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Report titled "Addressing Climate Change in Long-Term Water Resources Planning and Management: User Needs for Improving Tools and Information" (Section 3). Projects support the ongoing efforts under 9503(b) of the SECURE Water Act and may help narrow uncertainties, provide information in more usable forms, or develop more robust strategies for incorporating uncertainty into water management decision-making.
Lab Representatives
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Facilities
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Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory
Water Treatment Group
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Success Stories
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Mussels can attach to and clog pipes, pumps, trash racks, cooling water systems, fire protection systems, and virtually any water-related infrastructure surface, thereby reducing the reliability and efficiency of water and hydropower systems while simultaneously increasing maintenance costs. 

Zebra and quagga mussels have recently invaded the Colorado River and other western water bodies. Detecting and preventing the spread of these mussels is, therefore, critical to the Bureau of Reclamation’s primary mission of water and hydropower delivery. To advance the capability of monitoring water bodies for the presence of mussels, Reclamation has entered into a CRADA with Fluid Imaging Technologies to conduct research for improving automated detection and quantification of invasive mussel larvae (also known as “veliger”). Larvae are 70 to 200 microns in size (about half the size of the period at the end of this sentence). Detecting and monitoring invasive mussel larvae is the cornerstone of an effective strategy to manage these invasive nuisances.

Reclamation has pioneered new methods to aid with the early detection of quagga and zebra mussels before they become a major nuisance for water infrastructure. It has developed a Mussel Detection and Monitoring Program to better understand the spread of mussels. This program cooperates with states and other partners to come up with proactive measures to provide the earliest detection possible for any new mussel introductions that can reduce the need to remove mussels or interrupt Reclamation’s facilities and structures. Reclamation has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with a partner that specializes in developing particle analysis instruments using digital imaging technology that could help monitor mussel larvae.

Under the CRADA, both parties combine their joint interests and capabilities to monitor larvae for various water types. Reclamation’s contributions include research expertise and know-how from botanists, engineers and biologists, and the use of Reclamation’s field test site and research laboratory. The CRADA partner’s contributions include the FlowCAM® technology, research resources, and capabilities to improve its technology to better count samples with abundant organisms. The major advantage of the FlowCAM over traditional cross-polarized microscopy is that it has the potential to process samples more systematically than manual methods, and it provides automated photography of individual particles if additional analysis is necessary. Under the CRADA, both parties jointly improved the FlowCAM into a specialized VeligerCAM to count abundant organisms, including mussel larvae, and monitor physical larvae damage. The FlowCAM hardware has also been upgraded to include dual cameras that can display images of the same organism in both regular and cross-polarized light, which identifies and accelerates the analysis. So far, research results conducted under the CRADA indicate that the images recovered from the VeligerCAM are much brighter and sharper when compared to the standard FlowCAM. The VeligerCAM reports a more accurate high number larvae count than cross-polarized microscopy, and current testing indicates that accuracy remains above 95% recovery. VeligerCAM photos are also used as a tool for evaluating the effectiveness of various mussel control interventions by photographing the pretreatment and post-treatment condition of mussel shell health.

Both parties have benefited from the CRADA. The CRADA partner has improved and validated the performance of its FlowCAM while adding the newly developed VeligerCAM capabilities into its line of product offerings for other users. Reclamation now has a specialized technology that can accurately and efficiently count abundant mussel samples. Due in part to the newly developed VeligerCAM capability, Reclamation's Mussel Detection Laboratory, located in the Technical Service Center in Denver, Colorado, received the 2012 Colorado Governor's Award for High Impact Research for its work advancing methods to monitor for the presence of invasive quagga and zebra mussels in bodies of water.