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Press Release: Bureau of Reclamation 2/6/2006


President George W. Bush's FY 2007 budget request, released today, includes a total of $971.6 million in new budget authority for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation. The President's request reflects his continuing commitment to be prudent with taxpayer dollars while setting priorities for spending.

"The President's budget proposal promotes fiscal responsibility while allowing Reclamation to continue to meet its mission of providing water and producing efficient, renewable, clean hydropower," said Reclamation Commissioner John Keys. "The President's proposal also includes continued funding for the Water 2025 initiative, the construction of the Animas-La Plata project and an increase for the Klamath Project to continue to improve water supplies, continue a water bank and coordinate Reclamation's Conservation Implementation Program."

The Administration's budget proposal will support Reclamation's core mission of managing the delivery of water and the generation of hydroelectricity in the West. Meeting the Nation's energy needs remains a priority for the Administration. Reclamation will continue to emphasize maintenance of its aging infrastructure to increase the reliability and efficiency of its water and hydropower facilities.

The President is proposing $14.5 million in Reclamation's budget for Water 2025. This initiative remains a priority for Secretary Norton and will continue to focus limited 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. Funding will be directed at on-the-ground projects selected through a competitive 50-50 cost-shared Challenge Grant Program. Since its inception, the Water 2025 initiative has funded more than 68 projects, leveraging $15.5 million in Challenge Grants in 16 western states into more than $60 million in water management improvements. Upon completion, these projects will result in stretching existing water supplies to benefit farmers, communities and the environment.

The FY 2007 request for Reclamation totals $971.6 million in current budget authority, a decrease of $49.2 million from the FY 2006 enacted level of $1,020.8 million. This request is reduced by the proposed cancellation of $88 million in unobligated balances for the At Risk Desert Terminal Lakes Program initially authorized and funded in the 2002 Farm Bill.

The FY 2007 budget provides $833.4 million for Reclamation's water and related resources account. This includes:

$376.9 million for facility operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation - of which $69.0 million is targeted for the Dam Safety program to protect regional water supplies and the downstream public by ensuring the safety and reliability of Reclamation dams;

$456.5 million for water and energy management and development, land management and development, and fish and wildlife management and development.

Specifics of the budget request include:

$14.5 million for the Water 2025 initiative;

$57.4 million for the Animas-La Plata Project to continue implementation of the Colorado Ute Settlement Act Amendments of 2000;

$24.8 million for the Klamath Project to increase studies and initiatives related to improving water supplies to meet irrigation, wildlife refuges, and Tribal trust obligations; continue a water bank; and coordinate Reclamation's Conservation Implementation Program;

$38.6 million for the California Bay-Delta Restoration account and $41.5 million for the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund;

$39.6 million for Site Security activities to continue Reclamation's anti-terrorism program, which includes funding for guard and patrol activities; additional security risk assessments; continued work on installation and implementation of needed physical security improvements; and continued law enforcement activities; the FY 2007 Budget treats guards and patrols as project O&M costs subject to reimbursement based on project cost allocations;

$23.8 million for the Middle Rio Grande Project to continue the operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of project facilities; flood protection; and protect and recover the Rio Grande silvery minnow and southwestern willow flycatcher; and

$17.0 million for the Lower Colorado River Operations Program to continue river operations, administration of water service contracting and repayment, decree accounting, oversight of hydropower activities, and implementation of the Multi-Species Conservation Program.




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