Reclamation is charged with measuring consumptive water use (water that is physically removed, either through export or evaporation) within the Upper Colorado River Basin. Irrigated agriculture accounts for the majority of consumptive water use within the Basin, and Reclamation measures this use by multiplying estimates of crop area (m2) derived from remote sensing by daily crop-specific water use estimates (m d-1), then summing these daily results to generate seasonal and annual values. Locally measured weather data (solar radiation, air temperature, wind speed, hu
Reclamation routinely monitors more than 3.5 million acres of agriculture and riparian vegetation along the Lower Colorado River from Hoover Dam to the Southerly International Border. Data generated include crop and riparian types, acreages, and associated water use estimates. Remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software are the primary tools used for this activity. These data assist Reclamation in accounting for water use by each state and individual water user, verifying fallowed lands for conservation programs, and other water management analysis needs.
Reclamation is responsible for administration of the Operating Criteria and Procedures (OCAP) for the Newlands Reclamation Project, Nevada.
The San Joaquin River Restoration Program is a comprehensive long-term effort to restore flows to the San Joaquin River in California’s Central Valley from Friant Dam to the confluence of the Merced River. The goal is to restore a self-sustaining Chinook salmon fishery in the river while reducing or avoiding adverse water supply impacts from restoration flows. Reclamation continues to investigate and develop remote-sensing-based methods to map and monitor vegetation and its response to flow restoration on the river.
The Bureau of Reclamation’s (Reclamation) Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Group uses light detection and ranging (lidar) data in conjunction with river and reservoir bathymetric surveys to develop continuous topographic/bathymetric surfaces. These surfaces are used to provide the elevation values for cross sections or structured/irregular mesh elements that are in turn used as inputs to one-, two-, and three-dimensional hydraulic modeling.