Fiscal Year 2006 Budget Request for the Bureau of Reclamation
Statement of John W. Keys, III
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Before the Senate Appropriations Committee
Energy and Water Development
April 7, 2005
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Reid, and members of the subcommittee, for the opportunity to appear before you today to support the President’s Fiscal Year 2006 budget request for the Bureau of Reclamation. With me today is Bob Wolf, Director of Program and Budget.
We appreciate all the support the Committee has shown toward Reclamation programs and the excellent working relationship that has been developed.
I have a statement for the record that has been forwarded to the Committee, so I will keep my oral statement brief.
Before I get into the FY 06 Budget, I would like to update you on the water supply conditions in the West. Unfortunately, the drought remains with us this year and we are still concerned. For example, the Colorado River Basin dropped from 113% to 108% of normal. The Pacific Northwest is at ……..
Now, I would like to return to our FY 06 Budget. The overall Reclamation request totals $946.7 million in current authority, and is offset by discretionary receipts in the Central Valley project Restoration Fund of $43.9 million and hydropower direct financing of $30 million.
Our FY 2006 budget request continues the President’s commitment to a more citizen-centered government.
The request continues to emphasize the operation and maintenance of Reclamation facilities in a safe, efficient, economic, and reliable manner, while sustaining the health and integrity of ecosystems that address the water needs of a growing population. As part of this emphasis, $65 million is requested for dam safety.
Our FY 2006 request has been designed to support Reclamation’s mission of delivering water and generating hydropower, “consistent with applicable state and Federal law, in an environmentally responsible and cost efficient manner.”
Water 2025 ($30 million). The FY 2006 request for Secretary Norton’s Water 2025 initiative, builds off the FY 2005 Water 2025 effort. Water 2025 is a high priority for Reclamation, focusing resources – both financial and technical – on areas of the West where conflict and crises over water either exist now or can be predicted and prevented, using the tools to deal with the realities outlined in the initiative. The “Hot Spot Map” shows the areas in the west that are most likely to experience water supply crises.
Klamath Project in Oregon and California ($22 million). The FY 2006 request continues and increases funding for our efforts in the Klamath Basin that will improve water supplies to meet competing demands for water in the basin and ensure continued delivery of water to our Project.
The 2005 Water Supply Forecasts to date show that 2005 will be a challenging year for irrigators and resource managers. These early forecasts depict snow pack at 47% of normal. We are currently anticipating a dry water year in the Lake and a dry water year in the River.
Middle Rio Grande ($19 million). The FY 2006 request continues support of Endangered Species through participation in the Collaborative Program. These efforts support the protection and recovery of the Rio Grande silvery minnow and southwestern willow flycatcher. In addition, the request continues funding for acquiring supplemental water, channel maintenance, and government-to-government consultations with Pueblos and Tribes.
Animas-La Plata in Colorado and New Mexico ($52 million). The Animas-La Plata Project is almost 20% completed and resolves (through authorizing legislation passed by Congress in 2000) long-standing Indian water rights claims in the basin.
Rural Water ($57.5 million). The FY 2006 funding for rural water projects emphasizes a commitment to completing ongoing municipal, rural, and industrial systems. Funding is included for Mni Wiconi, Garrison and Lewis and Clark projects. The Administration submitted a proposal to Congress last year to authorize a formal rural water program in Reclamation and while it did not pass in the last Congress, we are working closely with the authorizing committees to move this forward; and until such legislation is enacted, funding is only requested for on-going rural water projects.
CALFED Bay-Delta Program ($35 million). President Bush signed the historic legislation on October 25, 2004, authorizing the CALFED Bay-Delta Program. The funding is intended for the following areas: $10.0 million for the environmental water account; $10.0 million for the storage program; $3.0 million for water conveyance; $4.0 million for water use efficiency; $4.0 million for ecosystem restoration; and $4.0 million for program and management and Reclamation’s oversight function.
In conclusion, I want to strongly reiterate that the FY 2006 budget request demonstrates Reclamation’s commitment to meeting the water and power needs of the West in a fiscally responsible manner.
Thanks again for the continued support that this Committee has provided Reclamation. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have at this time.