The Bureau of Reclamation was created in 1902 to manage water and power in the arid western U.S. In the beginning, the Bureau’s primary purpose was to get water for irrigation to western farms. Today, the Bureau of Reclamation supplies water to 1 of 5 western farmers (delivering 10 trillion gallons of water every year), manages almost 300 recreational sites, and is the second largest producer of hydropower in the U.S. It oversees dams, power plants, and canals, and regulates the irrigation of western farmland.
The Reclamation Project Act (RPA) of 1939 detailed how users were to pay for the water they received. Section 10 of the Reclamation Act specifically addressed the use of construction materials to improve public roads, for example, in connection with ongoing water projects. The catch was that the proposed construction projects had to be in line with the established purpose of the land. For example, building a road might be permitted if it would provide better access to recreational areas.
Section 10 of the Reclamation Act is one of the 48 federal laws waived to expedite construction of a border wall (click here for a list of all 48 laws that have been waived). This waiver allows the government to use construction materials for any purpose they want—like siting or construction of a wall, on land established for the regulation of water usage. Such actions neither benefit water users nor the general public.
Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members) and let them know that you oppose waiving The Reclamation Project Act to expedite construction of a border wall. Click here if you would like to make a donation to help us fight the border wall.