Bridging the Headgate Survey
In 1997, the United States Bureau of Reclamation created the Water Conservation Field Services Program. It is the focus of this initiative to encourage, develop and implement effective water management and conservation. More recently, the Bureau has initiated a partnership called "Bridging the Headgate".
The "Bridging the Headgate" partnership was originally conceived in 1998 as a joint agreement among the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), the National Association of State Conservation Agencies (NASCA), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The purpose was to leverage the benefits of traditional "on-farm" and "off-farm" water conservation assistance throughout 17 western states.
Through its Water Conservation Field Services Program (WCFSP) and other programs, Reclamation works closely with western water districts on the "off-farm" side of the headgate -- individually, and through partner organizations like the National Water Resources Association (NWRA) and the Western States Water Council (WSWC). Conservation program assistance supported by NRCS, NASCA and NACD through local soil and water conservation districts has characteristically been directed at the western water user's "on-farm" needs.
Through the "Bridging-the-Headgate" initiative, these agencies hope to find new ways of working together -- in support of local agricultural water districts and local soil and water conservation districts -- for the sustained and efficient use of western agricultural water supplies. Seventy cooperative projects have been initiated throughout the 17 western states since the original partnership was initiated.
A group representing Wyoming’s water interests met in October 2001 and again on January 2002 to discuss the relevance of this concept for the State of Wyoming. A project compiling information about current water activities and projects was deemed to be worthwhile and is funded from the Bureau through their "Bridging the Headgate" program and the Wyoming Water Development Commission. This project will develop a database compiled of statewide water related project activities to include recent, current and on-going water quantity and water quality projects.
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