Established in 1902, the Bureau of Reclamation is best known for the dams, power plants, and canals it constructed in the 17 western states. These water projects led to homesteading and promoted the economic development of the West. The Bureau has constructed more than 600 dams and reservoirs, including Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River.
Today, the Bureau is a contemporary water management agency with a Strategic Plan outlining numerous programs, initiatives, and activities that will help the Western States, Native American Tribes, and others meet new water needs and balance the multitude of competing water uses in the West. Their mission is to assist in meeting the increasing water demands of the West while protecting the environment and the public's investment in these structures. They place great emphasis on fulfilling water delivery obligations, water conservation, water recycling and reuse, and developing partnerships with customers, states, and tribes. They also focus on finding ways to bring together the variety of interests to address the competing needs for our limited water resources.