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Program Assessment


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Bureau of Reclamation - Water Reuse and Recycling

The program partners with local project sponsors to encourage the reuse and recycling of wastewater, largely by providing grants to help design and build water reuse infrastructure. Also, a small component of the program is dedicated to water reuse and recycling research, as well as desalination research.


What This Rating Means

Moderately Effective

In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
  • While water reuse and recycling is important to meeting the west's future water needs, this activity is not one of Reclamation's core functions. However, there is a linkage between water reuse and recycling and achieving the objectives of Reclamation's water conservation programs such as Water 2025 and the Water Conservation Field Services Program.
  • This program was originally intended to demonstrate the practicability of water reuse and recycling; the program accomplished this original objective, but has since turned into a vehicle for Congressional mandates that direct Federal funds to cost-sharing local water reuse and recycling projects.
  • The program is generally well-managed, but its oversight of individual projects is limited by the strong degree of local control. The program's main weakness is its lack of long-term planning. Reclamation is reluctant to set long-term goals with clear timeframes that would commit resources to this program, which is tangential to its core mission.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Update the existing Title XVI Guidelines for Preparing, Reviewing, and Processing Water Reclamation and Reuse Project Proposals under Title XVI of Public Law 102-575, as amended.
  • Re-evaluate the existing performance measures and determine if the measures should be modified, retained, or replaced to improve monitoring of activities for which Reclamation has direct control.

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