Reclamation, U.S. Bureau of

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  • Population increases and economic development in the West during the late nineteenth century led to the recognition that dependable water access was crucial to the sustenance of human life and economic activity. This period saw Congress enact legislation promoting irrigation projects and authorizing studies of irrigation potential in the West. These efforts culminated in June 1902 when Congress and President Theodore Roosevelt's administration enacted legislation (Pub. L. 57–161) creating, within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. Reclamation Service (USRS). This was later renamed the Bureau of Reclamation (USBR).

    USRS was given responsibility for developing and ratifying interstate compacts governing stream-flow sharing between states and international treaties governing such sharing with Canada and Mexico. USRS's organic statute also directed it not to interfere with state or ...

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