Bureau of Reclamation (U.S.)

In the late 19th century, insufficient rainfall caused western settlers in the United States to use irrigation for farming, and pressure escalated for the federal government to create and manage irrigation and reservoir storage projects. The U.S. Congress was already investing in the nation's growing infrastructure: Roads, navigable rivers, harbors, canals, and railroads were being built, maintained, and/or developed. Westerners especially needed the government to invest in regional irrigation projects, and this movement showed its strength when irrigation platforms were debated during the presidential election in 1900. It was therefore only two years later that the Bureau of U.S. Reclamation Service would be created.

In 1924, Congress authorized the building of the Hoover Dam in Boulder Canyon, Nevada, using federal funding.


On July 17, 1902, Congress passed ...

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