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President's 2009 budget allots $3 million for hydro R&D

President Bush's $3.11 trillion budget proposal for the next fiscal year includes $3 million for hydropower research and development in a $25 billion spending plan for the Department of Energy.

The amount proposed for hydropower in the spending plan released Feb. 4 is less than the $10 million Congress appropriated to revive DOE's �water power� program for the 2008 fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. (HNN 12/19/07) However, it is $3 million more for hydro than the president's FY 2008 budget, which included nothing for hydropower R&D.

DOE's Water Power Energy R&D program, previously known as the Hydropower Program, is conducting research on conventional hydropower and innovative hydropower technologies, such as thermal and wave technologies, for ocean, tidal, and in-stream generation.

The president's spending plan for FY 2009 says the Water Power Energy R&D Program initially will focus on conducting technology characterizations, resource assessments, and facilitating the advancement of water power technologies.

Congress appropriated $495,000 for FY 2006 to complete closeout of DOE's Hydropower R&D program, which was zero-funded in FY 2007. Congress appropriated $4.9 million for the program in FY 2004 and again in FY 2005.

Budget supports BuRec dam safety, security programs

The Bureau of Reclamation, the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the U.S., said the proposed budget emphasizes its reliable water delivery and power generation. It requests more than $396 million for operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation activities at BuRec facilities.

The proposal includes $91.3 million for BuRec's Dam Safety Program to continue dam safety risk management and risk reduction activities for high- and significant-hazard dams. Corrective actions are planned to start or continue at a number of facilities, the bureau said. Modifications to 198.72-MW Folsom Dam on California's American River continue to be a major focus. (HNN 1/21/08)

The budget includes $29 million for BuRec's site security program, which includes security upgrades at key facilities, guards and patrols, anti-terrorism activities, and security risk assessments.

Budget includes $4.7 billion for Corps civil works program

The president's budget includes $4.741 billion in new federal funding for the Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program, and an additional $5.761 billion in an emergency request, for a total request of more than $10.5 billion.

The new federal funding would provide: $2.475 billion for operations and maintenance; $1.402 billion for construction; and $180 million for the Corps' regulatory program. The budget proposes to fund 79 construction projects, including 11 dam safety assurance, seepage control, and static instability correction projects. The budget includes $57 million for the seepage control project at 270-MW Wolf Creek Dam near Jamestown, Ky. (HNN 12/13/07)

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