Established in 1902, the Bureau of Reclamation is best known for the dams, powerplants, and canals it constructed in 17 western states. These water projects led to homesteading and promoted the economic development of the West. Reclamation has constructed more than 600 dams and reservoirs, including Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and Grand Coulee on the Columbia River.
Today, the Bureau is the largest wholesaler of water in the country. It brings water to more than 31 million people and provides one out of five Western farmers (140,000) with irrigation water for 10 million acres of farmland that produce 60% of the nation's vegetables and 25% of its fruits and nuts.