The mission of the Division of Water and Power (DWP) is to promote self-determination, economic opportunities, and public safety through the sound management of irrigation, dam and power facilities owned by Bureau of Indian Affairs. DWP’s mission also includes the protection of Indian water rights, water development projects, litigation support and attorney’s fees as well as the Bureau’s responsibilities under the Federal Power Act in re-licensing hydropower projects that affect Indian trust resources.
The 2022 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) makes more than $13 billion of investments in Tribal communities through different federal agencies and programs, including approximately $40 million in new funding for irrigation, power, and dam projects for FY22 through FY26.
Visit the Bureau of Indian Affairs Bipartisan Infrastructure Law page to learn more about BIL-funded projects and programs.
Who We Serve
DWP supports Tribal governments and BIA Regional Offices to manage their irrigation, dam, and power facilities by:
- Assisting Tribes in the management of water resources through measurement, analysis, and modeling.
- Coordinating the transfer of management, administration, operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation of irrigation, dam, and power facilities to interested Tribes, irrigators, and water user associations, where appropriate.
- Fostering communication, cooperation, and consultation among federal, state, Tribal, and local organizations related to water resources, irrigation, power, dam safety, security, and emergency management activities to offer quality services and improved accountability.
- Hiring, training, and retaining highly qualified personnel to manage, operate, maintain, construct, and rehabilitate DWP power plants, dams, and irrigation systems.
Services We Provide
About the Division of Water and Power
With a central office located in Lakewood, Colorado, DWP includes three branches: the Branch of Irrigation and Power, Branch of Safety of Dams and Branch of Water Resources.
Through the Branch of Irrigation and Power DWP provides policy, advisory, oversight, and technical assistance to DWP power projects and authorized irrigation projects. DWP also distributes appropriated program funds and provides customer billing and collection for BIA-owned irrigation projects.
The Branch of Safety of Dams carries out dam safety activities, which include risk management, emergency management, inspections and evaluations, maintenance and repairs, and dam security, for dams under the BIA’s administration to maintain them in satisfactory condition on a long-term basis and to allow continued access to the beneficial uses these dams provide.
The Branch of Water Resources serves as the DWP Division Chief’s liaison to BIA Regional Offices, local BIA agencies, and Tribal governments on issues involving water rights and negotiations, pre-development and water management, attorney fees, litigation support and water program evaluation.