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Branch of Irrigation and Power

Our Mission

The mission of the Branch of Irrigation and Power is to provide administration, policy, oversight and technical assistance to Bureau of Indian Affairs-owned irrigation and power projects.

Who We Serve

The Branch of Irrigation and Power (BIP) principally supports two multi-project programs: the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Irrigation Program and the BIA Power Program.

BIP supports both programs by providing administration, policy, oversight, and technical assistance to BIA regional offices and local agencies. The BIA owns or has an interest in irrigation projects located on or associated with various Indian reservations throughout the United States. The BIA Irrigation and Power Projects are operated and maintained under the direction of the Office of Field Operations by BIA, by Tribes under P.L. 93-638 contracts or compacts, or by water user groups under specific contracts or agreements.

The BIA Irrigation Program delivers irrigation water to Tribes and non-Indian water customers. The Irrigation Program strives to improve the management of land and natural resource assets through the delivery of water consistent with applicable State and Federal law, in an environmentally responsible and cost-efficient manner. Currently BIA owns and operates, in full or in part, irrigation projects that supply water to 25,000 users and irrigate over 780,000 acres of land.

As part of the BIA Irrigation Program, the Division of Water and Power also operates the National Irrigation Information Management System (NIIMS). NIIMS is a billing, collection, debt management and rate setting system supporting the BIA’s irrigation operation and maintenance (O&M) assessments across 16 irrigation projects in Indian Country. NIIMS processes approximately $35 million in annual receivables which is the primary revenue source for the O&M of each irrigation project.

The BIA Power Program reliably and efficiently delivers electrical power to Tribes and non-Indian power customers. The Power Program operates, maintains, and rehabilitates power system infrastructure on each project, including power generating facilities, power substations, electrical switching stations, transmission lines, distribution lines and related infrastructure. BIA power projects currently provide electrical service to over 38,000 customers and generate $73 million in annual revenue.

Services We Provide

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About the Branch of Irrigation and Power

BIP provides technical assistance and oversight to the administrators, project managers, irrigation engineers and power utility managers that supply Tribes, irrigators and power customers with reliable, efficient water and electrical service.

BIA’s regulations governing its operation and maintenance of irrigation projects, found at 25 CFR 171, applies to those who own or lease land within an irrigation project where BIA assesses fees and collects monies to administer, operate, maintain, and rehabilitate project facilities.

BIA’s regulations governing its operation and maintenance of power projects is found at 25 CFR 175: Indian Electric Power Utilities.

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