The Biden administration recently announced its choice to lead the Bureau of Reclamation, the largest wholesaler of water in the U.S., during a time when Western states are struggling with drought, climate change, growth, and competing uses for an ever-dwindling supply of water.
The bureau must figure out how to balance municipal, agricultural, industrial, recreational, and environmental demands for water in the rapidly-growing region, which is locked in a 20-year megadrought that ranks among the worst in recorded history.
Here’s an explanation of the agency and what’s at stake:
1. What does the bureau do?
The Interior Department agency sells ...