The Bureau of Reclamation was established in 1902 as an agency within the Department of the Interior. Their primary objective is constructing dams, powerplants, and canals in 17 western states. To date, the agency has constructed more than 600 dams and reservoirs including Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and Grand Coulee on the Columbia River.
The Bureau of Reclamation is the largest wholesaler of water in the country. They bring water to more than 31 million people and provide one out of five western farmers with irrigation water for ten million acres of farmland that provide 60% of the nation's vegetables and 25% of its fruits and nuts.
The Bureau of Reclamation is also the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the western United States. Their 58 powerplants produce enough electricity to serve six million homes.
There are few recreation areas managed by the Bureau of Reclamation. Most are managed by other government agencies like the National Park Service or U.S. Forest Service. State, county, and local park departments also manage recreation facilities at Reclamation reservoirs.