WaterSide Chat: Deadbeat Dams – A Conversation with Dan Beard

July 7, 2015
11:00 am - 12:00 pm PST


Author, Former Commissioner for the US Bureau of Reclamation


The history of western water issues has been a dynamic blend of politics, money, power, growth and prosperity. The United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) was established at the turn of the twentieth century to oversee water resource management in the western United States. While managing water for over 30 million people, the bureau also controls hydroelectric power generation from a network of damns throughout the western region. Join WaterSmart in this special WaterSide Chat with Dan Beard, former commissioner of the USBR to learn more about his recent book, Deadbeat Dams. Dan will review the history of damn construction, water subsidies, and the politics of water throughout the west. We will also discuss drought and alternative solutions to providing for our water needs in the years to come. Dan was Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation from 1993 – 1995. Dan pushed for USBR's transition from a construction agency to a water resources management leader. He insisted Reclamation take new approaches toward water conservation, environmental issues, and recognizing the increasing demands of cities on Western water. A native of Bellingham, Washington, Dan received his undergraduate degree from Western Washington University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He currently serves on the American Forest Foundation Board of Trustees, and serves as the organization’s Treasurer.