The Bureau of Reclamation contracts for the project beneficiaries to reimburse the government for the cost of constructing and operating the project. In many instances it chooses the sites for dams to be used for power as well as irrigation, and then constructs them. The bureau cooperates other government agencies in distributing the power developed. Among such projects are the Bonneville Dam (with an enormous power project) and Grand Coulee Dam, together with a host of related activities on the Columbia, the Snake, and their tributaries (see Columbia, river); the Central Valley Project in California; the Colorado-Big Thompson Project; and the Missouri River Basin Project.
Reclamation is the process of reclaiming something from loss or from a less useful condition. It is generally used of water reclamation, which, a century ago meant damming streams (thus the US Bureau of Reclamation owning dams), and now has come to be used to describe wastewater reclamation.