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Conservation strategy saves animals, costs

WAPA reaches $50M cost-savings milestone 

CONTACT: Jen Neville,, 720.962.7411

LAKEWOOD, Colorado – Western Area Power Administration announced a major milestone in its cost-savings efforts today. More than $50 million in potential costs have been avoided through process improvements, including a project that implements a cost-effective conservation strategy benefitting the environment and strengthening federal partnerships. 

“We take our commitment to financial and environmental responsibility very seriously,” said WAPA Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel. “This project highlights how we incorporate these values into our daily work.” 

WAPA tracks avoided costs through its formalized Continuous Process Improvement program. In total, WAPA has implemented improvements and streamlined processes that amount to more than $50 million in cost savings for three key categories: initiatives, formal CPI projects and informal “Just Do It” efforts. “Just Do It” calculates employee-driven process improvements implemented at their desks or in their trucks. Since 2014, the CPI program cost avoidance achievements include:
  • Formal projects: $2,729,766
  • Informal “Just Do It” projects: $23,229,957
  • WAPA initiative projects: $29,002,492
​A look into a “Just Do It” effort
The conservation strategy, a "Just Do It" effort,​ reduces costs by proactively funding U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-approved programs, rather than paying reactive mitigation costs. The innovative approach avoids more than $21.5 million and better aids the recovery of both federally and state protected species. The success of this partnership provides a foundation for future proactive conservation strategies associated with environmental review.

“As part of the environmental regulatory process, we teamed up with Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a strong strategy to proactively support conservation activities for endangered species in California, like the San Joaquin kit fox, California tiger salamander and blunt-nosed leopard lizard,” said WAPA Biologist Tim Langer. “This new paradigm was a great way to invest in a program that benefits energy infrastructure and the environment.”

WAPA’s commitment also demonstrates consistency with State of California conservation goals outside of formal state permitting processes that WAPA is not otherwise responsible for as a federal agency.

About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt hours of clean, renewable power from 57​ federal hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy. Follow us on Twitter @WesternAreaPowr or visit the website at
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