Reclamation, Partners Reach Minimum Streamflow Agreement for Powder River

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Jerrold Gregg, (208) 383-2248

For Release: October 26, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation, in cooperation with private and public sector partners in eastern Oregon, agreed to implement minimum flows of from 6.0 to 6.5 cubic feet per second in Powder River starting in early November.

The agreement followed several years of negotiation between Reclamation and Baker Valley Irrigation District, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Oregon Water Resources Department in Baker City, Oregon.

The agreement, known as the Baker Valley Warren Act Contract, outlines Baker Valley Irrigation District's agreement to release 10 cfs for minimum streamflow except during periods of irrigation shortages along with providing supplemental irrigation benefits to approximately 13,000 acres of land in the Baker Valley Irrigation District. The agreement was announced following an October 25 meeting with Reclamation and the various groups in Baker City.

"The agreement to keep a minimum flow in the Powder River will benefit water quality and fisheries habitat. This is a very positive development for the Powder River and Eastern Oregon," said Jerrold Gregg, Reclamation's Snake River Area Manager. "Baker Valley Irrigation District and Reclamation worked together with other government agencies over the last seven years to define this flow agreement."

The water agreement will ensure Powder River minimum winter flows will be maintained at 10 cfs in an effort to maintain healthy environment for fish and other aquatic life. The 10 cfs minimum perennial stream flow in the Powder River runs from Mason Dam to just above the Lily Pumping Plant, which essentially covers the Upper Powder River Basin.

# # #

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.