Flows from Ririe Reservoir to Increase

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Mike Beus, (208) 678-0461 ext. 27

For Release: February 07, 2013

BURLEY, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Mitigation Inc., will increase flows at the Ririe Outlet Channel below Ririe Dam to test the reliability of the downstream channel to pass winter flows. The increased flows will start around 3 p.m. on Feb. 10. The dam is located on Willow Creek about 4 miles south of Ririe, Idaho.

The purpose of the test is to determine if water can be released safely in the winter which will allow additional water to be held for irrigation in the fall without adversely affecting flood protection.

"We will be watching the weather and forecasts closely and monitoring the flow of water," Water Operations Manager Mike Beus said. "We are prepared to curtail the test if temperatures become cold enough to cause ice jams to form."

Flows of 150 cubic-feet-per-second (cfs) will be released into the channel and then, depending on weather conditions, increased in stages over three to seven days until it reaches about 500 cfs.

Crews and equipment will be standing by to remove ice jams should they develop.

Water managers are advising people to exercise caution while work crews operate heavy machinery and to stay away from the waterway.

Ririe Dam, completed in 1977 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is owned and operated by Reclamation. The reservoir has a total capacity of 100,500 acre-feet including 80,500 acre-feet for irrigation, flood control, and recreation, and 10,000 acre-feet reserved exclusively for flood control.

Local residents with questions about the reservoir operation may contact Mike Beus at (208) 678-0461, ext. 27 or Jerry Cheek, Operations & Maintenance Technical Services Manager at (208) 678-0461 ext 20.

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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 www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.