Bureau of Reclamation Banner
Great Plains Region
Billings, Mont.
Media Contact:
Jeff Nettleton
(605) 394-9757
Curt Anderson
(605) 394-9757

Released On: August 05, 2004

Reclamation Releases Reservoir Information
Jeff Nettleton, Manager of the Bureau of Reclamation's Rapid City Field Office, said lack of rainfall this year has affected all six of the reservoirs managed out of his office. He said, "We were blessed to have had good storage levels in most reservoirs as we entered the spring. Even though inflows have been well below average this summer, irrigation and municipal water supply needs are being met."

Nettleton added, "Although reservoir levels are below what we got used to during the unusually wet years of the late 1990's and are now below some boat ramps at some of our reservoirs, water-based recreation on our reservoirs has continued and we are in pretty good shape compared to many locations in the West."

Nettleton said as the West faces some of the driest years on record, Reclamation is working with its managing partners to adjust to the dry conditions by implementing water conservation technology on irrigation districts and by extending boat ramps or providing temporary ramps at some reservoirs to continue to provide boat access to the lakes during these dry years.

He added, "I want to compliment everyone's efforts to use water efficiently and conserve water at all the reservoirs."

Following is the status of the reservoirs:

Pactola Reservoir

As of August 5th the reservoir was at elevation 4566.70 which is 13.5 feet from full. Since 1994 Pactola has filled every year except 2001 when it came within six inches of filling. During the current water year, which runs from October 1, 2003 through September 30, 2004, the peak Pactola water surface elevation to date was 4573.55 on April 30, 2004. Although it seems low compared to some recent wet years, the present reservoir elevation is average for the end of July based on the last 48 years of record.

Inflows to Pactola for the months of May, June, and July of 2004 have been near record lows, totaling only 3,950 acre feet. The average inflow for these three months is 17,300 acre feet. Last year Pactola started the month of June at elevation 4580.35 which is 0.15 feet above full, which means the reservoir was just barely into the flood storage pool. This year Pactola started the month of June at elevation 4571.16 which is about nine feet below the top of the active conservation, or full pool level. The dry winter and spring resulted in inflows of only about 47 percent of the October 1 to July 31 average.

Deerfield Reservoir

The current release at Deerfield is 10 cubic feet per second (cfs) and, like Pactola inflows, has been near record lows this year. The inflows to Deerfield for the months of May, June and July 2004 totaled 1,350 acre feet. Average historic Deerfield inflows for the same period have been about 3,500 acre feet. Deerfield's present elevation is at 5905.5, which is 2.5 feet from full.

Keyhole Reservoir

Inflows to Keyhole since October 1, 2003 have totaled a minus 540 acre-feet. This is due to evaporation from the reservoir exceeding inflows. Historical average inflows for this same time period at Keyhole are 20,400 acre-feet. Keyhole's present elevation is 4087.25, which is about 12 feet from full. The present elevation is six feet above average for this time of year.

Belle Fourche Reservoir

Reservoir content is about 25,000 acre feet below average for the end of July with a present storage content of about 78,500 acre feet. Current Belle Fourche Reservoir storage is about 15,000 acre-feet below the storage at this time last year. Belle Fourche Reservoir is about 17.5 feet from full.

Shadehill Reservoir

Shadehill Reservoir on the Grand River near Lemmon, S.D., is about 3.4 feet from full. A controlled release of 25 cfs is being made and will be continued until a winter release is set. The winter release is also anticipated to be around 25 cfs.

Angostura Reservoir

Water Year 2004 inflows at Angostura Reservoir are only 19 percent of average. From October 1, 2003 through July 31, 2004 inflows totaled 15,050 acre feet. The average for this same time period since construction of the dam is 78,700 acre feet. Angostura is about 17.3 feet below the full pool level at its present elevation of 3169.90.

# # #
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.