Great Plains Region Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom Reclamation Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49369 Reclamation Partnering with National Guard During Operation Golden Coyote at Belle Fourche Reservoir
RAPID CITY, S.D. -- Reclamation and the South Dakota Army National Guard have entered into an agreement permitting SDARNG access to Reclamation lands at Belle Fourche Reservoir to conduct military training. In conjunction with training exercises, the SDARNG will complete projects at the facility that will be mutually beneficial. <P> "The planned projects provide valuable on-the-job training to troops, while benefitting Reclamation, and the recreating public," said Ryan Alcorn, Deputy Division Manager of Environment and Resources with Reclamation's Dakotas Area Office in Rapid City. <P> The SDARNG will be performing 2015 Operation Golden Coyote exercises at Belle Fourche Reservoir from Saturday June 6 through Sunday June 21. Project work and troop training will be performed in the Bird Island View Area in the southeast corner of Belle Fourche Reservoir. The Troop Bivouac area will be in the Fruitdale area, the same area as in the past. <P> As there will be heavy equipment, military vehicles, and hundreds of SDARNG troops in the area, certain places around the reservoir will be closed to the public, including: <P> <ul> <li>The southern section of Bird Island View Road, from the junction of Golf Course Point Road and Bird Island View Road due north for approximately 1 mile. This area is located on the far southeast corner of the reservoir property.</li> <li>The northern section of Bird Island View road will remain open and can be accessed through the CCC point area.</li> </ul> <P> "Vehicle and foot traffic will not be allowed inside the closed construction area during construction activities. There will be signs in place notifying the public of road closures," said Alcorn. <P> Projects to be completed during Operation Golden Coyote include the construction of the southern 1 mile stretch of Bird Island View Road, including culvert placement and replacement, ditches, and gravel placement. If time permits the SDARNG will relocate stockpiled rock rip-rap, and some road work to include construction/rerouting and gravelling of designated roads. <P> For more information please contact Jay Leasure at 605-394-9757 ext. 3011 or Ryan Alcorn at ext. 3004. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49368 Update on Spring Canyon Dam Land Settlement Area
LOVELAND, Colo. -- Reclamation and Northern Water would like to make the public aware of a land settlement next to Spring Canyon Dam at Horsetooth Reservoir. <P> "Reclamation and Northern Water have identified a small amount of land settlement next to Spring Canyon Dam at Horsetooth Reservoir," said Acting Eastern Colorado Area Manager, Jan Snortland. "The land settlement area is not within or part of the dam structure as it is on the north canyon wall," said Snortland. "The site is under constant observation from Northern Water." <P> Reclamation experts are investigating the settlement utilizing the agency's Safety of Dams protocol and procedures. There are no indications that the dam is in any danger. The land settlement is likely from excessive rainfall at the site during the past month. Observation of the surrounding hogbacks and hillsides indicate many smaller land settlements and slide areas. <P> The dam is acting and performing efficiently as designed to with the full reservoir. <P> Contact Patience Hurley for additional information at 701.426.5392, or <a href="mailto:phurley@usbr.gov">phurley@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49370 Reclamation Releases Reservoir Information
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Due to the recent precipitation events and inflows into the reservoirs, water releases from Angostura and Pactola Reservoirs will be increased this week to manage reservoir elevations. <P> "The recent precipitation is typical for this time of year, so we want to make the public aware of these increased flows and water levels downstream of each of these facilities," said Jeff Nettleton, Manger of Facility Operation and Maintenance and Engineering Services for Reclamation's Dakotas Area Office in Rapid City, S.D. "People recreating in or along these downstream areas should take appropriate safety precautions due to the increased flows." <P> The following information provides details on the status of Reclamation's South Dakota Reservoirs and Keyhole Reservoir in northeastern Wyoming. <P> <strong>Angostura Reservoir</strong> <P> Angostura Irrigation District began releasing water through the spillway again on May 23 and will continue releases for the next few days. The current release is approximately 3,200 cubic feet per second (cfs), and future releases will depend on inflows. The current water elevation at Angostura Reservoir is 3,186.9 feet, or 98.8 percent full. Angostura Reservoir is full at an elevation of 3,187.2 feet. Inflows into Angostura for water year 2015 are 131 percent of average for the period of record of the reservoir. <P> <strong>Pactola Reservoir</strong> <P> The City of Rapid City continues to increase flows into Rapid Creek from Pactola Reservoir this week and plan on increasing the release to 500 cubic feet per second on May 27. This release could be maintained into June, but releases are dependent on inflows. The current water elevation at Pactola Reservoir is 4,585.1 feet. The conservation pool 100 percent full and we have entered the flood pool by nearly 5 feet. Inflows into Pactola Reservoir for water year 2015 are 184 percent of average for the period of record of the reservoir. <P> <strong>Deerfield Reservoir</strong> <P> The City of Rapid City is continuing to maintain higher releases from Deerfield Reservoir into Castle Creek this week and expects to maintain this through the rest of May. The inflow for Deerfield Reservoir is currently at 76 cfs. The current water elevation at Deerfield Reservoir is 5,907.8 feet, or 99.6 percent full. Full reservation elevation is 5,908 feet. Inflows into Deerfield Reservoir for water year 2015 are 142 percent of average for the period of record for the reservoir. <P> <strong>Belle Fourche</strong> <P> Belle Fourche Reservoir is 96.4 percent full at an elevation of 2,974.2 feet. Full reservoir elevation is 2,975 feet. Belle Fourche Reservoir is an off-stream storage reservoir located on Owl Creek. The reservoir is filled by diverting water from the Belle Fourche River at the Diversion Dam near the city of Belle Fourche, through the Inlet Canal to the reservoir. The Belle Fourche Irrigation District closed Inlet Canal on May 9 since the reservoir is close to the full elevation. Inflows into Belle Fourche Reservoir for water year 2015 are 72 percent of average for the period of record of the reservoir. <P> <strong>Shadehill</strong> <P> Shadehill Reservoir is 88.4 percent full at an elevation of 2,269.1 feet. Full reservoir elevation is 2,272 feet. Current releases through the outlet works have been set at 50 cfs. Inflows into Shadehill Reservoir for water year 2015 are 60 percent of average for the period of record for the reservoir. <P> <strong>Keyhole Reservoir</strong> <P> Keyhole Reservoir is 94.2 percent full at an elevation of 4,098.1 feet. Full reservoir elevation is 4,099.3 feet. Currently there are no releases being made from Keyhole. Inflows into Keyhole Reservoir for water year 2015 are 28 percent of average for the period of record for the reservoir. <P> Note: The 2015 water year runs from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49347 Lake Thunderbird at Historic Highs
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Due to heavy rainfall in Cleveland and Oklahoma Counties, the water level at Lake Thunderbird is at a record high elevation of 1052.95 feet. The portion of Lake Thunderbird storage designated for flood control has filled to capacity, and the reservoir is currently operating at a level designated as "surcharge storage." Reservoir elevation may continue to rise as a result of runoff from overnight rainfall, and could rise higher if rain continues. <P> In accordance with the Standing Operating Procedures for Norman Dam and Lake Thunderbird, the Bureau of Reclamation directed the Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District to begin increasing the water release rate from Lake Thunderbird at 6 am on Sunday morning. The maximum release rate will be 8,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) by 1 pm on Sunday, and will continue at that rate for several days until reservoir levels recede. <P> Norman Dam and Lake Thunderbird are operating and performing exactly as designed. Inflow into Lake Thunderbird peaked at almost 60,000 cfs at 1:00 am on Sunday morning, and Lake Thunderbird captured these extreme inflows, preventing more severe downstream flooding. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49334 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Forecast for Bighorn River Basin
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Reclamation's May forecast for the April through July runoff predicted for the Bighorn Basin and North Platte is as follows: <P> <ul> <li>Bighorn Lake - Bighorn River April through July inflow to Bighorn Lake is forecast at 637,300 acre-feet (af), which is 59 percent of the 30 year average of 1,081,600 af. Approximately 130,500 af of the forecasted amount flowed into Bighorn Lake during April, leaving 506,800 af of inflow forecasted for May through July.</li><br> <li>Buffalo Bill Reservoir - Shoshone River April through July inflow to Buffalo Bill Reservoir is forecast at 500,000 af, which is 74 percent of the 30 year average of 678,000 af. Approximately 73,000 af of the forecasted amount flowed into Buffalo Bill during April, leaving 427,000 af of inflow forecasted for May through July.</li><br> <li>Boysen Reservoir - Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 300,000 af, which is 56 percent of the 30 year average of 534,000 af. Approximately 45,000 af of the forecasted amount flowed into Boysen during April, leaving 255,000 af of inflow forecasted for May through July.</li><br> <li>Bull Lake Reservoir - April through July snowmelt runoff into Bull Lake Reservoir from Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 110,000 af, which is 80 percent of the 30 year average of 137,000 af. Approximately 6,000 af of the forecasted amount flowed into Bull Lake during April, leaving 104,000 af of inflow forecasted for May through July.</li><br> <li>Wind River - April through July snowmelt runoff into the Wind River above Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 280,000 af, which is 70 percent of the 30 year average of 402,000 af. Approximately 37,000 af of the forecasted amount was received during April, leaving 243,000 af of inflow forecasted for May through July.</li> </ul> <P> Reclamation will update the inflow forecasts again in June. <P> For additional information on Buffalo Bill, Boysen and Bull Lake Reservoirs, contact Wyoming Area Manager Carlie Ronca at 307-261-5671. For additional information on Bighorn Lake, contact Montana Area Manager Brent Esplin at 406-247-7298. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49289 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Forecast for North Platte
MILLS, Wyo. -- The Wyoming Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation in Mills, Wyo., has prepared snowmelt runoff forecasts for the North Platte River Basin, according to Carlie Ronca, Wyoming Area Manager. The May 1 forecasts indicate the spring snowmelt runoff for the North Platte Basin will be below average. <P> Total April through July runoff in the North Platte Basin above Glendo Dam is expected to be 320,000 acre feet (AF). The April through July expected runoff is comprised of approximately 250,000 AF into Seminoe Reservoir, 20,000 AF into Pathfinder Reservoir from the Sweetwater River, and 50,000 AF from the basin between Pathfinder Reservoir and Glendo Reservoir. The anticipated 320,000 AF (of which 115,600 AF was received in April), is 37 percent of the 30 year average of 870,000 AF. <P> The total conservation storage capacity of the North Platte Reservoir System is approximately 2,815,800 AF. Current total storage for the North Platte Reservoir System, as of April 30, is 2,005,405 AF, which is 121 percent of the 30-year average of 1,662,300 AF. <P> "The May forecast improved slightly but is still far below average. In spite of that, we expect the very good current reservoir storage conditions to allow us to provide our North Platte Basin contractors with a full water supply this year," Ronca said. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49256 Reclamation Announces Canyon Ferry Working Group Meeting
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation is hosting a Canyon Ferry Working Group meeting on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, located at 2715 Skyway Drive, Helena, Mont. (Montana Association of County Claims Office). The meeting will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and is open to the public. <P> Agenda items include a Goose Bay Marina modernization project update, off-highway vehicle use, law enforcement, and shoreline management on Bureau of Reclamation lands around Canyon Ferry Reservoir. "This is our chance to inform and involve the public and stakeholders in the management of these valuable resources," said Ryan Madsen, Facility Operations Specialist for the Canyon Ferry facility. <P> For more information please contact the Canyon Ferry Field Office at (406) 475-3310, or visit Reclamation's website at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/">http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49237 Flows to increase from Granby Dam
The Bureau of Reclamation and Northern Water will be increasing the water releases from Lake Granby on Friday, May 1. Operators will ramp up releases to 430 cubic feet per second through the outlet valves which will enable reservoir operators to better manage the peak spills later this spring. <P> With the Colorado-Big Thompson Project reservoirs at record storage levels for late April, the likelihood of spills at Lake Granby are a virtual certainty. <P> "What we are trying to do by increasing releases now is reduce the peak of the runoff to alleviate flooding concerns below Granby," said Noble Underbrink, Collection Systems Department Manager for Northern Water. <P> Northern Water and Reclamation are completing maintenance and repair project on the Lake Granby spillway. Once complete by mid-May, reservoir operators will route the peak flows through the spillway to the Colorado River downstream. <P> "Working together, we can alleviate the flooding concerns below Granby and maximize the amount of water we can store in the Colorado-Big Thompson Project," Eastern Colorado Area Office Manager Jacklynn Gould said. <P> Lake Granby is currently at 92 percent of capacity, about 6 feet from full. <P> The current forecast is that operators will be able to keep the spills to below the amount at which downstream flooding occurs. <P> Underbrink said the preemptive releases have been used many times in previous years. "With the C-BT reservoir system nearly full, the forecasts indicate there will be more runoff than the reservoirs can hold." <P> The flows and forecasts will be monitored and adjustments made accordingly as inflows pick up in the next few weeks. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49200 Reclamation to Test Gates of Olympus Dam
LOVELAND, COLO. -- The Bureau of Reclamation will be conducting routine testing of the gates of Olympus Dam at Lake Estes Wednesday and Thursday this week. <P> "Due to this testing, individuals recreating in or near the river should be advised that flows in the Big Thompson River may fluctuate without warning," said Eastern Colorado Area Manager, Jaci Gould. <P> This gate testing is part of Reclamation's maintenance process that involves periodic and mandatory testing of critical portions of each facility to ensure that they will operate normally if needed. For additional information, contact Patience Hurley at 701-221-1204. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49158 Bureau of Reclamation to Host Meeting of the Bighorn River System Issues Group
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bighorn River System Issues Group will meet on Thursday, April 23, in the Lovell Community Center, located at 1925 Highway 310, Lovell, Wyoming, from 10:00 a.m. to approximately 3:00 p.m. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation will present information about water supply conditions and comments received regarding the operating criteria for Yellowtail Dam/Bighorn Lake. Other issues and interests particular to Yellowtail Dam and Bighorn Lake will also be discussed. <P> The Bighorn River System Issues Group was formed in 2007 to enhance stakeholder engagement. The Group identifies and discusses topics of interest with local, tribal, state, and federal entities that are responsible for managing the Bighorn River system resources. Previous meeting discussions and topics of the Group are available on our website at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/yellowtail/bighorn_longterm.html">www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/yellowtail/bighorn_longterm.html</a>. <P> For additional information about the meeting, please contact Jack Conner of the Bureau of Reclamation at 406-247-7300. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49152 Reclamation Releases Final Environmental Document for the Northwest Area Water Supply Project
BISMARCK, N.D. -- The Bureau of Reclamation announced today the release of the Northwest Area Water Supply Project Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. <P> The purpose of the environmental impact statement is to evaluate the estimated future water needs of the area through 2060, develop a full range of reasonable alternatives to meet these future needs, and evaluate the potential environmental effects of the proposed alternatives. <P> The Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement includes responses to public comments received on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. The report can be downloaded from <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/gp/dkao">www.usbr.gov/gp/dkao</a>. <P> No decision will be made on the proposed action and alternatives until at least 30 days after release of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. After the minimum 30-day waiting period, the Great Plains Regional Director will issue a Record of Decision which will state the alternative selected for implementation and discuss factors leading to the decision. <P> For additional information or to request a hard copy, please contact Alicia Waters, Bureau of Reclamation, at 701.221.1206 or <a href="mailto:awaters@usbr.gov">awaters@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49149 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Forecast for Bighorn River Basin
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Reclamation's forecast of the April through July runoff predicted for the Bighorn Basin is as follows: <P> <ul> <li>Buffalo Bill Reservoir - Shoshone River April through July inflow to Buffalo Bill Reservoir is forecast at 550,000 acre-feet (af), which is 81 percent of the 30 year average of 677,800 af.</li> <li>Wind River - April through July snowmelt runoff into the Wind River above Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 300,000 af, which is 75 percent of the 30 year average of 402,000 af.</li> <li>Bull Lake Reservoir - April through July snowmelt runoff into Bull Lake Reservoir from Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 110,000 af, which is 80 percent of the 30 year average of 137,300 af.</li> <li>Boysen Reservoir - Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 300,000 af, which is 56 percent of the 30 year average of 533,800 af.</li> <li>Bighorn Lake - Bighorn River April through July inflow to Bighorn Lake is forecast at 675,500 af, which is 62 percent of the 30 year average of 1,081,600 af.</li> </ul> <P> An acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover 1 acre (43,560 square feet) 1 foot deep (325,851 gallons or 1,233.5 cubic meters). <P> Reclamation will update the inflow forecasts again in May and June. <P> For additional information on Buffalo Bill, Boysen and Bull Lake reservoirs, contact Wyoming Area Manager Carlie Ronca at 307-261-5671. For additional information on Yellowtail Reservoir, contact Montana Area Manager Brent Esplin at 406-247-7298. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49150 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Forecast for North Platte
MILLS, Wyo. -- The Wyoming Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation in Mills, Wyo., has prepared snowmelt runoff forecasts for the North Platte River Basin, according to Carlie Ronca, Wyoming Area Manager. The April 1 forecasts indicate the spring snowmelt runoff for the North Platte Basin will be below average. <P> Total April through July runoff in the North Platte Basin above Glendo Dam is expected to be 310,000 acre feet (AF). The April through July expected runoff is comprised of approximately 250,000 AF into Seminoe Reservoir, 20,000 AF into Pathfinder Reservoir from the Sweetwater River, and 40,000 AF from the basin between Pathfinder Reservoir and Glendo Reservoir. The anticipated 310,000 AF is 36% of the 30 year average of 870,000 AF. <P> The total conservation storage capacity of the North Platte Reservoir System is approximately 2,815,800 AF. Current total storage for the North Platte Reservoir System, as of March 31, is 1,937,900 AF, which is 117% of the 30-year average of 1,662,300 AF. <P> "Despite the forecast, because of very good current reservoir storage conditions, we anticipate being able to provide our North Platte Basin contractors with a full water supply this year," Ronca said. <P> Reclamation will update the inflow forecasts again in May. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49135 Reclamation Signs Lease of Power Privilege with the Northern Water Hydropower Water Activity Enterprise for Granby Dam in Colorado
LOVELAND, Colo. -- Reclamation announced today that Great Plains Regional Director Michael J. Ryan signed a Lease of Power Privilege for Granby Dam located near Granby, Colorado. <P> The LOPP authorizes Northern Water Hydropower Water Activity Enterprise development of a 1.2 megawatt hydropower plant at the base of Granby Dam, a west-slope feature of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. The project utilizes a "run of dam" design that harnesses water releases from Granby Dam to generate power and provide a clean, renewable source of energy to north-central Colorado. <P> The final environmental assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact are available at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/nepa/granby_hydropower.html" target="_blank">www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/nepa/granby_hydropower.html</a> or you may request a paper copy by contacting Patience Hurley at (701) 221-1204. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49127 Reclamation to Host Public Meeting on North Platte Water Operations
MILLS, Wyo. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled a North Platte River Water Information Meeting in Scottsbluff, Neb. <P> The meeting will be held at 10 a.m., on Tuesday, April 7, at the Scottsbluff Panhandle Station Auditorium. The meeting is being held to apprise water users and other interested parties of the reservoir storage and current water supply conditions. Information regarding snowmelt runoff and expected reservoir operations for Water Year 2015 will be presented. <P>