Great Plains Region Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom Reclamation Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=46507 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Runoff Forecast for Bighorn River Basin
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Reclamation's April 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 1,000,000 acre-feet (af), which is 150 percent of the 30 year average of 665,000 af.</li> <li>Wind River - April through July snowmelt runoff into the Wind River above Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 650,000 af, which is 164 percent of the 30 year average of 397,000 af.</li> <li>Bull Lake Reservoir - April through July snowmelt runoff into Bull Lake Reservoir from Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 175,000 af, which is 128 percent of the 30 year average of 137,000 af.</li> <li>Boysen Reservoir - Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 850,000 af, which is 159 percent of the 30 year average of 534,000 af.</li> <li>Bighorn Lake - Bighorn River April through July inflow to Bighorn Lake is forecast at 1,960,800 af, which is 194 percent of the 30 year average of 1,069,300 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> For additional information on Buffalo Bill, Boysen and Bull Lake reservoirs, contact Wyoming Area Manager Coleman W. Smith 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=46429 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 10:00 a.m., on Wednesday, April 9, at the Scottsbluff Panhandle Station Auditorium, Scottsbluff, Neb. 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 2014 will be presented. <P> For additional information contact Mahonri Williams at (307) 261-5624 or <a href="mailto:mlwilliams@usbr.gov">mlwilliams@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=46284 Fluctuation of Bighorn River Flow Downstream of Boysen Dam
Mills, Wyo. -- The Bureau of Reclamation, at the request of, and in collaboration with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGF), has scheduled a flushing flow in the Big Horn River downstream of Boysen Dam, according to Wyoming Area Manager, Coleman Smith. <P> The purpose of the flushing flow is to improve trout reproduction by flushing fine sediments from spawning gravels in the river. The flushing flow also improves insect production in the stream by opening up interstitial spaces between gravels and cobbles. The flushing flow is generally welcomed by anglers because it provides easier wading conditions. Following the flushing flow there is a reduction in floating algae. <P> Flows in the river below Boysen Dam will fluctuate from 475 cfs to 5000 cfs during the flushing flow. On March 25 at 10:00 p.m., the release of water from Boysen Dam will be increased to 1000 cfs. On March 26 at 2:00 a.m., the release will be increased to 2300 cfs and further increased to 5000 cfs at approximately 7:00 a.m. for 10 hours before being gradually reduced to 1000 cfs by approximately 4:00 a.m. on March 27, 2014. The flushing flow is subject to being rescheduled or cancelled depending on river conditions. <P> The public is urged to use extreme caution during this period of rapid fluctuation of flows below Boysen Dam. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=46264 Alcova Reservoir Water Level to Rise
Mills, Wyo. -- The annual filling of Alcova Reservoir will begin on Thursday, Mar. 27, according to Wyoming Area Manager, Coleman W. Smith. <P> At the request of Natrona County Parks and Recreation, the Bureau of Reclamation lowered the level of Alcova Reservoir this winter an additional 5 feet below the normal winter operating range in order to facilitate Natrona County's construction of a new boat ramp at the Okie Beach recreation area. Since early January 2014, the reservoir has been held at this lower elevation, which is 5483 &plusmn; 1 foot. <P> From March 27 through the end of April, the reservoir will rise approximately 15 feet to the summer irrigation operating level. The rate of rise will average approximately six inches per day. Upon reaching the summer irrigation operating level, the reservoir will remain at elevation 5498 plus or minus one foot until October 1. "This increase in reservoir level will be completed by May 1 to allow deliveries to the Casper-Alcova Irrigation District Canal," Smith said. <P> Recreationists and reservoir users are advised to take proper precautions associated with the rising reservoir level. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=46204 Angostura and Shadehill Reservoir Release Information
Bismark, N.D. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has released operation plans for Angostura and Shadehill Reservoirs for Winter/Spring 2014. <P> <strong>Angostura Dam</strong> <P> The current elevation at Angostura is 3185.7 and is 1.5 feet from full. Reclamation began releasing water from Angostura Dam at approximately 275 cfs (cubic feet per second) on Sunday, March 9. This smaller release should allow more gradual melting of the ice in the river downstream from the dam to limit damage to downstream property and facilities due to potential formation and movement of ice dams. Reclamation anticipates water inflows to the reservoir will increase next week with additional precipitation and rising temperatures. As water inflows to the reservoir increase, the water release rate will also increase accordingly resulting in higher flows downstream in the Cheyenne River. <P> Inflows into the reservoir for the 2014 water year are about 318 percent of average. The majority of the inflows occurred in October 2013, which had the second highest recorded monthly inflows in 60 years. <P> <strong>Shadehill Dam</strong> <P> The present elevation at Shadehill is 2272.00 which is full elevation, and water will begin flowing through the uncontrolled spillway. A controlled release of 100 cfs is currently being made to the Grand River through the River Outlet Structure. These increased releases will affect the river crossings downstream. <P> The Inflows for the 2014 water year are 1,200 percent of average, with October inflows being the highest in 61 years. Due to early winter storms in October, the inflows raised the reservoir water level over 3 feet. Both controlled releases and spillway releases were made to the Grand River for approximately a month due to high reservoir elevations. <P> The following information provides details on the status of Reclamation's South Dakota Reservoirs and Keyhole Reservoir in northeastern Wyoming. <P> <strong>Keyhole Reservoir</strong> <P> Keyhole Reservoir is currently at elevation 4097.30 with a full reservoir elevation being 4099.3. There is no water being released from the dam at this time. Inflows for water year 2014 are 507 percent of average. <P> <strong>Belle Fourche</strong> <P> Belle Fourche Reservoir is currently at elevation 2971.15 with a full reservoir elevation being 2975.0. Current inflows into the Belle Fourche Reservoir from Inlet Canal are not being made at this time, but October inflows were the highest in 60 years. Belle Fourche Dam 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 Belle Fourche, through the Inlet Canal to the reservoir. Additional inflows from Owl Creek, which flows directly into the Belle Fourche Reservoir, also contribute to the reservoir during snow melt and precipitation events. <P> <strong>Pactola</strong> <P> Pactola Reservoir is currently at elevation 4574.4 feet which is 5.8 feet from full. Inflows for the 2014 water year are 280 percent of average. Pactola releases are currently set at 50 cfs, with January inflows being above average. <P> <strong>Deerfield Reservoir</strong> <P> Deerfield Reservoir is at elevation 5905.9 which is 2.1 feet from full. Inflows for the 2014 water year are 139 percent of average. The release from Deerfield to Castle Creek will be 14 cfs for the winter release. <P> Note: The 2014 water year runs from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=46224 Reclamation Schedules Buffalo Bill Reservoir Water Information Meeting
MILLS, Wyo. -- The Wyoming Area Office of the Bureau Of Reclamation in Mills, Wyoming, has scheduled a Buffalo Bill Reservoir Water Information Meeting in Powell, Wyoming, according to Coleman W. Smith, Wyoming Area Manager. <P> The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 20, at the Eagles Lodge, 131 N. Clark in Powell. Topics of discussion will be current water supply conditions, the 2014 snowmelt runoff forecast, and 2014 projected reservoir operations. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=46165 Reclamation Schedules Boysen Reservoir Water Information Meeting
MILLS, Wyo. -- The Wyoming Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation in Mills, Wyoming, has scheduled a Boysen Reservoir Water Information Meeting in Worland, Wyoming, according to Coleman W. Smith, Wyoming Area Manager. <P> The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Mar. 19, in the Elks Lodge, 604 Coburn Avenue in Worland. Topics of discussion will be current water supply conditions, the 2014 snowmelt runoff forecast, and 2014 projected reservoir operations. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=46164 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Runoff Forecast for Bighorn River Basin
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Reclamation's March 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 900,000 AF, which is 135 percent of the 30 year average of 665,000 AF.<br><br></li> <li>Wind River - April through July snowmelt runoff into the Wind River above Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 600,000 AF, which is 151 percent of the 30 year average of 397,000 AF.<br><br></li> <li>Bull Lake Reservoir - April through July snowmelt runoff into Bull Lake Reservoir from Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 160,000 AF, which is 117 percent of the 30 year average of 137,000 AF.<br><br></li> <li>Boysen Reservoir - Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 650,000 AF, which is 122 percent of the 30 year average of 534,000 AF.<br><br></li> <li>Bighorn Lake (Yellowtail Reservoir) - April through July inflow to Bighorn Lake is forecast at 1,646,700 AF, which is 154 percent of the 30 year average of 1,069,300 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> For additional information on Buffalo Bill, Boysen and Bull Lake reservoirs, contact Wyoming Area Manager Coleman W. Smith at 307-261-5671. For additional information on Yellowtail Reservoir, contact Montana Area Manager Brent Esplin at 406-247-7298. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=46148 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 Wyoming Area Manager Coleman Smith, the March 1 forecast indicates the spring snowmelt runoff for the North Platte Basin will be about 11 percent above average. <P> Total April through July runoff in the North Platte Basin above Glendo Dam is expected to be 985,000 acre feet (AF) or 111 percent of the 30 year average of 887,700 AF. Approximately 800,000 AF (113 percent of average) of the runoff is expected to enter Seminoe Reservoir with an additional 50,000 AF (92 percent of average) being provided to Pathfinder Reservoir from the Sweetwater River, and the balance of 135,000 AF (109 percent of average) coming from the basin between Pathfinder Reservoir and Glendo Reservoir. <P> The total storage for the North Platte Reservoir System as of February 28, is 1,194,700 AF, which is 73 percent of the 30-year average of 1,634,100 AF. The total conservation storage capacity of the North Platte Reservoir System is approximately 2,815,800 AF. The water in storage for delivery to North Platte Project contractors as of February 28, is 282,900 AF or 47 percent of average. <P> Reclamation will update the inflow forecasts again in April and May. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=46145 Fluctuation of North Platte River Flow Downstream of Gray Reef Dam
MILLS, Wyo. -- The Bureau of Reclamation, in response to a request from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, has scheduled a series of fluctuating flows in the North Platte River downstream of Gray Reef Dam. <P> The purpose of the fluctuations is to improve trout reproduction in the river, according to Coleman Smith, Wyoming Area Manager. "In the past, spring flushing flows have occurred during five consecutive weekdays. Last spring, the Wyoming Game & Fish requested flows for 10 consecutive days," Smith said. "However, the flushing flows had to be terminated after seven days due to a loss of generating capacity at Fremont Canyon Powerplant. This spring, the Wyoming Game & Fish again requested flows for 10 consecutive days. The Wyoming Game & Fish will collect data before, during, and after the flushing flow in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the longer duration flush." <P> On March 17, flows in the river below Gray Reef Dam will fluctuate from 500 cfs to 4000 cfs according to the following schedule: <P> <table width="455" border="0" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1"> <tr> <td>HOURS</td> <td>GRAY REEF OUTFLOWS (cfs)</td> </tr> <tr> <td>00:01 to 01:00 a.m.</td> <td>500</td> </tr> <tr> <td>01:00 to 03:00 a.m.</td> <td>2000</td> </tr> <tr> <td>03:00 to 07:00 a.m.</td> <td>4000</td> </tr> <tr> <td>07:00 to 08:00 a.m.</td> <td>3000</td> </tr> <tr> <td>08:00 to 09:00 a.m.</td> <td>2000</td> </tr> <tr> <td>09:00 to 10:00 a.m.</td> <td>1000</td> </tr> <tr> <td>10:00 to midnight</td> <td>500</td> </tr> </table> <P> This schedule will be repeated daily on March 18 through March 26. After completing the flushing flow on March 26, the flows below Gray Reef Dam will return to 500 cfs. The schedule may be modified depending on river ice conditions. <P> The flushing flows are expected to clean the spawning gravels of fine sediment which has accumulated over the winter. The fluctuations in the river flow will be achieved without loss of power generation and the water released from Alcova Reservoir will be restored downstream in Glendo Reservoir. <P> The public is urged to use caution during this period of rapid fluctuation of flows below Gray Reef Dam. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=46104 Reclamation Releases Record of Decision on Arkansas Valley Conduit
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Bureau of Reclamation Great Plains Regional Director Michael Ryan has signed the Record of Decision for the Arkansas Valley Conduit and Long Term Excess Capacity Master Contract Final Environmental Impact Statement. The selected alternative is construction of the Arkansas Valley Conduit using the Comanche North Alternative. <P> "This project will help water providers throughout the Arkansas River Basin meet existing and future demands," said Ryan. "While funding details remain to be coordinated, it is prudent this project move forward to be in a position to take advantage of federal, state or local funding opportunities when they arise." <P> The Arkansas Valley Conduit is a feature of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project. It will provide treated water to communities in southeastern Colorado. When complete, the pipeline for the Arkansas Valley Conduit could be up to 227 miles long. The Comanche North Alternative includes three federal actions: <ul> <li>Construct and operate the Arkansas Valley Conduit and enter into a repayment contract with Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District.</li> <li>Enter into a conveyance contract with various water providers for use of a pipeline interconnect between Pueblo Dam's south and north outlet works.</li> <li>Enter into an excess capacity master contract with Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District to store water in Pueblo Reservoir.</li> </ul> <P> "For the many small rural water providers the conduit will serve, this critical step in the process of building the project is greatly welcomed. Facing the water quality and waste water discharge compliance challenges has been daunting for this area, and the congressional approval in 2009 and now the Record of Decision from the Bureau of Reclamation provide real hope for an effective and efficient way to meet those challenges," said Bill Long, President of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District. <P> A Record of Decision is a decision document; it concludes the environmental impact statement prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. It does not provide or allocate funding for the project. Reclamation published the final environmental impact statement in August, 2013. <P> "The District is grateful for this decision, which is one more milestone in a half-century journey to a clean water supply for southeastern Colorado. As federally-mandated standards have changed, the need for the solution the preferred alternative provides is even greater. The promise to build this piece of the project was first made in 1962 by President Kennedy and was restated in 2012, right here in Pueblo, Colorado, by President Obama. Now let's move forward to the next phases of design and construction," said Jim Broderick, General Manager for the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District. <P> For more information on the Record of Decision, please visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/avceis">www.usbr.gov/avceis</a>. To obtain a hard copy of the Record of Decision, contact Doug Epperly at (406) 247-7638 or <a href="mailto:depperly@usbr.gov">depperly@usbr.gov</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=46084 Restart of Power Plant Might Create Unsafe Ice at Twin Lakes
TWIN LAKES, Colo. -- Hydro-power generation will restart at the Mt. Elbert Power Plant the first week of March. Water entering the power plant from the Mt. Elbert Forebay and water exiting the plant into Twin Lakes might create unsafe conditions for winter activities like ice-fishing. <P> "Our concern is that once we start operating the power plant, ice in the Forebay up above and ice right below the plant in Twin Lakes might become unstable," said Mt. Elbert Power Plant manager, Scott Wik. Both locations are popular for ice fishing during winter months. <P> Most years, there are open water conditions above and below the power plant throughout the winter season. This year, a combination of sub-zero temperatures and the plant going off-line for maintenance in mid-December made it possible for the water to freeze over. <P> The Mt. Elbert Power Plant is the largest hydro-electric power plant in the state of Colorado. It is located on Twin Lakes, just east of Independence Pass, and is part of the federal Fryingpan-Arkansas water project. <P> For more information about the Mt. Elbert Power Plant, please contact Kara Lamb at (970) 962-4326 or <a href="mailto:klamb@usbr.gov">klamb@usbr.gov</a>. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=46004 Reclamation Delays Construction of Nelson Dike Safety Modification to 2015
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation is delaying the construction start for the Safety of Dams (SOD) Modification to Nelson Reservoir Dikes, located in Phillips County approximately 25 miles northeast of Malta, Mont. The schedule delay will push the project back one year from the fall of 2014 to the fall of 2015. <P> "This change is necessary to reduce the risk of not completing the construction work in one season," said Brent Esplin, Montana Area Manager. "One construction season is important to minimize the required timeframes the reservoir levels will be drawn down. The work will require the reservoir to be drawn down approximately 16 feet lower than normal operating levels during the winter of 2015-2016." <P> Reclamation proposes to correct seepage-related safety deficiencies for the two largest dikes at Nelson Reservoir. <P> According to Esplin, "Interim safety measures have been implemented and frequent monitoring of the safety deficiencies are being carried out to ensure public safety until the modifications are completed." <P> An Environmental Assessment (EA) for the modification has been finalized and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been signed. The public can access the final EA and FONSI on Reclamation's website at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/nelson/">http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/nelson/</a>. <P> For additional information or questions, please call 406-247-7303. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=45985 Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Runoff Forecast for Bighorn River Basin
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Reclamation's February 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 720,000 acre-feet (AF), which is 108 percent of the 30-year average of 665,000 AF.</li><br><br> <li>Wind River - April through July snowmelt runoff into the Wind River above Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 425,000 AF, which is 107 percent of the 30-year average of 397,000 AF.</li><br><br> <li>Bull Lake Reservoir - April through July snowmelt runoff into Bull Lake Reservoir from Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 130,000 AF, which is 95 percent of the 30-year average of 137,000 AF.</li><br><br> <li>Boysen Reservoir - Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 475,000 AF, which is 89 percent of the 30-year average of 534,000 AF.</li><br><br> <li>Bighorn Lake (Yellowtail Reservoir) - April through July inflow to Yellowtail Reservoir/Bighorn Lake is forecast at 1,140,000 AF, which is 107 percent of the historic average of 1,069,400 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> For additional information on Buffalo Bill, Boysen and Bull Lake reservoirs, contact Wyoming Area Manager Coleman W. Smith at 307-261-5671. <P> For additional information on Yellowtail Reservoir, contact Montana Area Manager Brent Esplin at 406-247-7298. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=45984 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 Wyoming Area Manager Coleman Smith, the February 1 forecast indicates the spring snowmelt runoff for the North Platte Basin will be about average. <P> Total April through July runoff in the North Platte Basin above Glendo Dam is expected to be 875,000 acre feet (AF) or 99% of the 30 year average of 887,700 AF. Approximately 700,000 AF (99% of average) of the runoff is expected to enter Seminoe Reservoir with an additional 35,000 AF (65% of average) being provided to Pathfinder Reservoir from the Sweetwater River, and the balance of 140,000 AF (113% of average) coming from the basin between Pathfinder Reservoir and Glendo Reservoir. <P> The total storage for the North Platte Reservoir System as of January 31 is 1,152,600 AF, which is 72% of the 30-year average of 1,592,100 AF. The total conservation storage capacity of the North Platte Reservoir System is approximately 2,815,800 AF. The water in storage for delivery to North Platte Project contractors as of January 31 is 239,600 AF or 43% of average. <P> Reclamation will update the inflow forecasts again in March, April, and May. <P>