Great Plains Region Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom Reclamation Newsroom Channel 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>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49113 Alcova Reservoir Water Level to Rise
MILLS, Wyo. -- The annual filling of Alcova Reservoir will begin on Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2015, according to Deputy Wyoming Area Manager, Lyle Myler. <P> During April, the reservoir will rise approximately 10 feet to the summer irrigation operating level. The rate of rise will average approximately 5 inches per day. Upon reaching the summer irrigation operating level, the reservoir will remain at elevation 5498 feet plus or minus 1 foot until October 1, 2015. "This increase in reservoir level will be completed by May 1 to allow deliveries to the Casper-Alcova Irrigation District Canal," said Myler. <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=49114 Yellowtail Dam and Bighorn Lake Spring/Summer Operations Public Meeting
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation will present information about water supply conditions in the Bighorn Basin and discuss proposed spring/summer operating plans for Yellowtail Dam/Bighorn Lake at a public meeting on Thursday, April 9, starting at 1 p.m. <P> The meeting will be held in the Billings Hotel and Convention Center, located at 1223 Mullowney Lane, Billings, Mont. <P> Stakeholders and interested parties in both Montana and Wyoming are encouraged to attend the meeting and participate in the discussions. <P> For additional information, please contact Jack Conner of the Montana Area Office, Bureau of Reclamation, at 406-247-7300. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49108 $1.5 Million Contract Awarded to Repair Colorado-Big Thompson Infrastructure Damaged by 2013 Flooding
BILLINGS, Mont. – The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a contract totaling nearly $1.5 million to Lillard and Clark Construction Company Inc., Denver, for repair to the Big Thompson Diversion Structure, an element of the Colorado-Big Thompson project that was damaged during the September 2013 flood, known as one of the worst natural disasters in Colorado history. <P> “Reclamation is addressing the infrastructure damage that occurred during the 2013 Colorado River flooding,” said Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López, while announcing today’s $1,457,570 contract award. “This work will ensure the project’s continued reliability.” <P> Big Thompson Diversion Structure, located 8.5 miles west of Loveland, Colorado, in Larimer County, requires removal and restoration of flood-damaged concrete areas, installation of a precast concrete building, repair and replacement of electrical systems, gates, gear boxes, electric motors and other rehabilitation tasks. The work is expected to begin in April 2015. <P> The Colorado-Big Thompson project spans approximately 250 miles in Colorado. It stores, regulates and diverts water from the Colorado River on the western slope of the Continental Divide to the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, providing supplemental water to irrigate about 720,000 acres of land for municipal and industrial uses, hydroelectric power and water-oriented recreation opportunities. Major features of the project include dams, dikes, reservoirs, power plants, pumping plants, pipelines, tunnels, transmission lines, substations and other associated structures. The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District apportions water used for irrigation to more than 120 ditches and 60 reservoirs. Eleven communities receive municipal and industrial water from the project. Electric power produced by six power plants is marketed by the Western Division of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49082 Reclamation Delays Onsite Construction of Nelson Dikes Safety Modifications to 2016
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Bureau of Reclamation is delaying the majority of onsite construction work 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 2015 to the fall of 2016. Brent Esplin, Montana Area Manager, said, "Award of the construction contract may still occur in 2015. However, the majority of onsite work, including the required reservoir drawdown, will not occur until fall 2016." Work will require the reservoir to be drawn down approximately 14 feet lower than normal operating levels during the winter of 2016-2017. This change minimizes the required timeframe that reservoir levels will be drawn down. <P> Reclamation proposes to correct seepage-related safety deficiencies for the two largest dikes at Nelson Reservoir. According to Esplin, "Interim measures have been implemented, and frequent monitoring is 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 406-247-7300. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49054 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. <P> The meeting will be held at 09:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2015, at the Elks Lodge at 604 Coburn Avenue in Worland, Wyoming. Topics of discussion will be current water supply conditions, the 2015 snowmelt runoff forecast, and 2015 projected reservoir operations. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49052 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, Carlie Ronca. <P> "The purpose of the flushing flow is to improve trout reproduction by flushing fine sediments from spawning gravels in the river," Ronca said. 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 925 cfs to 5000 cfs during the flushing flow. On Mar. 24 at 2:00 a.m., the release of water from Boysen Dam will be increased to 3000 cfs and further increased to 5000 cfs at approximately 7:00 a.m. for 10 hours before being reduced gradually back to 925 cfs by approximately 11:00 a.m. on Mar. 25, 2015. The schedule may be modified depending on river ice 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=49053 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. <P> The meeting will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2015, at the Eagles Lodge at 131 N. Clark in Powell, Wyoming. Topics of discussion will be current water supply conditions, the 2015 snowmelt runoff forecast, and 2015 projected reservoir operations. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49038 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 700,000 acre-feet (af), which is 103 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 400,000 af, which is 100 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 125,000 af, which is 91 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 450,000 af, which is 84 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 1,065,600 af, which is 99 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> 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/Yellowtail Reservoir, contact Montana Area Manager Brent Esplin at 406-247-7298. <P>