Newsroom Channel Reclamation Newsroom Channel Shoreline Campers Visiting Lake Roosevelt Advised of Rising Water Levels
GRAND COULEE, Washington - The Bureau of Reclamation is alerting visitors planning to camp along the Lake Roosevelt shoreline over the July 4 weekend to be aware of potential dangers from rising lake levels. Lake Roosevelt is impounded by Grand Coulee Dam located on the Columbia River about 90 miles west of Spokane, Washington. <P> "When camping along the shoreline, we recommend that tents and other belongings be kept well away from the water’s edge," said Lynne Brougher, Public Affairs Officer. "The lake is continuing to fill from the spring drawdown." Each year Lake Roosevelt is lowered in late winter to make space for capturing spring runoff. <P> On July 3, the lake level is anticipated to be in the range of 1285 to 1286.5 feet above sea level. Throughout the holiday weekend it is anticipated the lake could rise another one-half foot per day. The full pool elevation of Lake Roosevelt is 1290 feet above sea level. <P> "While there will be an ample amount of exposed beaches for camping during the holiday weekend, visitors should be prepared for the lake level to rise and plan accordingly," said Brougher. <P> Campsites too close to the water's edge could become flooded. Boats should be anchored or tied securely to the shoreline to avoid having them drift out into the lake and become a safety hazard. "Safety of visitors to Lake Roosevelt is our primary concern and caution is always advised when boating and camping on the shoreline," said Brougher. <P> For further information concerning lake levels, contact the Bureau of Reclamation at (509) 633-9503 or visit: <a href=""> </a>. <P> Boise River Flows Set to Increase June 29
BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation will increase flow from Lucky Peak Dam Monday, June 29. The discharge will increase approximately 400 cubic feet per second at the Glenwood Bridge gauging station and result in flow of approximately 1,200 cfs through the city of Boise. <P> The river will be swifter than in recent weeks and the water is cold. Please use caution when recreating near the river. Flow will remain at these higher levels through most of July and will return to normal midsummer flow at the end of July. <P> This increase in flow is to provide additional water for salmon migration in the lower Snake and Columbia rivers in accordance with NOAA Fisheries 2008 Upper Snake Biological Opinion, under the Endangered Species Act. <P> For real-time Boise River flow information, visit Reclamation's Pacific Northwest Region Hydromet website: <a href=""></a>. <P> Scooteney Reservoir and Park Remain Closed
EPHRATA, Washington - The Bureau of Reclamation has closed all Scooteney Park recreation facilities, located 36 miles south of Moses Lake on Highway 17, due to the formation of toxic algae blooms in the reservoir and the lack of potable water at the day use area and campground. The closure will be in place through June 26, or until toxicity levels reduce and a potable water supply is in place. <P> "We have a responsibility to look after public safety and we do not want people or pets being exposed to potentially lethal water," said Julia Pierko, Acting Ephrata Field Office Manager. "This area is very popular with the local community and we are doing what we can to reopen the park." <P> Closure signs have been posted at the entrance to the park and near the water's edge. <P> On June 12, the Benton-Franklin Health District confirmed the presence of Microcystis aeruginosa in the water at levels that are toxic to both humans and animals, especially small children and dogs. <P> Scooteney Reservoir Closed Due to Health Concerns
EPHRATA, Washington - The Bureau of Reclamation has closed Scooteney Park recreation area, located 36 miles south of Moses Lake on Highway 17, due to the formation of toxic algae blooms in the reservoir and the lack of potable water at the campground. <P> The recreation area and surrounding waters will be closed to all public access for at least one week. Closure signs have been posted at entrances to the park and near the water’s edge. <P> The Benton-Franklin Health District confirmed the presence of toxic levels of Microcystis aeruginosa in the water, a toxin which is especially dangerous for small children and animals. <P> New Fish Ladder Construction to Begin on Bear Creek
MEDFORD, Ore. - Construction of an upgraded fish ladder at the Oak Street Diversion Dam in Ashland will start after June 15. The Bureau of Reclamation has contracted with Northbank Civil and Marine of Vancouver, Wash. to modify the diversion gates and replace an existing fish ladder for $1.7 million. <P> When complete, the fish ladder will be replaced with a new one on the opposite side of the dam. The construction period for the project, located one mile north of Ashland on Bear Creek, is June 15 through October 15, 2015. <P> "The new ladder will make it easier for fish to pass by the diversion. Meanwhile, Talent Irrigation District will have new automated controls for their head gates – meaning more efficient deliveries," says Douglas DeFlitch, Reclamation's Bend Field Office Manager. <P> Two phases of construction are planned to meet an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife request to maintain fish passage for the project's duration. During Phase I construction, the existing fish ladder will remain operable then the new fish ladder will be utilized during Phase II construction. <P> The original diversion dam, constructed by the Talent Irrigation District in 1920, directs irrigation water from Bear Creek to the Talent Lateral Canal. The existing fish ladder was modified in 1998, but does not meet the fish passage criteria established by the National Marine Fisheries Service in 2008. <P> The replacement ladder complies with the Rogue River Basin Project Biological Opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service in 2012. The BiOp requires Reclamation to establish fish passage for Southern Oregon and Northern California Coast coho salmon from lower Bear Creek to the upper reaches of Bear Creek and its tributaries. <P> This project is located within Reclamation's Rogue River Project area, a mix of Federal and private structures providing up to 144,000 acre-feet of water to cover 35,000 acres of irrigated land. The project has seven reservoirs, 16 diversion dams, one powerplant, and more than 450 miles of canals serving Talent, Medford, and Rogue River Valley Irrigation Districts. <P> Reclamation Holds Annual C.A.S.T. for Kids - Let's Move Outside Event in Yakima Saturday, June 20
YAKIMA, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation's Yakima Field Office will hold a C.A.S.T. for Kids fishing event Saturday, June 20 at Sarg Hubbard Pond located on the Yakima Greenway in Yakima. Children with special needs will have the opportunity to reel in a good time as they join some enthusiastic volunteers. <P> The C.A.S.T. "Catch a Special Thrill" program provides one day fishing and boating events designed to accommodate children with a wide range of special needs. This C.A.S.T. event is also part of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move Outside" initiative. The First Lady's goal is to solve the problem of childhood obesity by encouraging children to increase physical activity on America’s public lands and waterways, and eating healthier. <P> "It is a great event for the kids," said Deputy Area Manager Carolyn Chad of Reclamation's Columbia-Cascades Area Office. "This is my first year working with C.A.S.T. and I'm looking forward to this wonderful experience." <P> The children range in age from 7-16 years old and have a variety of physical and/or developmental disabilities. Each participant will receive fishing gear, a tee shirt and a hat. <P> Local volunteers will serve as fishing buddies and offer assistance to the novice anglers. Reclamation volunteers will also provide a barbecue lunch following the event for all the participants. <P> Partners include: C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation, Bureau of Reclamation, Greenway Foundation, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, AB Foods, Starbucks Coffee Company, Valley Septic, Culligan Water, Pepsi, Yakama Nation Legends Casino, Yakima Bait Company and TreeTop, Inc. <P> Participants and volunteers can register online at the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation website at <a href=""></a>. <P> For more information about the June 20 event or the C.A.S.T. for Kids - Let's Move Outside events Region-wide, contact Annette Ross, Regional Coordinator at (208) 378-5322 or visit <a href=""></a>. In case of rain, the event will be canceled. <P> Yakima Basin Water Supply - June Forecast Released
YAKIMA, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation's June 1, 2015, Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates a full water supply for senior water rights during the 2015 irrigation season, but an estimated 44 percent supply for junior water rights. Reclamation will issue water supply forecasts monthly or as needed at least through July. <P> "The May rain storms have helped hold flows and reservoirs fairly level through the second half of May," said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. <P> The June TWSA forecast is based on observed and estimated flows, precipitation, snowpack and reservoir storage for April 15 to Sept. 30. Future weather conditions that help determine the timing of the run-off and the demand for water are also critical in determining streamflows, prorationing, and the storage available in the reservoirs. <P> If precipitation and runoff continue to be unfavorable, Reclamation expects the water supply available for junior users to decline further. Since longer term weather conditions are unpredictable, Garner recommends that water conservation be considered by all users in the Yakima Basin. <P> For more information, visit our website at <a href=""> </a>. <P> Grand Coulee Staff Participates in Earth Day Events
What is hydropower? How does it become electricity? How does a dam produce power from water? Where does water come from? Where does the water go? What are some of the benefits of hydropower? <P> These are just some of the questions Ivan Snavely, Supervisory Reclamation Guide, and Nikki Tonasket, Reclamation Guide, had the pleasure of exploring with children that attended the Earth Day Celebration held at Chief Joseph Dam on April 30. <P> Children ranging from preschool to sixth grade from Bridgeport, Omak and Mansfield visited the Earth Day event throughout the day. They were surprised and eager to learn that they would be generating electricity through wind, solar and mechanical means. <P> With the help of a hair dryer as a source of wind, students spin a miniature wind turbine to light up a bright green LED. They also learned that when the wind doesn’t blow (hair dryer turned off), the turbines are not able to generate electricity. <P> Next, solar power was at work as the sun provided power to three solar panels that were on the roof of a model school. To demonstrate what happens when the sun doesn’t shine, students simulated clouds as they covered the solar panels with their hands and watched as the school when dark. <P> Finally, the students moved on to our miniature hydropower generator. They simulated water by turning a hand crank to spin the generator and where able to feel the resistance needed to power a few homes. In order to light up the school and businesses in the display, they had to increase the speed at which they turned the crank. Excitement was evident as they continued to make more items on the display board light up. <P> Nikki had the pleasure of leading the 4th graders from Bridgeport. “Bridgeport had studied electricity and was able to clearly answer each challenge I put forth,” said Tonasket. “In turn, they insisted on performing their dance and song of electricity, not once, but twice.” The second time, Nikki joined in to learn the new dance and song of electricity which she will teach to school groups in the future. <P> The Grand Coulee staff really enjoyed the day and look forward to participating in this and other Earth Day events in coming years. <P> Building Bridges at Grand Coulee Dam
<img src="" style="float:right" width="281" height="422" hspace="10" alt="Students Observe as Coy Webb and Andrew Deelstra check the strength of a portion of bridge"/>Since January, staff from Grand Coulee Dam have partnered with the Lake Roosevelt elementary school's Smart, Honest, Aware, Respectful and Present (SHARP) program to design, build and test toothpick bridges. This program culminated in a SHARP Kids Family Night toothpick bridge competition attended by over 70 faculty, staff, parents, students, and volunteers on April 29. <P> Nine bridges were entered, weighing from 40 to 93 grams and bearing up to 12.4 pounds. During the follow-up ice cream celebration, bridge failures were evaluated and analyzed as a brief statistics lesson. Award certificates were presented to three winning student teams. <P> Competition specifications and rules were modeled after the American Society of Civil Engineers' Duluth, Minnesota Chapter. These rules allow for employing up to 500 round wooden toothpicks and Elmer's brand wood glue; no special coatings/lamination, or paint allowed. <P> The constructed product must also be less than 90 grams, have a clear span of 55 centimeters and support a weight transferred through a square wood plate with foam underlayment placed on top of the structure. <P> Fun was had by all while fostering an active and cooperative learning environment. <P> "Seeing the kids conquer a tough project as a team and watching their glowing faces as they saw their bridge get loaded to capacity while we all shouted 'crunch it, crunch it' was fun and inspiring," said Coy Webb, Project Manager at Grand Coulee Power Office. <P> Excited students expressed interest in doing events like this again. Other engineers at GCPO are also interested in helping with follow-up activities at the school, another great way to build partnerships with our community. <P> The Grand Coulee Power Office sponsored three volunteers to assist Lake Roosevelt's after-school program with math and science awareness. <P> Thirty students in 4th through 7th grades participated. The SHARP Kids program at Lake Roosevelt School engages K - 12th grade students in hands-on STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Math) activities using the 'Project Lead the Way' curriculum. <P> Adult participants included Karmen Webb, SHARP Kids Program Coordinator, and teachers Dee Owen, Josh Kelton, and Hanna Doughty at Lake Roosevelt School. Coy Webb, Project Manager; Andrew Deelstra, Mechanical Engineer; and Dale Henriksen, Photographer, represented the Grand Coulee Power Office. <P> <img src="" width="500" height="242" hspace="10" alt="Completed toothpick bridges Back row from left to right: Penelope Antoine, Lindsey Weaver, Wensdae Antoine, Charles Shanning, Josh Kelton, Hanna Doughty, Dee Owen, Karley Frank, Karmen Webb. Front row: Andrew Deelstra, Coy Webb"/> <P> <P> Reclamation Awards 2015 Water Conservation Field Services Program Grants
BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded 17 Water Conservation Field Services Program grants in the Pacific Northwest Region, ranging from $11,940 to $25,000. The Program provides technical and financial assistance to encourage water conservation on Reclamation Projects by assisting irrigation districts to develop and implement water conservation plans, and to foster improved water management. <P> The grants require a 50 percent or better cost-share. Eligible activities include water management planning, such as updating or developing a water conservation plan, and implementing water conservation projects ? piping and lining canals, installing water measurement and automating gates. Examples of 2015 funding recipients include: <P> <ul> <li>Riverside Irrigation District in Parma, Idaho, will design, purchase, and install an automated water control gate and related operation and control equipment at the Centennial Park site near Caldwell, Idaho. This improvement is on the Boise Project in Idaho and will save an estimated 1,400 acre-feet of water per year. Reclamation will provide $25,000 toward a total project cost of $67,869.</li> <P> <li>Roza Irrigation District in Sunnyside, Washington, will reduce canal seepage by sealing 900 feet of the Roza Main Canal. Conserved water will remain in the Yakima River to augment instream flows. This improvement is estimated to conserve 39 acre-feet of water annually. Reclamation will provide $25,000 toward this $51,589 project. </li> <P> <li>North Unit Irrigation District in Madras, Oregon, will construct a ramp flume in the North Unit Main Canal immediately downstream from both the outlet of Haystack Dam and the Haystack bypass channel. Improved water measurement will allow the District to fully automate releases from Haystack Reservoir resulting in a water savings of up to 3,571 acre feet per year. Reclamation will provide $25,000 toward the total project cost of $115,958.</li> </ul> <P> To learn more about the Water Conservation Field Services Program visit: <a href=""> </a>. For information on the WCFSP application process and award process and criteria visit: <a href="">;mode=form&amp;tab=core&amp;id=048846ed8a50e8ce7b7e3993fae2b892</a></a>. <P> <P> <P> Yakima Basin Water Supply Mid-May Forecast
YAKIMA, Washington - The Bureau of Reclamation's mid-May 2015 Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates a full water supply for senior water rights during the 2015 irrigation season, but an estimated 44% percent supply for junior water rights. Reclamation will issue water supply forecasts monthly or as needed at least through July. <P> "The rain storm in the Yakima Basin last week did help the water supply but the precipitation for the first part of May was never the less below average at our reservoirs," said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. <P> The Mid-May TWSA forecast is based on observed and estimated flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage for April 15 to September 30. Future weather conditions that help determine the timing of the run-off and the demand for water are also critical in determining streamflows, prorationing, and the storage available in the reservoirs. <P> If spring precipitation and runoff continue to be unfavorable, Reclamation expects the water supply available for junior users to decline further. Since longer term weather conditions are unpredictable, Garner recommends that water conservation be considered by all users in the Yakima Basin. <P> For more information, visit our website at <a href=""></a>. <P> Bureau of Reclamation Monitoring Seep near I-90
MOSES LAKE, Washington – The Bureau of Reclamation is monitoring water seeping along I-90 near the Weber Siphon, after being notified by the Washington Department of Transportation. The area is near the location where two concrete pipes run underneath I-90 and transport water for irrigation purposes. <P> “Reclamation is monitoring the site and taking protective measures. The seep is minor, and at this time does not pose a threat to I-90 or to the frontage road,” said Brandt Demars, Program Manager for Construction Engineering. “The East Low Canal remains fully operational and irrigation flows have not been affected.” <P> Reclamation Signs Memorandum of Agreement for Advancement of Lewiston Orchards Water Exchange Concept
LEWISTON, Idaho -- On May 1 the Bureau of Reclamation, together with the Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Nez Perce Tribe, signed a Memorandum of Agreement that advances the Lewiston Orchards Project Water Exchange Concept, which involves replacing the use of existing surface water with a potential alternate source. <P> Reclamation's Lewiston Orchards Project, operated and maintained by LOID, derives its water from the Craig Mountain watershed, providing a highly variable water supply from year to year. Surface water diversions from Webb and Sweetwater Creeks have historically dewatered the downstream reaches, impacting steelhead listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. <P> "This is an important step forward for the water exchange concept," said Jerry Gregg, Snake River Area Manager for Reclamation. "Working together, we will aim to solve water and fish issues in the Sweetwater and Webb Creek Basins." <P> The parties to the MOA are working together to identify a path forward in resolving long standing issues related to water supply reliability, steelhead listed under the ESA and protection of tribal cultural and natural resources. The primary focus of the agreement is to continue efforts to complete a water exchange project as a comprehensive solution to these complex issues associated with operation and maintenance of the LOID system. <P> Reclamation and LOID are investigating the use of multiple groundwater wells to provide the Lewiston Orchards Project with an alternative water supply to the current surface water withdrawals on land adjacent to and within the Nez Perce Reservation. This will benefit the Snake River steelhead as well as other important cultural resources for the Nez Perce Tribe. <P> "This is a much-needed project, based on a strong regional partnership, with particularly impressive progress over the last year," said outgoing Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee Chairman Silas Whitman. "It is increasingly clear, based on the project's comprehensive benefits, that it deserves priority consideration for funding and completion in the next few years." <P> Drought conditions in the region this year highlight the need for a permanent solution to the annual variability in water supply for LOID and its patrons. In addition, LOID is facing significant costs in the near future as much of its water conveyance system will require repairs or replacement as it nears the end of its service life. Some features of the project are over 100 years old. <P> "The district sees the MOA as progress in addressing the concerns of our patrons," said LOID Manager Barney Metz. "We are satisfied with the collaborative efforts of this coalition to find a long-term solution to our dwindling water supply." <P> The project also included consultation with the Lower Clearwater Exchange Project partners: City of Lewiston, Nez Perce County, and the Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce, in addition to LOID and the Tribe. Mr. Jerry Klemm, chairman of the LCEP partners, spoke at the May 1 meeting in support of the water exchange. <P> For more information about the Lewiston Orchards Water Exchange Concept, please contact: Mr. Ted Day, project manager for Reclamation at 208-383-2222; Mr. Barney Metz, LOID Manager at 208-746-8235; Mr. David Redhorse, natural resource officer for the BIA at 503-231-6791; or Mr. David Johnson, department manager for the Nez Perce Tribe at 208-843-7334. <P> The Lewiston Orchards Project is located near Lewiston, Idaho. Project facilities include Reservoir A (Mann Lake), Soldiers Meadow Reservoir, Lake Waha, four diversion structures, several feeder canals, and a system for distributing irrigation water. <P> <P> Reclamation Awards $5.86 Million Contract for Turbine Overhaul at Minidoka Dam
BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $5.86 million contract May 11 to Alstom Power, Inc., a business based in Littleton, Colorado, to perform turbine overhauls on the Allen E. Inman Powerplant at Minidoka Dam. <P> The two turbines to be serviced have been in operation since 1997. Work could begin as early as Sept. 1 of this year and is scheduled to be completed by April 2017. In addition to worn parts being replaced, work will include the installation of new digital governors. <P> "These overhauls at the Allen E. Inman Powerplant are essential to maintaining the turbines at this hydropower facility," said Regional Director Lorri Lee. "Regular maintenance will ensure continued, reliable service to our power customers." <P> Minidoka Dam was originally completed in 1907, with its first powerplant added three years later. The <a href="">Allen E. Inman Powerplant </a> was added in 1997, with two 10-megawatt horizontal shaft turbines. The Minidoka Dam Spillway has been reconstructed over the last several years and will be completed this spring. <P> <P> Minidoka Dam Spillway Completion Ceremony Open to the Public
HEYBURN, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation invites the public and the irrigation community to join in celebration of the new Minidoka Dam Spillway at 10:30 a.m. May 27. Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López, visiting from Washington, D.C., will be the keynote speaker. <P> The event not only marks completion of a four year construction effort to modernize and straighten the spillway, and replace two irrigation headworks, but also signals a re-opening of recreation areas below the dam to the public. <P> The ceremony will be held in front of the new control gates on the dam's south side. A dozen large U.S. flags will adorn the control gates during the event. <P> "The original Minidoka Dam was one of the earliest and most successful dams built by Reclamation. Today, it's a modern structure that will continue to bring prosperity and reliable water supplies to the area," says Jerry Gregg, Snake River Area Manager. <P> In November 2011, Reclamation began construction of the replacement spillway and two irrigation headworks for the Burley and Minidoka Irrigation Districts. Over the next four years, construction crews straightened out the spillway, added 12 radial control gates and eliminated an aging "stop-log" water control system. Total cost for the construction project is approximately $24 million. The Burley and Minidoka Irrigation Districts funded 42 percent of the cost. <P> "Our construction division is ready to turn over the keys to our dam operators," says Gregg. "It's a new spillway that's ready for operation for another century." With the completion of the dam, many traditional fishing and wading areas that were closed to the public during construction will now be available. Recreation zones are clearly marked on signs in the public parking area, and dam managers advise the public to be safe. <P> "The public should be careful walking in the access areas. Be aware of slippery rock surfaces and the potential for water releases from the spillway," said Minidoka Dam Facility Manager Phil Calogero. <P> For maps to the May 27 event site and recreational access below the spillway visit: <a href=""> </a>. <P> Minidoka Dam was constructed in 1906 as part of the Minidoka Project, and is operated as one of six storage facilities on the Snake and Henrys Fork rivers. The multipurpose project provides irrigation, power production, flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. <P>