Upper Colorado Region News Releases http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom News Releases from Reclamation's Upper Colorado Region http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55827 3.5 miles of the Steinaker Service Canal to be Enclosed
Vernal, Utah- Contractor W.W. Clyde will begin work to pipe the lower 3.5 miles of the Steinaker Service Canal August 15, 2016. This project is a joint effort between Bureau of Reclamation, who is providing the materials and construction management, and the Uintah Water Conservancy District who contracted to install the materials. <P> “We are excited about this project,” stated Gawain Snow, UWCD General Manager. “This section of canal has an estimated 1,200 acre-feet of water loss annually and some of the under shots are too small to allow delivery of the needed water to irrigators on the lower end of the canal. <P> “This project will provide greater efficiency and effective use of a valuable natural resource, delivering water where it is needed, as needed,” said Snow. “We have been coordinating with the Highline and Ashley Upper Canals to minimize impacts to the irrigators affected by this project, and appreciate their cooperation and support.” <P> The Project consists of installing 12- to 63-inch high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe, making connections to existing delivery points, installing water meters, and installing a screening structure at the inlet to the 63-inch pipe. Construction is expected to be substantially completed by December 2016. Normal operation of the canal and pipeline will resume in time for irrigation in spring 2017. <P> The Steinaker Service Canal is a feature of Reclamation’s Vernal Unit of the Central Utah Project. Initial construction of the canal was completed in 1962. The Uintah Water Conservancy District has operated and maintained the canal as well as the other features of the Vernal Unit under contract with Reclamation for more than 50 years. <P> For more information, contact the Uintah Water Conservancy District a (435) 789-1651 <P> # # # <P> The Uintah Water Conservancy District was formed to operate and maintain the Vernal and Jensen Units, comprising Steinaker and Red Fleet Reservoirs and related distribution systems. The Uintah Water Conservancy District also provides technical, financial and/or operational support to projects intended to develop and/or local water resources. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55547 Interior Department and Navajo Nation to Develop Plan for Contingency Water Supplies for Navajo Farms
SHIPROCK, N.M. – U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López and senior Navajo Nation officials met at the Navajo Shiprock Chapter House today and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) intended to evaluate emergency contingency water supplies for Navajo farms in northern New Mexico. This planning effort will identify critical system components and emergency water supplies in case the San Juan River is temporarily deemed unfit for irrigation in the future. <P> Interior has committed Bureau of Reclamation Fiscal Year 2016 financial assistance to fund a study to identify alternative contingency water supplies and operations plans. This effort will include development of parameters for the scope of study, identification of issues and factors to be considered in the evaluation of alternatives, and evaluation of selected alternatives to determine the most practical and attainable solutions. <P> “Water is especially important to Native American culture, economic security, and quality of life, and we at the Department are committed to working with our tribal partners to find meaningful solutions to the water challenges facing these Nations,” said Deputy Secretary Connor. “This MOU builds on years of cooperation between the Navajo Nation and the Department of the Interior to evaluate alternatives to offset impacts to farmers and crops in the event of water supply shortages and other emergencies.” <P> “We support the efforts of the Department of the Interior in making sure that Navajo farmers will continue to have a consistent, dependable water supply in times of water shortage or other water emergencies,” said Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye. “This agreement will help to put a plan in place, in case of any emergency, so that Navajo area farms will continue to receive water.” <P> Today’s MOU reaffirms and reinforces commitments initially made in 2000, when the Bureau of Reclamation and the Navajo Nation signed an MOU to establish a long-term partnership in support of the Navajo Nation’s efforts to develop and protect its water resources. In November 2015, in the spirit of that partnership, Reclamation received a request from the three Navajo Nation Chapter Farm Boards that rely on irrigation water from the Hogback Canal to support a study to find and evaluate options for a secondary water source for the canal, in case water quality in the San Juan River again falls below acceptable standards. <P> “The Bureau of Reclamation supports this Memorandum of Understanding and will work with the Navajo Nation and the Shiprock, Tse Daa K’aan, and Gadii’ahi chapter farm boards to initiate and complete this study,” Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. “Actions such as these help assure the sustainability and viability of these farms.” <P> Efforts associated with this study began with an information gathering session that was conducted by Reclamation with last week at the Gadii’ahi Chapter house. A detailed schedule will be developed as the scope of the study is further refined. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55527 $8.3 Million Contract Awarded for Security Guard Services at Flaming Gorge Dam
DUTCH JOHN, Utah – The Bureau of Reclamation awarded Chenega Security and Support Solutions, LLC an $8.3 million contract on Tuesday, June 12, 2016, to provide around the clock security services for Flaming Gorge Dam, Powerplant and Visitor’s Center. These services will protect the dam and associated facilities—including critical assets, employees and visitors. <P> Flaming Gorge Dam provides water storage, power generation and flood control as part of the Colorado River Storage Project. Flaming Gorge Reservoir extends 91 miles upstream from the dam and has a capacity of nearly 3.8 million acre feet of water storage. Its three hydroelectric power generators produce approximately 500 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year—enough to serve about 50,000 households. Power produced by the Flaming Gorge Dam powerplant is distributed by the Western Area Power Administration to Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nebraska and Nevada. <P> “Securing vital infrastructure like the Flaming Gorge Dam is a crucial part of Reclamation’s mission,” said Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Regional Director Brent Rhees. “This contract will help us meet that mission by protecting visitors and employees; controlling access to sensitive and dangerous areas; securing buildings, facilities and property; deterring criminal activity and responding to emergency situations.” <P> Contract security officers will work closely with Reclamation’s facility management, as well as county, state and federal law enforcement agencies to maintain a safe and secure environment at and around the dam. <P> The contract is performance based with an award term clause, which is the first of its kind in Reclamation contracting. Under the clause, Chenega may earn extensions to the contract term if they maintain sufficiently high performance ratings. The initial award includes one year and four option years and if the award term structure is met and the contract is exercised in full, the contract will be worth $8.3 million and extend for 10 years. This structure helps ensure consistent contractor performance while granting Reclamation added flexibility for more efficient contract management. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55509 Interior Department and Navajo Nation Agree to Study Contingency Water Supplies for Navajo Farms
SHIPROCK, N.M. – Media representatives are invited to join U.S. Department of the Interior and Navajo Nation leaders as they sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) intended to identify and evaluate emergency contingency water supplies for Navajo farms in northern New Mexico. U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López and senior Navajo Nation officials will sign the MOU at the Shiprock Chapter House. <P> This planning effort will identify critical system components and emergency water supplies in the event they are needed. In addition to signing the MOU, Interior and Navajo Nation leaders will discuss crucial water needs in the region. <P> Who: Michael L. Connor, U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Estevan López, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Senior Navajo Nation Officials <P> What: MOU signing event with U.S. Department of the Interior and Navajo Nation leaders <P> When: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. <P> Where: Shiprock Chapter House, Shiprock, N.M. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55468 American Indian Youth Embrace STEM at Red Butte Garden
On June 22, 2016, Earth Connections Camp partners joined American Indian youth at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City for the fourth annual camp, which aims to spark a lasting interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among American Indian youth while reconnecting them with their cultural heritage. The camp slogan for 2016 is “Immersing STEM into Native Culture.” <P> The camp had roughly 50 American Indian students (K-12) from across the state to spend the day learning about educational resources and diversity programs. The student’s experienced STEM-related activities and American Indian traditions surrounded by Red Butte Garden’s exquisite botanical garden and arboretum. Students experienced STEM in motion with 1-3 dimension bathymetry, astronomy, dam building exercises, medical sciences, emergency readiness and disaster preparedness. <P> It’s a great program and exciting to see it grow. The students thoroughly enjoy all of the STEM activities while they reconnected to their culture and learned from the instructors that have been dedicated to make Earth Connections Camp a success each year. <P> “This is a great partnership among other agencies and to focus all your energy for these students,” said Dr. Chuck Foster, Utah State Office of Education, while thanking everyone for the support and willingness to serve. “This was an opportunity for students to learn and comprehend many of the presentations and to seek knowledge for future goals.” <P> There will be another Earth Connections Camp at the Bluff Community Center in Southern Utah on August 11, 2016. Plans are being made for next years annual event. <P> Earth Connections Camp is a Utah State Office of Education Title VII program in partnership with the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake, Red Butte Garden, U.S. Department of the Interior agencies, U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies, Utah Museum of Natural History, Utah Division of Water Resources, Utah Division of Air Quality, and University of Utah Astronomy. <P> For more photos and activity blogs throughout the day, you can check out #ECC2016 on Twitter. <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/EarthConnections/DamBuilding.jpg" alt="Dam building exercise with Reclamation" hspace="4" vspace="4"/> <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/EarthConnections/DreamCatcher.jpg" alt="Making dream catchers" hspace="4" vspace="4"/> <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/EarthConnections/TalkingCircle.jpg" alt="The "talking circle" at the end of the day" hspace="4" vspace="4"/> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55227 Flaming Gorge Operations Open Public Forum
VERNAL, Utah – Media representatives are invited to join the Flaming Gorge Working Group at an open public forum for information exchange between the Bureau of Reclamation and the stakeholders of Flaming Gorge Dam. The public is encouraged to attend and comment on the operations and plans presented by Reclamation at these meetings. <P> What: Flaming Gorge Working Group open public forum <P> When: Thursday, June 23, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. <P> Where: Uintah Conference Center, 313 East 200 South, Vernal, Utah 84078 <P> Reclamation will provide the opportunity to see the progression of forecasts and related operations during 2016. <P> For more information on the current status of Flaming Gorge, please visit Reclamation’s Flaming Gorge operations website. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=55087 Reclamation Awards $17.8 Million Contract for Generator Rewinds and Excitation System Replacements for Wayne N. Aspinall Unit
MONTROSE, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation awarded Toshiba America Energy Systems of Colorado a $17.8 million contract on Friday, June 10, 2016, to overhaul two generators, install new stator cores and frames, and improve oil and air cooling systems for its Wayne N. Aspinall Unit. Additional work will include new digital excitation systems for Blue Mesa, Morrow Point and Crystal power plants near Montrose, Colorado. <P> Work performed under this contract will replace update existing equipment to allow generation at full rated capacity and improve responsiveness to the dynamic demands of the electrical grid. <P> Each of the Unit’s power plants and dams are used to generate hydroelectric power and control water flow in the Gunnison River. The Wayne N. Aspinall Unit has a combined generating capacity of 291,000 kW. <P> Blue Mesa, Morrow Point and Crystal power plant and dams are part of Reclamation’s Wayne N. Aspinall Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project, which retains the waters of the Colorado River and its tributaries for agricultural and municipal use. The project furnishes the long-term regulatory storage needed to permit States in the upper basin to meet their flow obligation at Lees Ferry, Arizona, as defined in the Colorado River Compact and still use their apportioned water. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54968 UPDATE: Flaming Gorge Dam Adjusts Water Releases
SALT LAKE CITY— Bureau of Reclamation officials are continuing water release adjustments out of Flaming Gorge Dam in response to updated Yampa River flow forecasts and increasing inflows into the reservoir. <P> To manage reservoir storage amid those high spring inflows, Flaming Gorge releases will be increased further on Thursday, June 9, 2016, to a peak rate of approximately 8,600 cubic feet per second (cfs). Releases will reach that peak rate at or near 8:00 AM Thursday morning. <P> Water releases from the dam reached 6,600 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Friday, June 3, 2016. The increase to 8,600 cfs is necessary to make space in the reservoir for continued high inflows. Releases will remain at 8,600 cfs until further notice, but are anticipated to stay at this level for five to seven days. Projected peak flow on the Green River at Jensen, Utah, resulting from the combined flows of the Yampa River and Flaming Gorge Dam releases, remains approximately 20,000 to 23,000 cfs. <P> Reclamation will continue monitoring downstream flowrates and will provide updates regarding future flows in the Yampa and Green Rivers. Flaming Gorge Reservoir information, including daily inflow and release rates, for the last 40 days can be found at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/rsvrs/ops/crsp_40_fgd.html. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54889 Flaming Gorge Dam Adjusts Water Releases
SALT LAKE CITY— Bureau of Reclamation officials are adjusting water releases out of Flaming Gorge Dam from previously-announced target levels to alleviate potential flooding downstream of the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers. These adjustments respond to projected rapid snowmelt runoff and increased flow estimates along the Yampa River. Water releases from the dam reached 6,600 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Friday, June 3, 2016, up from the previous level of approximately 800 cfs but down from the earlier target of 8,600 cfs. Releases will remain at 6,600 cfs until further notice. <P> Flaming Gorge Reservoir is currently at approximately 91 percent of its capacity. Reclamation officials are closely monitoring upstream inflows, which are forecast to increase. May was a particularly wet month and the most recent forecast for spring volume (April through July) increased significantly, from 770,000 acre feet to 1.06 million acre feet. Once Yampa River flows begin dropping and flooding potential decreases, Flaming Gorge Dam may increase releases to 8,600 cfs in order to manage reservoir storage amid high spring inflows. Projected peak flow on the Green River at Jensen, Utah, resulting from the combined flows of the Yampa River and Flaming Gorge Dam releases, is approximately 20,000 to 23,000 cfs. <P> In addition to responding to high spring inflow into Flaming Gorge Reservoir, these releases align with the environmental adaptive management plan under the current Record of Decision, which governs operational decisions at the dam. Specifically, the increased flows are expected to assist the endangered razorback sucker fish, which began spawning in the Green River downstream from Flaming Gorge Dam late last month. Larval emergence in the river was observed on May 28, 2016. <P> Reclamation will continue monitoring downstream flowrates and will provide updates regarding future flows in the Yampa and Green Rivers. Flaming Gorge Reservoir information, including daily inflow and release rates, for the last 40 days can be found at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/rsvrs/ops/crsp_40_fgd.html. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54873 Reclamation Administrative Professionals Advisory Council (RAPAC)
The Upper Colorado Region recently hosted the Budget Review Committee (BRC), Reclamation Leadership Team (RLT), and the administrative professionals throughout the agency during Administrative Professionals Week, April 25-29, 2016, in Salt Lake City, Utah. <P> Commissioner Estevan López gave a brief background of the Administrative Support Career Management Program as a guide to promote peak performance and enhance career development. He then spoke of the important role administrative professionals have within Reclamation and how they help keep priorities and schedules moving – including his. In addition to the BRC and RLT meetings that took place, leaders thanked their assistants and recognized all individual Administrative Support Council (ASC) winners at the annual award ceremony before the Commissioner announced the two Reclamation-wide winners. <P> Early in the week, personnel from across Reclamation including ASC chairpersons, winners, and Executive Assistants learned more about communication from Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist, Tim Coplin; the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Programs from “Mr. Salty”, Kib Jacobson; and Water Leasing and Rights from Malcolm Wilson and Jeff Painter. Opportunities for the ASC chairs to network, share successes and failures from their perspectives in regards to the program, and game plan strategies to make it better, happened in an open environment. Linda McFarland and Stacy Leitner from Admin to Admin were brought in for a customized morning workshop helping attendees learn how to lead without authority and take control of their career road map. <P> This year’s field trip focused more on the agency’s on-the-ground efforts instead of visiting a dam. The group boarded a bus and headed south – first to the Provo Area Office, where Area Manager, Wayne Pullan welcomed everyone. Assistant Area Manager, Paul Christensen and Resource Management Specialist, Scott Blake gave an overview on energy efficiency and green building solutions. The Central Utah Water Conservancy District then provided an excellent and very high-tech presentation on Olmsted as if you could not only fly over, above, and through windows and walls but see through them with x-ray vision similar to the powers of Superman. This technology is not available to the public just yet, but plans are in place for others to be able to see what the attendees saw very soon. Attendees could visualize historical features that no longer exist to obtain a better idea of what the project once was. Afterwards, the group drove to Deer Creek Reservoir where Outdoor Recreation Planner, Valerie Heath-Harrision gave a presentation on invasive species, recreation rehabilitations, and partnerships. The trip ended with almost a hands-on learning experience from Richard Mingo and Paula Trater from the Utah Mitigation Commission educating us on wetlands and invasive species in regards to the Provo River Restoration Project. <P> Extended thanks goes out to all of those who helped make this happen including but not limited to Tara Ashby, Melynda Roberts, Beth Fox, Tina Villegas, Public Affairs, Human Resources, Information Resources and many more! <P> Reclamation’s Administrative Professional for 2015 – Charlotte Tucker, Lahontan Basin Area Office <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/RAPAC/Winner_CharlotteTucker.JPG" alt="Charlotte Tucker" hspace="4" vspace="4"/> <P> Charlotte worked personally with stakeholders, was polite, competent, proud and excited; exhibited a wonderful attitude, and maintained a high degree of professionalism and exemplary customer service, resulting in positive office morale. A 13-year effort of a partial transfer from a Reclamation storage project comprised of 83,530 acres of Federal lands and irrigation features known as the Humboldt Projects, was completed successfully in 2015. Charlotte scanned records dating as far back as 1934 making them digital identified 300 project folders containing approx. 1,500 records located in an off-site warehouse. Charlotte independently created a tracking system before documents were transferred to the water district in order to carefully monitor the delivery and retrieval of the secured boxes. Charlotte showed integrity in her work thought her professionalism and courteous communications leaving a large footprint of success in the area office. <P> Reclamation’s Administrative Services Professional for 2015 – Alisha Daniels, Mid-Pacific Regional Office <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/RAPAC/Winner_AlishaDaniel.JPG" alt="Alisha Daniel" hspace="4" vspace="4"/> <P> Alisha’s individual expertise was fire-tested and proven more than once in 2015. The organization saw a 44 percent increase in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, many drought related and complex. Alisha reviewed over 50,000 pages both in scope and volume, of information for release. When a determination was challenged by a requester in the District of Columbia Federal Court, her efforts ensured the exemption was solid and the courts found Reclamation in favor of their original decision. Referred to as “one of the best organized filing stations reviewed to date” by the Regional Records Officer, her organizational skills are flawless. As a closely watched metric by the Department, she conducted a complete review of existing correspondence, re-wrote, and added the mandatory language to incorporate the new statutory requirements helping the FOAI program maintain a zero backlog status for the 4th year in a row. Alisha strives to improve her value to the organization and succeeds. Her enthusiasm and determination are wonderful assets to the MP Region. <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/RAPAC/RAPAC_PAO.JPG" alt="Tina and Sabrina at the Provo Area Office" hspace="4" vspace="4"/> <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54872 Navajo Lake C.A.S.T. Event
While the mission of the Catch a Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) for Kids Foundation is to provide special needs and disadvantaged youth the opportunity to enjoy a quality outdoor recreational experience fishing on the water, the motto for the Navajo Lake version of the event might be better suited for that classic line from the Postal Service “Neither snow nor rain nor…” you get the picture. The last few years, the participants at the Navajo Lake event have seen their fair share of unsettled weather, and this year’s event, held May 7, 2016, was no exception. While the weather may have been gloomy, the attitude of the volunteers and the excitement level of the participants was far from it. <P> Approximately 163 volunteers, representing over 30 federal, state, and local agencies and businesses were on hand to make sure the day exceeded the expectations of the eager anglers – despite the weather. On hand for the event representing Reclamation were Deputy Commissioner of Policy, Administration and Budget Gray Payne, Upper Colorado Deputy Regional Director Brent Esplin, and Four Corners Construction Office (FCCO) Project Engineer Barry Longwell. The three of them, along with FCCO Deputy Construction Engineer Pat Page, were able to get out on the lake and check in with several boats during the event. (It should be noted that Deputy Commissioner Payne and Pat Page snuck in a few casts to go the extra mile to try to gather “fishery data” to provide to the kids; but alas, their efforts, while extraordinary, were all for not as they both got skunked and thus had no information to share!) Several FCCO employees including Jere Wales, Cindy Slade, Cliff Drayton, and Chico Quintana led Reclamation’s involvement by volunteering their day to help out in various capacities from registration to boat captains/fishing guides. <P> The participants and their families, totaling an estimated 70-80 individuals, began arriving at Navajo Lake New Mexico State Park at around 7:30 am. For some, it had been over a 2 and1/2 hour bus ride! Like a well-oiled machine, the volunteers got to work signing in the participants, handing out t-shirts, providing fishing poles and tackle, issuing personal flotation devices and introducing them to their boat captain. After getting their official “team” picture taken, the boat captains and their crews loaded their boats and shoved off in search of fun, adventure and maybe even a fish or two. <P> After battling typical high-desert spring-time weather for several hours, by noon most of the boats were off the lake and everyone was treated to a well-deserved lunch of hot dogs and hamburgers hot off the grill. After lunch, the sun came out and the participants and their families had the opportunity to interact with many of the agency personnel who were involved in putting on the event. Rather than provide trinkets and other goodies at the time of registration like in year’s past, this year the coordination committee implemented a new concept whereas participants were given an empty bag and had to visit the various “stations” to pick up goodies, ask questions, and get information from the various agencies. This new concept was deemed a success by participants and volunteers alike. The event was topped off with an awards ceremony recognizing each participant and acknowledging the extraordinary efforts of the volunteers, and, as the skies were turning dark once again, everyone headed home happy, tired, full of stories, and perhaps a bit chilly from a long day of fun and excitement that is the essence of C.A.S.T. <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/CAST/NavajoCASTSafety.jpg" alt="CAST participant enjoying one of the "post-fishing" activities"> <br /> <small>CAST participant enjoying one of the "post-fishing" activities.</small> <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/CAST/NavajoCASTpoles%26tackle.jpg" alt="Student volunteers from Piedra Vista High School in Farmington assemble fishing equipment in preparation for the participants' arrival."> <br /> <small>Student volunteers from Piedra Vista High School in Farmington assemble fishing equipment in preparation for the participants' arrival.</small> <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/images/mediastories/CAST/NavajoCASTregistration.jpg" alt="Boat captains getting registered."> <br /> <small>Boat captains getting registered.</small> <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54827 Flaming Gorge Dam to Increase Water Releases Tuesday
SALT LAKE CITY, UT — Spring snowmelt runoff in the Colorado Rocky Mountains has triggered the spawning and emergence of endangered razorback sucker fish populations in the Green River downstream from Flaming Gorge Dam, Utah. Larval emergence in the river was observed on May 28, 2016. <P> To assist the survival of this endangered fish population, Bureau of Reclamation officials will gradually increase water released from Flaming Gorge Dam from the current flow of 800 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 8,600 cfs beginning Tuesday, May 31, 2016. The rate of release will reach 8,600 cfs on Friday, June 3, 2016, and will remain at that flow rate until further notice. However, Reclamation officials anticipate the release to remain at this rate for only 7 to 14 days beyond June 3. <P> At the highest rate, Flaming Gorge reservoir will release approximately 4,600 cfs through the Flaming Gorge Dam powerplant, allowing power generation to reach its full capacity of approximately 150 megawatts. Another 4,000 cfs will be released through the dam’s bypass tubes to reach the total of 8,600 cfs. <P> Projected peak flow on the Green River at Jensen, Utah, resulting from the combined flows of Flaming Gorge Dam releases and the Yampa River, will be approximately 22,000 to 24,000 cubic feet per second. These projections are close to flood stage and Reclamation officials urge caution while recreating or farming along the Green River during the next few weeks. <P> Scientists monitor critical habitat to detect the first emergence of razorback sucker larvae as a “trigger” for this type of release by Reclamation in cooperation with the State of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program. A major purpose of the higher release is to transport as many larval fish as possible into critical nursery habitats located in the floodplains along the Green River, downstream of the confluence of the Green and Yampa rivers. The increased releases from the dam, combined with the Yampa River flows, will provide the maximum possible flow of water to transport the larval fish. <P> Reclamation consulted with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources concerning possible impacts of the releases to the rainbow trout fishery below the dam. While releases during this period will make fishing the river more difficult, no adverse impacts to the fishery are expected. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54751 Flows Increase on the Rio Grande and Rio Chama
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Flows through the Middle Rio Grande and Rio Chama are on the rise as the spring runoff is supplemented with water from El Vado Reservoir for the benefit of the environment and endangered species. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation, New Mexico Office of the State Engineer and Interstate Stream Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District and Rio Chama Watershed Partnership came together to create this coordinated flow event. <P> “This is a great example of what can happen when everyone works together for the benefit of our river systems,” said Jennifer Faler, Albuquerque Area Manager for the Bureau of Reclamation. <P> The higher flows on both rivers will provide a great opportunity for recreation this Memorial Day weekend, but the public should use caution as water levels are higher and moving faster than we’ve experienced in recent years. <P> The release from El Vado to Abiquiu is currently at 2,000 cubic feet per second. That will double by Wednesday and then will begin dropping back down to about 2,000 cubic feet per second by Friday. It will remain at that level for a couple of weeks. This flow, which is beneficial to the ecosystem of the Rio Chama, includes the bypass of the inflow to El Vado Reservoir as well as the scheduled release of water stored with approval of the Rio Grande Compact states of Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. This agreement allowed for the storage of close to 40,000 acre-feet of water in El Vado between May 2 and May 20. The Rio Grande Compact Commission approved a resolution to allow for the temporary modification of storage operations at El Vado at its March meeting. <P> “This collaborative operation has multiple benefits,” said State Engineer and Rio Grande Compact Commissioner Tom Blaine. “Not only does it continue to provide water to allocated users, it also helps the restoration efforts for endangered species.” <P> The release from Abiquiu Reservoir is scheduled to rise to about 1,800 cubic feet per second by Wednesday and continue for approximately two weeks. The release from Cochiti Dam will be close to 3,300 for about two weeks. This flow will also benefit the entire ecosystem and is aimed at signaling the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow to spawn. Minnow numbers have been low in recent years as the drought has continued. However, a better spring runoff last year helped support a slight improvement in minnow abundance. Monitoring for silvery minnow eggs will be conducted throughout this operation. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54749 Reclamation Awards $2.4 Million Contract to Replace Excitation Systems at Flaming Gorge Powerplant
DUTCH JOHN, Utah. – The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $2.4 million contract to Koontz Electric Company, Inc., from Morrilton, Arizona, to replace the excitation systems in the three generating units at Flaming Gorge Powerplant. <P> The current exciters are at the end of their life cycle, most of the spare parts have been used and it is difficult to obtain new parts. The exciter is what provides the magnetic field to the generator and the presence of a rotating magnetic field induces current into the wingdings of the generator, which produces electricity. The exciter also provides the means to manipulate the strength of the magnetic field, so that more electricity can be produced and/or more water released. <P> Flaming Gorge Dam and Powerplant is part of the Colorado River Storage Project, which provides vital water storage and hydropower generation as well as providing recreation and improving conditions for fish and wildlife. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=54748 Reclamation Awards $1.4 Million Contract for Aquatic Invasive Species Inspection Services at Elephant Butte and Navajo Reservoirs
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a contract for $1.4 million to Pyramid Enterprises, Inc. of Valencia, California, to provide aquatic invasive species inspection services for watercrafts entering Elephant Butte Reservoir and Navajo Reservoir, New Mexico. <P> Aquatic invasive species continue to be a threat to waters in New Mexico. Currently, every state adjacent to New Mexico has one or more waterbodies with a population of zebra and quagga mussels. <P> Currently, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has four seasonal aquatic invasive species technicians to provide outreach and conduct inspections/decontaminations on watercraft entering Navajo Reservoir. Officials at Reclamation and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish determined there is a need to expand watercraft inspections to include Elephant Butte Reservoir. Given the volume of annual visitation at Elephant Butte Reservoir and Navajo Reservoir and the number of boat ramps available for watercraft owners, inspections done by the Department of Game and Fish staff alone is not feasible. This contract will provide additional inspection services. <P> A low-risk watercraft inspection is expected to last between one and three minutes and a high risk inspection to last between three and six minutes. This contract will ensure staffing at levels to efficiently inspect all motorized watercraft entering Elephant Butte Reservoir and Navajo Reservoir while keeping wait times and traffic backups to a minimum. Currently, there is not an inspection requirement of non-motorized watercraft; however, if an owner of a canoe, paddleboard, kayak, etc. enters the inspection station the staff will use the opportunity to provide public outreach regarding aquatic invasive species and will inspect the vessel if asked by the owner. <P> <P>