Bureau of Reclamation Banner
Reclamation Home             Reclamation Offices             Newsroom             Library             Projects & Facilities

Ririe Dam and Reservoir Proposed Interim Operations
Draft Environmental Assessment


Ririe DamLocated in Bonneville County, Idaho, the Ririe Project (Project) was constructed to impound and control the waters of Willow Creek for flood control, irrigation and recreation. Constructed between 1970 and 1977 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Ririe Dam serves the principal purpose of flood control on the lower reaches of Willow and Sand Creeks. Ririe Dam is approximately 15 miles northeast of the Idaho Falls and about 4 miles southeast of the town of Ririe.

USACE transferred to United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, operation and maintenance responsibilities through a memorandum of agreement in 1976. Reclamation manages the Project for multiple purposes including water storage for irrigation; the USACE is responsible for the flood control operations of the Project as required by Section 7 of the Flood Control Act of 1944.

Reclamation proposes to reduce Ririe Reservoir winter drawdown for a 10-year interim period to improve refill reliability and increase water availability for irrigation without increasing downstream flood risk. Reclamation is asking for public comment to identifying issues and concerns associated with Proposed Interim Operations of Ririe Reservoir and Dam.

Reclamation conducted an initial scoping meeting in January 2011 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to identify issues and concerns associated with the proposed interim operations. The Environmental Assessment (EA) was postponed while Reclamation considered initial scoping comments and worked with the USACE, Water District 1, and Mitigation Inc. to complete a Ririe Reservoir Winter Release Test Plan (Plan). The purpose of the Plan was to test/study the capacity of Willow Creek and the Ririe outlet channel to evacuate flood control space during winter conditions without an increase in flood risk. The test was conducted in February 2013. Based on the information gained from the test, Reclamation has revised the alternatives to be evaluated in the EA and is conducting a public scoping.

Reclamation has determined that an EA is required under the National Environmental Policy Act in order to undertake this action. The EA will evaluate the impacts of the proposed action on human environments. This analysis, together with input from the public, will assist Reclamation in making an informed decision on the winter release testing options.

12/09/2013 Media Advisory: Public Open House for Comments on Interim Winter Operation Alternatives at Ririe Dam and Reservoir HTML
12/05/2013 Factsheet: Ririe Dam and Reservoir Proposed Interim Operations PDF 249 kb
11/26/2013 News Release: Reclamation Hosts Open House for Additional Comments on Interim Winter Operation Alternatives at Ririe Dam and Reservoir HTML
01/11/2011 Fact Sheet: Ririe Dam and Reservoir Proposed Interim Operations PDF 108 kb
01/05/2011 News Release: Reclamation Hosts Public Meeting on Ririe Reservoir
and Dam Proposed Interim Operations
12/15/2010 Ririe Dam and Reservoir Area Map PDF 229 kb

Allyn Meuleman
Activity Coordinator
(208) 383-2258

Bureau of Reclamation
470 22nd Street
Heyburn, ID  83336


Last Update: December 18, 2013 2:26 PM