Bureau of Reclamation Banner, Upper Colorado Region
Fontenelle DamFontenelle Reservoir


Colorado River Storage Project

Fontenelle Working Group
Meeting Minutes
August 23, 2012

Participation

This meeting was held at the Joint Power Water Board in Green River, Wyoming with attended by XX participants.  See below for a list of participants.

Purpose of Meeting

The purpose of working group meetings (held in April, and August) is to inform the public and other interested parties of Reclamation's current and future operational plans and to gather information from the public regarding specific resources associated with Fontenelle Reservoir. In addition, the meetings are used to coordinate activities and exchange information among agencies, water users, and other interested parties concerning the Green River.

Meeting Overview

Katrina Grantz opened the meeting and welcomed everyone. Each participant introduced themselves and their interest or involvement with the Green River and Fontenelle operations. Katrina informed the group that she was taking over Glen Canyon operations and introduced Heather Hermansen as the new Fontenelle Dam and Reservoir operator. Heather currently operates Flaming Gorge Reservoir and has been the backup for Fontenelle.

Forecast Presentation - Ashley Nielson

Katrina introduced Ashley Nielson from the River Forecast Center who then began the meeting with her presentation concerning precipitation in water year (WY). 2012 and forecasts into WY 2013. Most winter months were below average in snow accumulation. The Upper Green River basin was fortunate to have some above average months compared to the rest of the Colorado River Basin. July and August have seen above average monsoonal season in the Upper Green River basin. The current ENSO forecast is for moderate El Nino conditions next year, moving from the past two years of La Nina conditions. However, it is difficult to use El Nino/La Nina conditions to predict a forecast because it is hard to find a good correlation in the Upper Green River basin using ENSO signals.

Hydrology and Operations Presentation - Katrina Grantz

Katrina Grantz then discussed Fontenelle Dam operations that occurred during WY2012 and what we are looking to do in WY2013. Fontenelle is currently 90% live capacity and the elevation is declining. Releases are 1100cfs, but will be decreased to 900cfs the first week in September for the fall and winter period in order to meet the spring targets next year. Fontenelle Reservoir was able to fill even though the Green River basin snowpack was below average. The April-July inflow was 70% of average, and WY2013 forecasts are projected to be close to average. Fontenelle Reservoir will fill next year if average conditions occur. However, if the minimal probable inflow does occur, it is unlikely that the reservoir will not fill.

Fontenelle Stilling Basin Repair Work - Mark Neeley

Mark Neeley discussed the maintenance and repair work on the stilling basin at Fontenelle Dam currently scheduled for fall of 2013. The repair work will likely take at least 4 weeks to complete. The emergency backup plans were discussed in the event Fontenelle powerplant trips offline during the maintenance. Significant impacts would occur downstream if the powerplant is offline for more than several hours and downstream flows drop below the minimum streamflow objective of 300 cfs . Therefore, the current emergency plan is to use the West Canal, which will require that the reservoir is maintained at a high enough elevation to release a minimum flow of 300 cfs. There is concern that by using the West Canal the debris and sediment released would negatively impact the fish downstream. The maintenance work will be reevaluated in April when Reclamation has more knowledge about the snowpack conditions, April-July forecast and projected reservoir operations and projected elevations. Maintenance work will be postponed if the West Canal is projected to be unavailable.

General Discussion

Katie Thuele, the representative from Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge requested two days of 700 cfs releases during the week of September 4-7 for maintenance and repair of the riverbed. She also mentioned that a new Project Leader, Tom Koerner, was starting work the week of August 27.

Next Meeting

The next Fontenelle Working Group meeting is scheduled for April 25, 2013 at 10:00 am at the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge.

Attendees

Name

Organization

Ed Vidmar Bureau of Reclamation, Provo
Katrina Grantz Bureau of Reclamation, Salt Lake City
Ashley Nielson Colorado Basin River Forecast Center
Mark Neeley Bureau of Reclamation, Salt Lake City
Mike Meyer Pacificorp, Jim Bridger Power Plant
Ryan Taucher Pacificorp
Mike Besson Wyoming Water Development Office
Jade Henderson Wyoming State Engineer's Office
Robert Keith Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Carl Milligan US Fish and Wildlife Service, Seedskadee NWR
Gene Smith US Fish and Wildlife Service, Seedskadee NWR
Erek Roosa City of Green River Parks and Recreation
Allan Wilson City of Green River Parks and Recreation
Bryan Seppie Joint Powers Water Board
Ben Bracken Joint Powers Water Board
Russ Findlay Bureau of Reclamation, Provo
Kirk Jensen Bureau of Relcamation, Fontenelle
Steve Hulet Bureau of Reclamation, Flaming Gorge

Email comments/inquires to: ResourceMgr@usbr.gov