News Release Archive

Reclamation Draws Black Canyon Reservoir Down for Design Data Collection, Caution Advised by Riverbanks

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212, 11/09/2012 08:01
Brent Jensen,

For Release: November 09, 2012

EMMETT, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation is drafting Black Canyon Reservoir to elevation 2440 feet in order to accommodate a field exploration program related to the proposed addition of a third hydroelectric generating unit at Black Canyon Diversion Dam located on the Payette River about 5 miles northeast of Emmett, Idaho.

The drawdown will provide Reclamation geologists and drill crew personnel access to collect data needed to design an intake structure for the proposed generating unit. The field exploration work will focus on the area located immediately upstream from the north end of Black Canyon Diversion Dam.

Reclamation began drawing down the reservoir in October and plans to complete reservoir evacuation by late November. The field exploration work is scheduled for the first two weeks of December, after which normal reservoir operations will be resumed.

Maintenance personnel will take advantage of the reservoir drawdown to replace deteriorated sections of the dam's deicing system and to perform other maintenance work as needed.

People in the area are advised to exercise caution along the riverbank as reservoir recedes and more of the shoreline is exposed. The exposed banks and delta area will be unstable and should be avoided.

For more information on the drawdown, please contact Mr. Brent Jensen, Power Plant Maintenance Supervisor for Reclamation's Black Canyon Facility Office, at 208-365-2600 ext. 18.

Black Canyon Diversion Dam was constructed by Reclamation in 1924 as part of the Payette Division of the Boise Project. It is a multipurpose facility that provides water for irrigation, hydropower, and recreation.

# # #

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.