News Release Archive

Reclamation Conducts Field Review at Proposed Black Rock Project Site

Media Contact: John Redding , (208) 378-5212
Norbert Reis , (509) 575-5848

For Release: October 29, 2003

The Bureau of Reclamation's technical staff from its Denver, Boise, and Yakima offices, were joined by Washington Department of Ecology and Yakama Nation technical staff in conducting a field review of a potential dam at the Black Rock site on Tuesday, October 28.

This field review involved looking at the topographic, geologic, design, and construction aspects of a potential dam at the Black Rock water storage site. The overall field review involved an assessment of possible Columbia River pumping plant sites in the vicinity of Priest Rapids Dam, an examination of the dam site itself, as well as flow alignments for filling the proposed reservoir and delivering water to the Yakima River basin.

"Existing data will be verified and additional data needs identified in order to do a thorough investigation of this Black Rock site," said Norbert Ries, Reclamation planning officer.

The field review is expected to extend through Thursday, Ries said.

Reclamation is conducting a Yakima River Basin Water Storage Feasibility Study of options for additional water storage to benefit the Yakima River Basin. This study was authorized by Congress in February of this year. The authorization instructed Reclamation to place emphasis on the feasibility of storage of Columbia River water in the potential Black Rock Reservoir.

The proposed reservoir site is approximately 30 miles east of Yakima, Washington.

With a potential capacity of 1.7 million acre-feet, the proposed reservoir would more than double existing water storage in the Yakima River Basin. Water would be drawn from the Columbia River near Priest Rapids Dam. Reclamation will compare the proposed Black Rock Dam and Reservoir with other options during a feasibility study of storage potentials in the Yakima River basin.

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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.