News Release Archive

Reclamation to Begin Surveys of Black Rock Dam and Reservoir

Media Contact: John Redding , (208) 378-5212

For Release: July 15, 2003

The Bureau of Reclamation will begin field surveys for the proposed Black Rock Dam and Reservoir beginning the week of July 21. This work is an initial phase of a study that will examine the feasibility for construction of an off-stream reservoir and associated structures. The proposed reservoir site is 40 miles east of Yakima, Washington.

The survey work will include establishment of a survey control network for the project and surveys for air photo control panels. The control panels will be used in combination with aerial photography to develop a digital elevation model and detailed topographic maps of the Black Rock project that will serve as the base for future engineering and scientific studies to be conducted as part of the feasibility study.

The field surveys will begin on July 22 and are expected to require about one to two weeks for completion. Reclamation will be contacting local property owners where right-of-way will be needed in addition to using existing public access.

With a 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.