Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom Reclamation Newsroom Channel https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=73825 Reclamation releases Yakima basin March water supply forecast
YAKIMA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s March 2021 total water supply available forecast for the Yakima basin indicates the water supply will satisfy all senior and junior water rights this irrigation season. <P> “The seasonal precipitation, and the current snowpack and reservoir storage are at very good levels and should provide a good water supply for this coming irrigation season,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. <P> Reclamation manages the water in the five Yakima Project storage reservoirs, along with the basin’s unregulated inflows to fulfill water rights, water contracts and instream flow obligations. Water shortages in the basin are shared equally by the junior water rights, which represent over half of the water rights in the basin. <P> Reclamation will provide an updated water supply forecast monthly—at least through July—using the latest data each month to reflect any changing conditions as they develop. <P> The March forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage as of March 1, along with estimates of future precipitation and river flows. Other future weather conditions that determine the timing of the runoff and the demand for water also are critical in determining stream flows, prorations and the extent to which the reservoirs fill. <P> “We still have several key months ahead of us that can have a big influence on the ultimate water supply this summer,” says Garner. <P> For more information, visit Reclamation’s website at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima</a> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=73805 Reclamation terminates fire station contract
GRAND COULEE, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation announced today that it has terminated the Grand Coulee Fire Station contract with Innovative Construction and Design, a small business out of Post Falls, Idaho. This is the second termination Reclamation has executed for the contract. <P> The construction contract was originally awarded in 2016 with a period of performance end date of April 30, 2018. The contract was terminated in March 2019. The initial termination was overturned by Reclamation in favor of allowing an approved third-party contractor to take over the project. Ultimately, the third-party contractor was unsuccessful which resulted in the second termination. <P> The federal government includes terms in its contracts that protect against financial losses in cases where the awarded contractor does not meet its contractual obligations. This protection is provided via performance bonds issued by a second party surety. Reclamation has opened negotiations with ICD’s surety to negotiate a mutually agreeable solution to bring the contract to completion. Due to the sensitive nature of the ongoing negotiations, Reclamation is unable to release further details at this time. However, a future press release will be issued when the negotiation details are finalized, and the construction work is authorized to resume. <P> “The project has been halted until an appropriate path forward can be identified. We anticipate construction will resume in the spring of this year under the direction of the surety and a new contractor,” said Columbia–Pacific Northwest Deputy Regional Director Rob Skordas. “Reclamation recognizes that it is in the best interest of the U.S. Government and taxpayers to negotiate an agreement with the surety that will result in contract completion, with little or no additional contract costs to the government.” <P> The 22,000-square-foot fire station will provide space for sleeping, dining, vehicle and equipment storage, meeting/training rooms, offices, and a public reception area. Once completed, the new facility will ensure reliable protection for all of Reclamation facilities and lands and assist local communities and other agencies through mutual aid agreements. The site of the new fire station is located at the west gate to the Grand Coulee Power Office Industrial Area, near the intersection of Highway 155 and B Street. <P> Grand Coulee Dam was completed in 1941 and is located on the Columbia River about 90 miles northwest of Spokane. It serves as a multipurpose facility providing water for irrigation, hydroelectric power production, flood control, fish and wildlife conservation, and recreation. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=73265 Trump Administration transmits final Boise River Basin Feasibility Report to Congress
BOISE, Idaho – Today, the Trump Administration’s Bureau of Reclamation transmitted the final <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/studies/boisefeasibility/FR.pdf">Boise River Basin Feasibility Report</a>. <P> The Secretary of the Interior determined the recommended plan, to raise the dam crest of Anderson Ranch Dam six feet for an additional 29,000 acre-feet of storage capacity, met the requirements of Section 4007 of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. Congress was notified today of the Secretary’s determination by transmittal of the report. <P> Following authorization by Congress, Reclamation will initiate and complete, in coordination with the Idaho Water Resource Board and our stakeholders, the required post-authorization activities. <P> “The Secretary’s determination of feasibility is an important step towards addressing the water supply needs of the Treasure Valley along with providing benefits for fish and wildlife,” said Snake River Area Manager Lanie Paquin. “We are on track to meet the next important milestone-finalizing the companion environmental impact statement.” <P> The report describes how additional water storage capacity could help offset changes in precipitation patterns and enable storage of more runoff in high water years, enhancing long-term water supply for critical irrigation, domestic, industrial and municipal needs while improving the ability to meet environmental needs and generate power. <P> The public comment period for the draft EIS concluded on September 14, 2020. For more information on the draft EIS or to obtain the final Boise River Basin Feasibility Report, please visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/studies/boisefeasibility/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/studies/boisefeasibility/index.html</a> <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=73165 Reclamation seeks public comment on draft environmental impact statement on hatchery infrastructure improvements
LEAVENWORTH, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation announced today it is seeking public comment on the draft environmental impact statement for the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Surface Water Intake Fish Screens and Fish Passage Project. The draft EIS is a result of scoping comments received from other agencies, interested parties and the public on possible alternatives to modernize this hatchery’s surface water intake, fish screening, fish passage and water delivery system. “This project is a benefit to the long-term operational needs of the LNFH and also addresses needed conservation of critical natural resources. It’s a win-win for both our partners and the continued health of the Icicle Creek Watershed,” said Talmadge Oxford, Reclamation’s Columbia-Cascades area manager. <P> The LNFH intake facility on Icicle Creek that supplies fresh water to the hatchery is deteriorating due to age and needs to comply with the National Marine Fisheries Service 2017 Biological Opinion. The purpose of the project is to minimize the impacts to fish listed under the Endangered Species Act by installing fish screens, improving fish passage and providing safe, efficient and reliable delivery of the hatchery’s surface water rights from Icicle Creek. <P> Three alternatives are analyzed in the draft EIS: <ul> <li>No Action Alternative – This alternative assumes no federal action would be taken</li> <li>Alternative B – Proposed Action, rehabilitation of the LNFH surface water intake and delivery system with a Phase I expedited construction schedule</li> <li>Alternative C – Preferred Alternative, rehabilitation of the LNFH surface water intake and delivery system with an expedited Phase I construction schedule and reduced impacts to riparian areas</li> <li>Alternative D – Rehabilitation of the LNFH surface water intake and delivery system with a Phase I standard workday/4-month in-water work window construction schedule</li> </ul> <P> The hatchery is one of three mitigation hatcheries established by the Grand Coulee Fish Maintenance Project to compensate for anadromous fish losses above Grand Coulee Dam. It is operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and funded by Reclamation and Bonneville Power Administration. The hatchery raises and releases 1.2 million spring chinook salmon smolts annually into Icicle Creek. <P> The public will have the opportunity to participate during the draft EIS public comment period and provide input through a web-based virtual meeting room from November 20, 2020 to January 4, 2021. The virtual “meeting” will be accessible at <a href="https://www.virtualpublicmeeting.com/leavenworth-swisp-draft-eis">https://www.virtualpublicmeeting.com/leavenworth-swisp-draft-eis</a>. The public can also participate in two Q&A/public comment video teleconferences that will be held on December 8, 2020, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. PST and December 10, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PST. Subject matter experts will be available to answer questions about the project. <P> Comments must be submitted by close of business on January 4, 2021, in the web-based virtual meeting room, by email to <a href="mailto:BOR-SHA-PNRLSWISP@usbr.gov">BOR-SHA-PNRLSWISP@usbr.gov</a> or by U.S. mail. If submitting an email, please indicate “SWISP DEIS Public Comments” in the email subject line. If submitting by U.S. Mail, please address to Mr. Jason Sutter, EIS Team Lead, Bureau of Reclamation, Columbia–Pacific Northwest Regional Office, 1150 N. Curtis Road, Boise, ID 83706. More information can be found on the SWISP official website: <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/leavenworth/swisp/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/leavenworth/swisp/index.html</a>. <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=73006 Reclamation investigation on hole discovered downstream of Pinto Dam concluded
EPHRATA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation determined a hole discovered 60 feet downstream of Pinto Dam was a result of settling material. Furthermore, no underlying structural concerns were identified. The hole, which was about 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet deep, was excavated, the area backfilled and compacted, and the investigation was concluded. <P> “Reclamation took a proactive approach to ensure the continued safety and operation of Pinto Dam through a well-planned and coordinated examination of the issue,” said Ephrata Field Office Operations and Technical Services Manager Joel Finch. “Through our thorough evaluation, we determined the situation did not impact the safety or performance of the dam.” <P> The Bureau of Reclamation is committed to safety and is a leader for dam safety worldwide. The goals of the Safety of Dams program are long-term stability of dams to protect lives and property, and to ensure the physical integrity of Reclamation dams. For more information on Reclamation’s Safety of Dams program, <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/ssle/damsafety/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/ssle/damsafety/index.html</a>. <P> Pinto Dam, part of the Columbia Basin Project, is an earthen dam constructed between 1946 and 1948 and is authorized by Congress to manage water for irrigation. The dam measures 130 feet high and 1950 feet long at its crest. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=72783 Reclamation investigates hole discovered downstream of Pinto Dam
EPHRATA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation is planning an investigative excavation to determine the cause of a hole discovered 60 feet downstream of Pinto Dam. The hole is approximately 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet deep, and is likely associated with settling material. The excavation work to determine the cause of the hole will begin Oct. 6. <P> “Reclamation is taking a proactive approach to this situation, is committed to the safe operation of Pinto Dam, and the expedient resolution of any potential recommendations associated with our investigatory activities,” said Ephrata Field Office Manager Marc Maynard. <P> Since the discovery on September 10, Reclamation has taken extra safety measures with additional daily inspections and piezometric well and seepage monitoring, which have revealed no change in the hole size or depth. The hole has not disrupted operations at the dam. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation is committed to safety and is a leader for dam safety worldwide. The goals of the Safety of Dams program are long-term stability of dams to protect lives and property, and to ensure the physical integrity of Reclamation dams. <P> Pinto Dam, part of the Columbia Basin Project, is an earthen dam constructed between 1946 and 1948 and is authorized by Congress to manage water for irrigation. The dam measures 130 feet high and 1950 feet long at its crest. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=72763 Routine maintenance requires drawdown at Black Canyon Diversion Dam
EMMETT, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation is lowering the reservoir behind Black Canyon Diversion Dam to allow crews to perform necessary inspections and maintenance. The 32-foot drawdown begins Oct. 5 and will continue incrementally until an elevation of 2,466 feet is reached, on or about Nov. 12. The public is advised to exercise caution around the reservoir and riverbanks during the drawdown period. <P> “Exposed sandbars in the upper reservoir may appear attractive for fishing or other activities, but these areas could be dangerous,” said Steve Crawford, facility manager. “The exposed riverbank also could be unstable for people as well as their pets.” <P> During this drawdown, Reclamation crews will inspect and perform maintenance work on the intake structure and associated features. Crews will thoroughly clean the intake structure, which helps improve water flow to the hydroelectric generators and to the hydro pumps used to pump irrigation water into an adjacent canal. <P> Black Canyon Diversion Dam is located on the Payette River about five miles northeast of Emmett, Idaho. It was completed in 1924 and is a multipurpose facility that provides irrigation and hydropower. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=72764 Reclamation lowers the pool elevation at Lake Walcott
HEYBURN, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation is lowering the pool elevation at Lake Walcott from now through mid-October, to store higher-than-normal flows from American Falls Dam following the 2020 irrigation season. <P> The post-irrigation season flows from American Falls Dam will be 1000 cubic feet per second from mid-October to mid-December, after which flows from the dam will be lowered to the normal winter outflow of 350 cfs. <P> “The higher-than –normal, post-irrigation season releases from American Falls Dam are needed to support the ongoing construction at the American Falls Dam spillway through the rest of the calendar year,” said Brian Stevens of Reclamation’s Upper Snake Field Office. “The Lake Walcott pool elevation will decrease to approximately 7 feet lower than full pool by mid-October, then the pool level will begin to increase closer to full by mid-December when work on the spillway concludes.” <P> During rehabilitation of the American Falls Dam concrete spillway, flows will pass through the Idaho Power Company’s American Falls Power Plant. The spillway rehabilitation project will be paused at the end of 2020 and resume in June 2021. Reclamation plans to again lower the pool elevation at Lake Walcott during 2021 from September through mid-December. <P> Reclamation is coordinating with Idaho Power Company, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and local water users throughout the construction periods. <P> Reclamation plans to operate American Falls Reservoir consistent with previous years during the 2020 and 2021 construction periods. Up-to-date water storage conditions at the reservoir as well as information about releases from American Falls Dam can be found at the project website at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/americanfalls/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/americanfalls/index.html</a> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=72304 Reclamation issues Notice of Intent for lease of power privilege proposals for hydroelectric power development on Lake Roosevelt Reservoir
BOISE, Idaho -The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking proposals to develop pumped-storage hydroelectric power utilizing Lake Roosevelt located in Grand Coulee, Wash. Proposals must be submitted by January 28, 2021. <P> “Reclamation is committed to facilitating the development of non-federal hydropower on Reclamation projects,” said Regional Director Lorri Gray. “We encourage interested parties to review the requirements and submit a proposal if interested.” <P> The proposed pumped storage project request will utilize Lake Roosevelt and Banks Lake. The project also involves a powerhouse, substation and underground tunnels. Due to its nature, the project is subject to the dual jurisdiction of Reclamation and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission <a href="https://www.ferc.gov/">https://www.ferc.gov/</a>. Reclamation’s authority is for Lake Roosevelt Reservoir, while FERC has retained its authority over features outside of Lake Roosevelt. <P> A lease of power privilege is a contractual right given to a non-federal entity to use a Reclamation asset (e.g., dam or conduit) for electric power generation consistent with Reclamation project purposes. The process allows non-federal entities to develop electrical power resources on federal water resource projects. This notice provides background information, proposal content guidelines, and information concerning the selection of a non-federal entity as a preliminary lessee. LOPP projects must not impair the efficiency of Reclamation’s power generation or delivery of water, jeopardize public safety, or negatively affect any other Reclamation project purpose. Interested parties should refer to the Federal Register Notice at <a href="https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/08/31/2020-19155/notice-of-intent-to-accept-proposals-select-preliminary-lessee-and-contract-for-hydroelectric-power">https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/08/31/2020-19155/notice-of-intent-to-accept-proposals-select-preliminary-lessee-and-contract-for-hydroelectric-power</a> for information on how to submit proposals. <P> Additionally, questions about proposal requirements may be sent to Mr. Benjamin Miller at <a href="mailto:bjmiller@usbr.gov">bjmiller@usbr.gov</a> or by phone at 208-378-5196. To learn more about the hydropower program visit <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/power/LOPP/">https://www.usbr.gov/power/LOPP/</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=72287 Reclamation asks public to watch for changes in water depth downstream of American Falls Dam
HEYBURN, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation would like the public to be aware of possible changes in water depth in the Snake River downstream of American Falls Dam from now until mid-October. During rehabilitation of the American Falls Dam concrete spillway, potential changes of approximately 1–2 feet in river depth may occur rapidly from American Falls Dam downstream to Lake Walcott. The spillway rehabilitation, which began June 1, 2020, will continue through 2020 and resume in June 2021. <P> “The safety of the public on and along the river is a top priority,” said Ryan Bliss of Reclamation’s Upper Snake Field Office. “If an adjustment to river flows is imminent, you may hear the sound of a horn if you are near the dam or within the City of American Falls, but farther downstream there may not be an audible warning. We strongly encourage anyone near the water to be aware of their surroundings,” he added. <P> Reclamation is actively working with Idaho Power Company, Power County Emergency Management, and the Power County Sheriff throughout the construction periods. If a significant flow change is expected to occur, Reclamation will notify the Power County Emergency Management and the Power County Sheriff, so they may provide additional public notifications. The Power County officials also will monitor the downstream area during significant flow changes to provide assistance if needed. <P> Reclamation plans to operate American Falls Reservoir consistent with previous years during the 2020 and 2021 construction periods. Up-to-date water storage conditions at the reservoir as well as information regarding releases from American Falls Dam can be found at the project website at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/americanfalls/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/americanfalls/index.html</a>. <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=72264 Yakima Project “Flip-Flop” Operations Underway
YAKIMA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation will begin its annual “flip-flop” operation in early September to aid in successful spawning and incubation of Chinook salmon eggs and to improve winter reservoir storage in the Yakima basin. This means flows out of Keechelus and Cle Elum reservoirs in the upper Yakima River basin will be gradually reduced, while flows from Kachess and Rimrock reservoirs will be increased. This operation will affect flows in the Tieton and Naches rivers, and the Kachess River flows into Lake Easton in the upper Yakima basin. <P> “Reclamation urges those recreating or working along Yakima basin rivers, particularly in the Yakima River near Thorp, to exercise increased caution, stay away from the areas where spillway water flows into the river, portage around buoys, and stay out of dangerously turbulent flows," said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. <P> Reclamation will begin diverting water down the Kittitas Reclamation District’s Spillway 1146 into the Yakima River near Thorp during the week after Labor Day weekend. Buoys and warning signs will be in place in the Yakima River from Sept. 8 or 9 until soon after the flow from Spillway 1146 ends in mid-October. Flows below Cle Elum Reservoir will continue to decrease from a July 28 high of 4,000 cubic feet per second to a low of about 200 to 250 cfs around Sept. 15. Conversely, flows from Rimrock Reservoir will increase from the current flow of below 1000 cfs to between 1,700 and 2,400 cfs by mid-September, depending on irrigation demands and weather conditions. Rimrock flows should be between 1,200 and 1,800 cfs by Labor Day weekend depending on prevailing conditions. Rimrock outflows will begin to decrease in the latter half of September and will be reduced to between 50 and 130 cfs by the end of the irrigation season, Oct. 20, to maintain required downstream minimum flows. <P> This annual flip-flop operation maintains relatively low, more natural flows, which are important for Chinook salmon spawning in the upper Yakima, Cle Elum, and Bumping rivers. It also allows Reclamation to reduce impacts on irrigation water supplies because lower reservoir releases improve storage for the coming season. Real-time streamflow information can be found on Reclamation’s website at <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima/index.html</a>. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=72263 Summer operations nearing an end at Reclamation dams on the Payette River
BOISE, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation will begin reducing flows below Deadwood Dam from approximately 1,000 cubic feet per second to the winter flow of 50 cfs starting the evening of Sunday, August 30, 2020. This will cause flows in the South Fork Payette River to decrease from approximately 1,500 cfs to approximately 500 cfs. <P> Flow changes below Cascade Dam should also be expected over the coming weeks as downstream irrigation demands change. Flows are anticipated to support recreational floating on the North Fork and Main Payette rivers at least through Labor Day. <P> River recreationalists are encouraged to keep alert and informed of changing river conditions by visiting <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/boipaytea.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/boipaytea.html</a> for real-time Payette River flows. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=72084 Secretary Bernhardt Renames Third Power Plant at Grand Coulee After Father-Son Hydropower Pioneers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On August 12, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced the Third Power Plant at Grand Coulee Dam would be renamed as the “Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Washington Power Plant,” in honor of the father-son duo who were instrumental in the conception, construction and implementation of operations at the dam. <P> The announcement was made during a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_AkreDSpvs&feature=youtu.be">virtual rountable event</a> hosted by Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and comes on the heels of Secretary Bernhardt’s visit to the dam in July. The virtual event today highlighted the contributions of Nathaniel “Nat” Washington Sr. and Jr. and the benefits of Grand Coulee Dam to the Pacific Northwest region. Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Dr. Tim Petty and Bureau of Reclamation Regional Director Lorri Gray were joined by Washington State Senator Judy Warnick, Washington State Representatives Tom Dent and Alex Ybarra, Colville Business Council Chairman Rodney Cawston, and Mike Scellick, a community advocate and local historian. <P> “This naming is fitting since the Washington family was an early supporter of hydropower and advocated for infrastructure investment. Their efforts helped put thousands to work, and their infrastructure legacy continues to meet the needs of current and future generations through the largest hydropower producing structure in North America,” said Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt. <P> “Grand Coulee Dam is responsible for transforming our region from an arid desert to one of the most productive agricultural regions in the country, and it provides the lifeblood of the Pacific Northwest,” said Rep. Newhouse. “We know that our way-of-life would not have been possible without the tireless advocacy and service of Nat Washington and his son, Nat Washington Jr. Until now, their story has been largely untold. Thank you, Secretary Bernhardt, Assistant Secretary Petty, and Director Gray for listening to local voices and taking action to finally give these local pioneers of hydropower the recognition they deserve.” <P> “We have long recognized the important role Grand Coulee Dam plays in creating hundreds of jobs for local communities, providing important irrigation for the regional agriculture industry, and supplying the Pacific Northwest with flood control and clean, affordable hydropower,” said Interior Assistant Secretary of Water & Science Dr. Timothy Petty. “I appreciate the opportunity to also recognize the contributions of Nat Washington Sr. and Jr. to both the conception of a hydropower structure along the Columbia River and the implementation and construction of Grand Coulee.” <P> “The Washington’s vision and advocacy extended beyond hydropower development in the Columbia Basin,” said Reclamation’s Columbia-Pacific Northwest Regional Director Lorri Gray. “Their influence also helped implement the Columbia Basin Project, which supplies irrigation water to 10,000 farmers on an estimated 680 thousand acres of farmland in the Columbia River Basin.” <P> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_AkreDSpvs&feature=youtu.be">Click here to watch the virtual roundtable announcement.</a> <P> On July 24, 2019, <a href="https://newhouse.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/newhouse-honors-pioneers-northwest-hydropower-federal-power-plant-naming">Rep. Newhouse introduced H.R. 3937,</a> to rename the Grand Coulee Dam Third Power Plant as the “Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Washington Power Plant.” <P> Nearly one year later, Secretary Bernhardt visited Grand Coulee Dam and learned of the Washington’s story. Secretary Bernhardt, Rep. Newhouse, and Director Gray toured the dam, including the Third Power Plant. Secretary Bernhardt witnessed the operations firsthand and heard of the countless benefits the dam offers local communities – from clean and renewable energy to irrigation and flood control. <P> Background: <P> Nathaniel “Nat” Washington, Sr., a descendant of President George Washington’s family, left his home in Virginia and established a homestead along the Columbia River in 1908. Shortly after arriving in Washington, Nat Sr. was elected as Grant County Prosecutor and later the first president of the Columbia River Dam, Irrigation, and Power District. In this role, Nat Sr. played a key role in the conception of, and securing approval for, the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam. He fell victim to the power of the Columbia River when he was swept away in the current, losing his life while attempting to save his brother James from drowning. <P> Nat Jr. shared his father’s passion for public service and after earning his law degree from the University of Washington, served as Grant County prosecutor. He went on to serve in the Washington State Legislature for 30 years. Nat Jr. was instrumental in the development of several hydropower projects across the region, as well as the Columbia Basin Project, which is one of the largest water reclamation projects in the United States and provides nearly $2 billion in economic benefits to the region each year. <P> When the Third Power Plant was completed in 1980, Grand Coulee Dam became the largest hydropower generating complex in the world. With a generating capacity of 6,809-megawatts supplying up to 21 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, Grand Coulee is the largest power generating complex in the United States. Nat, Jr. continued to advocate for hydropower and secured funding for the building of Priest Rapids and Wampum dams. <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=71904 Lucky Peak Reservoir pool to begin lowering on August 17
BOISE, Idaho -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation will begin lowering the pool elevation of Lucky Peak Reservoir on Monday, August 17. The lowering of Lucky Peak Reservoir follows a typical end of season reservoir drawdown for irrigation as experienced in prior years. Lucky Peak Reservoir pool began lowering on August 14 in 2018 and on August 18 in 2019. <P> <img src="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/images/photos/2020/luckypeakaug.jpg" alt="Graph showing Lucky Peak Lake elevation near Boise Idaho"> <P> Currently, the Boise River System reservoirs are at 73 percent of capacity. Near normal to slightly above normal carryover is projected in the Boise River System reservoirs at the end of the irrigation season. <P> For real-time Boise River flows at Reclamation facilities in the Pacific Northwest Region, visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/boise.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/boise.html</a>. <P> The Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation operate three dams on the Boise River as a system to manage flood control and irrigation storage needs — Lucky Peak Dam, Arrowrock Dam and Anderson Ranch Dam. Storage capacity provided by Reclamation’s Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch dams, and the Corps’ Lucky Peak Dam, combined with well-planned water releases, help manage Boise River flows through the City of Boise. <P> <P> <P>
https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=71844 Hungry Horse Dam Visitor Center to offer alternative visitor experiences to public
HUNGRY HORSE, Mont. – The Bureau of Reclamation announces the Hungry Horse Dam Visitor Center will offer an alternative visitation experience this summer season that will include staff members actively engaging with visitors in outside areas using proper social distancing Monday–Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. MDT, from August 3 through September 7. This is subject to change based on conditions. <P> Following the Montana Governor's directives and guidance from the Flathead County Health Department, Reclamation made the decision that Hungry Horse Dam Visitor Center will remain closed for the rest of the year to protect the health and safety of its visitors, employees, volunteers, partners and other stakeholders. After reviewing staffing needs and safety measures necessary to safely increase access to the indoor visitor center, we determined that visitor safety standards could not be met in light of the local continued upward trend of COVID-19 cases. <P> Hungry Horse Dam is located off Highway 2 in Hungry Horse. Directional signs located past the Hungry Horse/Glacier View Forest Service building indicate the road leading to the visitor center. From Highway 2, travel approximately 4.5 miles to the visitor center located at the north end of the dam’s crest. <P> The <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/visitors.html">CDC has offered guidance</a> for people recreating on public lands to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all functions to ensure visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health. <P> When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice <a href="https://www.nps.gov/articles/leave-no-trace-seven-principles.htm">Leave No Trace</a> principles and avoid crowding, practice social distancing and hand sanitizing. <P> Details and updates on operations will be posted on our website: <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hungryhorse/index.html">https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hungryhorse/index.html</a>. <P>