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Missouri River Water Management News


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Missouri River public meetings scheduled for April 17-19 throughout basin

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Missouri River Basin Water Management Division will be conducting five public meetings throughout the basin April 17-19. The purpose of these meetings is to update the region on current hydrologic conditions and the planned operation of the mainstem reservoir system during the coming months. The 2018 runoff forecast in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, is 30.2 million acre feet (MAF), 119 percent of average according to the Corps. “The updated forecast increased slightly from last month due to the continued accumulation of mountain and plains snowpack in the upper basin,” said John Remus, Chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. “Based on the current plains and mountain snowpack and precipitation outlooks, runoff into the Fort Peck and Garrison reservoirs is expected to be above average from March through August,” said Remus. For comparison, the 2017 runoff was 29.6 MAF, 117 percent of average. [Read More]
Published: Apr-05-18

2018 runoff forecast above average; Public meetings to be held April 17-19

The 2018 runoff forecast in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, is 29.0 million acre feet (MAF), 115 percent of normal according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Missouri River Water Management Division. “The updated forecast increased from last month due to the continued accumulation of mountain and plains snowpack in the upper basin,” said John Remus, Chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. “Based on the current plains and mountain snowpack, runoff into the Fort Peck and Garrison reservoirs is expected to be above average from March through July,” said Remus. [Read More]
Published: Mar-06-18

Reservoir system prepared for 2018 runoff season

All 2017 stored flood waters were evacuated from the Missouri River mainstem reservoir system (System) as of January 15, when the total volume stored in the System reached 56.1 million acre-feet (MAF), according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Missouri River Water Management Division. “The System stands ready to capture spring runoff, reducing flood risk while providing support to other authorized project purposes,” said John Remus, Chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. [Read More]
Published: Feb-06-18

Preparing system for upcoming runoff season; Near normal runoff forecast for 2018

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is continuing to prepare the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System (System) for the upcoming runoff season. Current Gavins Point Dam releases are 21,500 cubic feet per second (cfs). Gavins Point Dam winter releases normally range between 12,000 and 17,000 cfs. The total volume of water stored in the System is currently 56.3 million acre-feet (MAF), occupying 0.2 MAF of the 16.3 MAF combined flood control storage zones. Based on current soil moisture conditions, plains and mountain snowpack, the 2018 calendar year runoff forecast is 26.6 MAF above Sioux City, IA, 105 percent of average. Average annual runoff is 25.3 MAF. [Read More]
Published: Jan-09-18

Releases from Gavins Point Dam reduced to winter rate

Gavins Point Dam releases began the reduction to the winter release rate of 21,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) on December 4. “Based on the September 1 system storage, Gavins Point Dam winter releases will be at least 17,000 cfs. However, higher-than-normal runoff during the late summer and fall will allow us to provide a slightly higher release during the winter months. Higher winter releases will provide additional hydropower generation during the winter, which is one of the peak power demand periods. It will also benefit municipal and industrial water intakes below Gavins Point Dam, which can be impacted by low water levels during periods of ice formation,” said John Remus, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. Gavins Point Dam winter releases normally range between 12,000 and 17,000 cfs. [Read More]
Published: Dec-06-17

Releases from Gavins Point Dam to be reduced to winter release rate in late November

Gavins Point Dam releases will remain near 31,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) for the first half of November and then increased to 32,000 cfs. Releases will be held at that rate until late November and then stepped down approximately 3,000 cfs each day until they reach the winter release rate. “Based on the September 1 system storage, Gavins Point Dam winter releases will be at least 17,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). However, higher than normal runoff during the late summer and fall will allow us to provide a slightly higher release during the late fall and winter months. Higher winter releases will provide additional hydropower generation during the winter, one of the peak power demand periods. It will also benefit municipal and industrial water intakes below Gavins Point Dam, which can be impacted by low water levels during periods of ice formation,” said John Remus, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. Gavins Point Dam winter releases normally range between 12,000 and 17,000 cfs. [Read More]
Published: Nov-06-17

Gavins Point releases reduced to lessen downstream flooding; public meetings set for mid-October

Gavins Point releases were reduced from 31,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 26,000 cfs to lessen downstream flooding. Heavy rainfall in the lower Missouri Basin resulted in increased tributary flows below the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System (System). Gavins Point releases will be increased back to 31,000 cfs as downstream flows recede. Fort Randall releases were reduced to as low as 19,500 cfs to limit the rise of the Gavins Point reservoir level, which was impacted by high runoff from localized rain and reduced releases. [Read More]
Published: Oct-10-17

Gavins Point winter releases determined; Corps to hold public meetings in mid-October

Based on the September 1 System storage check, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced that the Gavins Point winter release rate will be at least 17,000 cfs. The total volume of water stored in the Mainstem Reservoir System is currently 60.2 MAF, occupying 4.1 MAF of the 16.3 MAF combined flood control storage zones. “System storage peaked on July 9 at 61.8 MAF and is gradually declining. The water currently stored in the annual flood control zone will be released during the remainder of the year to serve navigation, water supply and other downstream purposes and will be completely evacuated prior to the start of next year’s runoff season,” said John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. Garrison releases will be reduced from the current release rate of 30,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to the fall rate of 20,000 cfs beginning September 10. Missouri River stages in the Bismarck area will decline about 3.0 feet due to the release reduction from Garrison. [Read More]
Published: Sep-06-17

Drought conditions continue across upper Missouri River Basin

Drought conditions continue across the upper Missouri River basin according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “With the exception of the Fort Peck to Garrison reach, runoff into the Missouri River mainstem reservoirs during July was below average due to the continuing drought conditions in the upper basin.” said Jody Farhat, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. “Runoff into Garrison was 124 percent of average, due to runoff from the remaining mountain snowmelt. July runoff ranged from 20 to 90 percent of average in the other reservoir reaches.” Runoff above Sioux City, Iowa for the month of July was 3.3 million acre feet (MAF), 101 percent of average. The 2017 runoff forecast for the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, is 27.9 MAF, 110 percent of average. As previously announced, the Corps will be providing flows to support full-service navigation as well as a full, eight-month navigation season. Full-service flow support is generally sufficient to provide a navigation channel that is 9 feet deep and 300 feet wide. “Gavins Point releases will be adjusted as necessary to meet full-service navigation targets in reaches with commercial navigation,” added Farhat. The September 1 system storage check will determine the winter releases from Gavins Point. The Corps has announced that John Remus has been selected as the new chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. Mr. Remus currently serves as the chief of the Hydrologic Engineering Branch in the Corps’ Omaha District. Mr. Remus assumes the duties of the position in late August and replaces Ms. Farhat, who is retiring. [Read More]
Published: Aug-04-17

Drought conditions expand in Upper Missouri River Basin; Gavins Point releases lowered in early July

Drought conditions in the upper Missouri River basin have expanded and intensified during the past month, reducing inflows to the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System. As a result, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Missouri River Basin Water Management Division made a slight reduction in Gavins Point releases this week, from 33,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 32,000 cfs. Gavins Point releases were held steady at 33,000 cfs during June. The total volume of water stored in the reservoir system is currently 61.8 MAF and is nearing its annual peak. With approximately 65 percent of the flood control storage remaining, the reservoirs remain well positioned to capture runoff from summer rainfall events in the upper basin. The vacant flood control storage will also allow for future reductions in Gavins Point releases in response to summer rainfall events in the lower basin if necessary. The 2017 runoff forecast in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, is 28.5 MAF, 113 percent of normal. Runoff above Sioux City, Iowa in June was 5.8 MAF, 106 percent of normal. The melt of the mountain snowpack is complete and inflows to the reservoirs are declining. [Read More]
Published: Jul-07-17
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