US Army Corps of Engineers
Northwestern Division

News Releases

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee enters new phase

    The Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC) met in Kansas City, Missouri, Oct. 30-Nov. 2. Committee members continued their work on the transition to an adaptive management framework that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will use to help protect the pallid sturgeon, the interior least tern, and the piping plover while maintaining the Missouri River’s eight authorized purposes (flood control, navigation, irrigation, hydropower, water supply, water quality, recreation, and fish and wildlife).
  • Tribes work with MRRIC as committee enters new phase

    The Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC) met in Kansas City, Missouri, Oct. 30-Nov. 2. Tribes were represented by Dr. Kelly Morgan, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Randy Teboe, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska; John Fox, Osage Nation; Richard White, Ogalala Sioux Tribe, and Elizabeth Wakeman, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. The Omaha Tribe has joined the MRRIC Committee, appointing Orville Cayou, Vice-Chairman for the Tribe (who attended this meeting), and Jessica Webster-Valentino, Tribal Treasurer.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee agrees on future role

    The Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC) held its 38th meeting Aug. 8-10. Members learned about the public comments submitted on the draft Missouri River Recovery Management Plan-Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Adaptive Management (AM) Plan released by the Corps in December 2016.
  • Tribes work with MRRIC on committee’s future role

    The Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC) held its 38th meeting Aug. 8-10. MRRIC and the Tribal members welcomed Joni Tobacco, newly-appointed member of the Ogalala Sioux Tribe. Other Tribes were represented by Dr. Andrea Hunter, Osage Nation; Dr. Kelly Morgan, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Alan Kelley, Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska; Deb Madison, Fort Peck and Assiniboine and Sioux Tribe; Shannon Wright, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska; and Randy Teboe, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.
  • 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.