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Posted 11/26/2018

Release no. 18-118

Eileen Williamson

The 2018 edition of the document governing how the six dams on the Missouri River will be operated was made available to the public today.

The 2018 Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System Master Water Control Manual, or Master Manual, reflects current data and conditions relative to data collection, reservoir modeling, long-term runoff forecasting, reservoir regulation planning, and communications. The 2018 manual also includes cumulative regulation data, such as runoff and reservoir data, through 2017.

Additionally, last week, Brig. Gen. D. Peter Helmlinger, Northwestern Division commander, signed the Record of Decision for the 2018 Final Missouri River Recovery Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement which analyzed potential operational changes to the Master Manual. As a result of that decision, the bimodal spring pulse criteria and reservoir unbalancing actions that were part of the 2004/2006 Master Manual have been removed and are not included in the 2018 Master Manual. No other operational changes were made in the development of the 2018 Master Manual.

“The 2018 Master Manual reflects current data and conditions and removes the spring pulse and reservoir unbalancing actions in accordance with the 2018 MRRMP-EIS ROD. The rule curves that are used to determine the navigation service level, navigation season length, winter releases, and flood evacuation rates were not changed from the 2004/2006 Master Manual,” said John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division.  “We remain committed to our Flood Risk Reduction mission, protecting stakeholders when we can from significant runoff events that pose a threat to human health and safety.”

The system of six dams on the Missouri River affects the states within the Missouri River basin in which the dams and their reservoirs are located, as well as the downstream reaches of the Missouri River to its mouth near St. Louis, Missouri.

The six system reservoirs are operated as a hydraulically and electrically integrated system to meet the congressionally authorized purposes of flood control, navigation, irrigation, water supply, water quality control, hydropower generation, recreation and fish and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species.

The 2018 Master Manual is available on the Corps’ website: www.nwd.usace.army.mil/mrwm/.