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Missouri River Basin runoff remains above normal

Published Aug. 11, 2014
The Missouri River Water Management office releases a report at the beginning of each month to the public documenting the monthly river forecast and release schedule. The Missouri River Water Management Division is part of the Northwestern Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is located in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Missouri River Water Management office releases a report at the beginning of each month to the public documenting the monthly river forecast and release schedule. The Missouri River Water Management Division is part of the Northwestern Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is located in Omaha, Nebraska.

Omaha, Neb. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Missouri River Basin Water Management Division reports runoff in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa for the month of July was 4.3 million acre feet (MAF), 133 percent of normal.  The 2014 runoff forecast is 32.5 MAF, 129 percent of normal.  Average annual runoff is 25.2 MAF. 

“Although July precipitation was below normal in the upper basin, high streamflows persisted in some areas due to very wet conditions in June.  Runoff from the remaining high elevation mountain snowmelt also contributed to the above normal July runoff,” said Jody Farhat, chief of the Missouri River Water Management Division. 

The total volume of water stored in the Mainstem Reservoir System is currently 60.6 MAF, occupying 4.5 MAF of the 16.3 MAF combined flood control storage zones.  “System storage peaked on July 21 at 60.9 MAF and is gradually declining.  The water remaining in the annual flood control zone will be released during the remainder of the year to serve navigation, water supply and other downstream purposes,” explains Farhat. 

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 Dam releases will be adjusted as necessary to meet full service navigation targets and prepare the reservoir system for next spring’s runoff,” added Farhat. 

The Corps will continue to monitor basin conditions and fine tune the regulation of the reservoir system based on the most up-to-date information. 

Reservoir Forecasts 

Gavins Point Dam releases averaged 26,100 cubic feet per second (cfs) in July.  Releases are currently 28,000 cfs and will be adjusted to meet downstream targets.  The reservoir behind Gavins Point Dam ended July at elevation 1206.4 feet.  The reservoir elevation will remain near that level during August. 

Fort Randall Dam releases averaged 25,800 cfs.  Fort Randall releases will be adjusted as necessary to maintain the desired elevation at Gavins Point. The reservoir ended July at elevation 1356.1 feet, down 0.8 feet during the month.  The reservoir will drop slightly during August ending the month near elevation 1355 feet. 

Big Bend Dam releases averaged 22,800 cfs during the month of July.  Releases will remain near these levels in August. The reservoir will remain near its normal elevation of 1420 feet.   

Oahe Dam releases averaged 24,800 cfs during the month of July.  Releases will remain near these levels in August.  The reservoir ended July at elevation 1613.7 feet, up 1.3 feet during the month. The reservoir is expected to fall less than 0.5 feet during August. 

Garrison Dam releases were reduced from 30,000 cfs to 28,000 cfs during July, averaging 28,500 cfs for the month.  Releases will remain at 28,000 cfs during August.  Garrison ended the month at elevation 1846.1 feet, up 0.9 feet.  It is expected to fall about 2 feet during August. 

Fort Peck Dam releases averaged 7,500 cfs in July.  Releases were reduced from 9,000 cfs to 7,000 cfs near the beginning of the month, and then later increased to 7,500 cfs.  Releases will remain at that rate during August to conserve water in Fort Peck Reservoir and meet downstream irrigation needs.  The reservoir ended July at elevation 2230.1 feet, up 0.1 feet.  The reservoir is forecasted to fall 1 foot by the end of August. 

The forecasted reservoir releases and elevations discussed above are not definitive.  Additional precipitation, lack of precipitation, or other circumstances could cause adjustments to the reservoir release rates.  

The six mainstem power plants generated 904 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity in July.  Typical energy generation for the month of July is 946 million kWh. The power plants are projected to generate 9.1 billion kWh of electricity this year, compared to the normal of 10 billion kWh. 

To view the detailed three-week release forecast for the mainstem dams, go to: http://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/reports/twregfcast.pdf

 

MISSOURI RIVER MAINSTEM RESERVOIR DATA  

 

Pool Elevation (ft above mean sea level)

Water in Storage - 1,000 acre-feet

 

On July 31

Change in July

On July 31

% of 1967-2013 Average

Change in July

Fort Peck

2230.1

+0.1

13,978

93

+12

Garrison

1846.1

+0.9

20,582

107

+335

Oahe

1613.7

+1.3

20,697

113

+440

Big Bend

1420.1

-0.7

1,635

96

-46

Fort Randall

1356.1

      -0.8

3,501

92

-73

Gavins Point

1206.4

-0.4

336

84

-9

 

 

Total

60,729

104

+659

  

WATER RELEASES AND ENERGY GENERATION FOR JULY 

 

Average Release in 1,000 cfs

Releases in 1,000 acre-feet

Generation in million kWh

Fort Peck

7.5

462

72

Garrison

28.5

1,753

282

Oahe

24.8

1,523

238

Big Bend

22.8

1,403

83

Fort Randall

25.8

1,587

171

Gavins Point

26.1

1,605

58

 

 

Total

904

 

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Contact
Serena Baker
(503) 808-3711
serena.baker@usace.army.mil

Release no. 20140811-001