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June Runoff Below Average in Missouri River Basin

Published July 7, 2016
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. – June runoff in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, was 4.1 million acre feet (MAF), 74 percent of average, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).  The 2016 calendar year runoff forecast is 23.0 MAF, which is 91 percent of the historic average.

“Mountain snowpack in the reaches above Fort Peck and Garrison reservoirs peaked in early April slightly below normal and melted quickly this spring, with the bulk of the runoff entering the reservoirs during May and early June,” said Jody Farhat, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division.  “That, coupled with below normal precipitation and above normal temperatures across the upper basin, reduced inflow to the reservoir system during June.”  The melting of the mountain snowpack is complete.  View the mountain snowpack graphic here: http://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/reports/snow.pdf

The total volume of water currently stored in the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System is 59.9 MAF, occupying 3.8 MAF of the 16.3 MAF flood control zone.  “The reservoirs are currently occupying 23 percent of the available flood control storage and remain well positioned to capture additional runoff should reductions in releases become necessary,” said Farhat.  System storage peaked at 60.1 MAF on June 22.

Based on the July 1 System storage check, the navigation service level will remain at full service for the second half of the navigation season.  In addition the navigation season length will be a normal 8-month season with navigation flow support ending on December 1 at the mouth of the Missouri River near St. Louis, Mo.  The September 1 system storage check will determine the winter releases from Gavins Point.

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


Reservoir Forecasts

Gavins Point releases averaged 23,900 cfs during June.  Releases are expected to remain near 25,000 cfs in July but will be increased if needed to meet navigation targets in reaches with commercial traffic as flows on tributaries in the lower basin recede.  The reservoir behind Gavins Point Dam ended June at elevation 1206.2 feet and will remain near elevation 1206.0 feet during July.

Fort Randall Dam releases averaged 20,900 cfs in June.  Releases will be adjusted as necessary to maintain the desired elevation at Gavins Point Dam.  The reservoir ended June at elevation 1356.3 feet, falling 2.4 feet during the month.  The reservoir is expected to be gradually lowered in July, ending the month near elevation 1355.2 feet.

Big Bend Dam releases averaged 15,700 cfs in June.  Releases are expected to average 22,200 cfs this month.  The reservoir will remain near its normal elevation of 1420.0 feet during July.

Oahe Dam releases averaged 16,900 cfs during June.  Releases are expected to average 22,100 cfs in July.  The reservoir ended June at elevation 1612.2 feet, rising 0.8 feet during the month.  The reservoir level is expected to fall less than 1 foot during July.

Garrison Dam releases averaged 20,900 cfs during June.  Releases will be reduced from 21,000 cfs to 20,000 cfs in early July.  Garrison ended June at elevation 1842.0 feet, rising 2.3 feet during the month.  The reservoir level is expected to fall less than 1 foot during July.

Fort Peck Dam releases averaged 8,600 cfs in June.  Releases will be decreased from 9,000 cfs to 8,000 cfs during July.  The reservoir ended June at elevation 2235.8 feet, down 0.1 feet during the month.  The reservoir level is forecast to fall slightly during July ending the month near elevation 2234.5 feet.

The forecast 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 694 million kilowatt hours of electricity in June.  Typical energy generation for June is 834 million kWh.  The power plants are projected to generate 8.1 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 MAIN STEM RESERVOIR DATA

 

 

Pool Elevation

(feet above mean sea level)

Water in Storage - 1,000 acre-feet

 

On June 30

Change in June

On June 30

% of 1967–2015 Average

Change in June

Fort Peck

2235.8

-0.1

15,180

104

-9

Garrison

1842.0

+2.3

19,177

105

+752

Oahe

1612.2

+0.8

20,191

107

+279

Big Bend

1420.1

-0.8

1,639

98

-43

Fort Randall

1356.3

-2.4

3,517

97

-218

Gavins Point

1206.2

-1.6

332

98

-36

 

 

Total

60036

105

+725

 

WATER RELEASES AND ENERGY GENERATION FOR JUNE

 

 

Average Release in 1,000 cfs

Releases in 1,000 acre-feet

Generation in Million kWh

Fort Peck

8.6

514

87

Garrison

20.9

1,246

195

Oahe

16.9

1,003

156

Big Bend

15.7

937

55

Fort Randall

20.9

1,246

137

Gavins Point

23.9

1,420

64

 

 

Total

694

 


Contact
Michael Coffey
503-808-3722
michael.a.coffey@usace.army.mil

Release no. 20160707-001