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Archive: 2017
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  • 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.
  • Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee to Meet in Omaha

    The Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC) will hold its 38th meeting here Aug. 8-10, 2017. The meeting will be at the DoubleTree by Hilton Omaha Downtown, 1616 Dodge St., Omaha, NE 68102, beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, and concluding at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10. The draft MRRIC meeting agenda can be found online at www.MRRIC.org.
  • 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.