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Wyoming Water Development Commission 
Harry C. LaBonde, Jr., PE, Director 
6920 Yellowtail Rd, Cheyenne, WY 82002 
Phone: 307-777-7626 

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Project Reports

A typical water development project progresses through the following phases or levels. However, some levels may be bypassed if there is pertinent existing information available on the project.
1. Level I -- Reconnaissance Studies

These studies are preliminary analyses and comparison of development alternatives.

The typical Level I study should identify or provide the following:

a. Identify development options.

b. Identify potential beneficiaries and benefits of each option.

c. Describe factors that could impair or prohibit the development of any option, including legal and environmental constraints.

d. Analyze water rights, including identification of conflicting prior rights.

e. Compare options based on physical and legal water availability, technical, economic, legal, and environmental considerations.

2. Level II -- Feasibility Studies

The typical Level II process consists of two phases. First, project feasibility is addressed. Then, if the project is determined feasible, the proposal is refined to the status necessary for a Level III funding request.

The typical Level II Phase I investigations should include the following activities:

a. Quantify reasonably, the amount of water that can physically and legally be developed.

b. Determine water needs that could be served by the project.

c. Determine technical feasibility including a safety analysis.

d. Develop a general configuration depicting preliminary physical characteristics of the project.

e. Develop a preliminary project operation plan.

f. Estimate costs for construction, consultant services, and operation and maintenance.

g. Identify direct benefits that could result from project implementation and the resulting supply of industrial, agricultural and/or municipal water.

h. Identify costs and benefits that would result by incorporating recreation, hydropower generation, and flood control functions into the project.

I. Define economic, legal, environmental, and administrative problems and identify alternate solutions to those problems.

j. Develop an ownership map of lands that may be affected by the project.

k. Commence the data collection process to identify environmental impacts and potential mitigation and enhancement opportunities.

l. Conduct an analysis of the project sponsor's ability to pay.

After review of the above information, a determination of technical, economic, and legal feasibility should be made. This determination, coupled with the sponsor's need for the project, interest in the project, and willingness and ability to financially participate, will be utilized to determine if the project should proceed to Level II -- Phase II.

The typical Level II -- Phase II investigations should include the following activities:

a. Perform the final technical design including:

i. Hydrologic investigations.

ii. An operating plan which addresses water management during and after construction.

iii. A conceptual design of the general project configuration.

b. Identify state and federal permits and clearances necessary to construct the project. Interview representatives of each permitting agency to determine data and schedule requirements.

c. Perform an environmental analysis of the proposed operation and configuration. On the more complex projects, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department assists the WWDC in these analyses. On an annual basis, the WWDC contracts with the department to provide environmental baseline data, evaluate project impacts, and recommend mitigation measures.

d. Perform a cultural resource survey of the general project area, as applicable.

e. Determine which lands must be acquired to implement the project. Identify applications to purchase or obtain easements on public lands and obtain appraisals of private lands that must be purchased.

f. Develop a detailed schedule of the activities necessary to complete the project.

g. Prepare an itemized project budget which includes costs for design engineering, permitting, land acquisition, environmental mitigation, construction, construction engineering, operation, maintenance and replacement.

h. Perform an economic analysis comparing the allocated costs with project primary and secondary benefits. For the more complex projects, an analysis of indirect benefits may be appropriate.

3. Level III -- Development Plans and Construction

The typical Level III process progresses in the following manner:

a. Prepare the project agreement, note and mortgage which formalizes sponsor and WWDC project responsibilities and the financing plan/procedures. Funds are not available for expenditure until these documents are executed.

b. Secure consultant services required for final design, permitting, and construction inspection.

c. Prepare permit applications and commence the permitting process.

d. Prepare Environmental Impact Statements or Assessments. Typically, the 404 permit application will trigger this activity.

e. Prepare the construction documents including technical specifications, contract documents and bidding plans. This work may be performed concurrently with the permitting process if it is determined that the project feasibility will not be impacted by permit conditions. If there are particularly sensitive permitting issues, this task should be postponed until those issues are successfully resolved.

f. Acquire options on or title to the necessary project lands and easements. The scheduling of this task should be sequenced to minimize impacts to property owners and as dictated by the permitting process.

g. Perform mitigation of project impacts on environmental and cultural resources.

h. After the above activities are completed or there is assurance that they will be completed prior to any construction activities, the construction bidding process can be initiated.

i. Perform the construction and construction administration/inspection.

j. Determine the date the sponsor accrues project benefits in order to establish loan repayment schedules.

k. Perform project close out procedures.

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