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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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 98. PROJECT:Wind River Planning Study
SPONSOR:State of Wyoming
LOCATION:Fremont County
PROGRAM:New Development
Purpose Chapter Session Account Appropriation Due Date
Level I 38 1991 I $500,000 1992
Level II 10 1994 I $400,000 1996
Level II 8 1995 I $200,000 1996

On August 23, 1990, Governor Sullivan requested the WWDC to use its resources to define and evaluate potential solutions to the problems facing the non-Indian water users. The WWDC concluded that regardless of the outcome of the litigation/negotiation, the non-Indian irrigators will have to be more water efficient. Therefore, the WWDC entered into an agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation to conduct rehabilitation/water use efficiency analyses throughout the basin. The Bureau of Reclamation has entered into agreements with the Soil Conservation Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Tribes to do portions of the study.

WWDC conducted assessments of the LeClair and Riverton Valley Irrigation Districts. WWDC has also mapped the actual irrigated land in the basin. The Bureau of Reclamation has prepared evaluations of the Midvale and Owl Creek Irrigation Districts. The Soil Conservation Service determined the "on-farm" water needs for the entire study area and evaluated small private canal systems off the reservation. The Tribes have conducted evaluations of the Wind River Irrigation Project and small independent canal systems on the reservation.

The first phase of the cooperative technical effort is complete. The WWDC and the Tribes completed an evaluation of the enlargement potential of Dinwoody Lakes Reservoir. The other reports have identified numerous rehabilitation and betterment options that will save water and provide for more efficient operations. These efforts were incorporated into a summary report prepared in 1994. In 1994, the LeClair and Riverton Valley Irrigation Districts received Level III funds to convert their existing open ditch lateral systems to pipelines. In 1995, the Midvale Irrigation District received Level III funds to pursue a water conservation project, the Sand Mesa Pipeline, as identified in the Bureau report. The Tribes are pursuing conservation projects.

In 1994, the WWDC requested additional funding for the Wind River Planning Study so it may participate in identified water conservation projects and, through cooperative efforts with the Tribes, design an enlargement to Ray Lake and define improvements needed for the Ethete domestic water supply system. The WWDC and the Tribes are in the process of preparing final designs of the rehabilitation needs and enlargement of Ray Lake Dam. In 1994, a Madison formation test well was drilled under a cooperative agreement between WWDC and the Tribes. In 1995, a second test well was drilled. The results of these test wells and an assessment of the rural water supply system for Ethete are being used by the Tribes to prepare an improvement plan.

No legislative action is required or recommended on this project.

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