The Greybull Valley Irrigation District serves 80,000 acres of irrigated land in Park and Big Horn
Counties and has experienced severe water shortages for several years. Increased storage will
provide considerable agricultural and economic benefits.
The project includes a diversion dam on the Greybull River, a 4-mile supply canal, and an off-
channel reservoir on a tributary of Roach Gulch, which is a tributary of the Greybull River
downstream of Meeteetse. The reservoir will have a capacity of 30,000 acre feet.
The Level II study was phased. The first phase was completed in 1990 and concentrated on the
hydrologic and geotechnical feasibility of the project. It was determined that the project is
technically feasible. The second phase served to evaluate the costs and benefits of the two most
feasible dam sites and select the preferred site. The third phase included the development of the
conceptual designs and cost estimates. In 1992, contacts with the Bureau of Reclamation indicated
that the project may be eligible for partial federal funding through the Small Reclamation Project
Act. The sponsor and WWDC decided it would be in the best interests of both parties to delay the
project and seek federal funding. However, in 1993, Dan Beard, the Commissioner of the Bureau,
indicated that the Small Reclamation Program would be discontinued. Therefore, the only available
funding was through the Water Development Program.
The estimated total cost for the proposed project is $40,000,000. Due to a lack of funds in Water
Development Account I, a phased Level III recommendation was made and granted in 1994. The
initial appropriation of $3,000,000 provided funding for permit procurement, land acquisition, and
final design for the project. In 1994, consultants were selected by the district and the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed project.
In 1996, an additional appropriation of $37,000,000 completed funding and allowed the project to
proceed through design to construction.
The design of this project was complete in 1998. The design included provisions that addressed the
poor supporting characteristics of the foundation soils. The difficult geology in the area influenced
the construction, delaying completion by nearly approximately one month.
Project construction started in the summer of 1998. The supply canal was complete in December of
1999 and the Dam was complete in May of 2000. After approximately one year of testing and
startup, the entire project may be operational for the summer of 2001. The project functioned well
during the dry summer of 2000, by eliminating waste due to fluctuating water levels.
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
No legislative action required.