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 of Reclamation, indicated that the Small Reclamation Program
would be discontinued. Therefore, it was concluded that the project would have to be funded by
the Water Development Program.
The estimated total cost for the proposed project was $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 to construction.
The design of this project was complete in 1998. The design included extra measures to
strengthen a weak supporting foundation. This delayed completion by nearly 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 Spring of 2000. Lack of adequate runoff has prohibited the
complete first fill and has stalled the evaluation of the dam performance. A contingency fund has
been set aside, to correct deficiencies that typically arise during the first few months of
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
No legislative action is required on this project.