The 1999 Water Development Omnibus Construction legislation authorized $215,000 for the
purpose of building from one to twelve small dams and reservoirs to improve range and grazing
conditions in the area. The total estimated volume of water impounded by the twelve reservoirs
would be approximately 2,636 acre-feet and will service a total area of 9,780 acres of rangeland.
Construction of the 12 dams was initially estimated to be in the range of $2,254,650.
With the first appropriation of $215,000, design on three dams was completed along with the
purchase of spillway piping, outlet and inlet materials for two dams and the construction of a
single dam and reservoir. An additional $50,000 was included in the 2000 Water Development
Omnibus Construction legislation to allow the completion of construction on the second dam and
reservoir site. The cost for the design, construction and engineering inspection of the two dams
and reservoirs is approximately $1,670 per acre-foot.
The district has been instrumental in substantially lowering the overall project costs by
undertaking the securing of permits from the Corps of Engineers, the DEQ Water Quality
Division, the State Engineer's Office and the Bureau of Land Management.
The 2002 legislative session appropriated an additional $500,000 to continue the design and
construction of four additional dams and reservoirs from the original list of twelve dams and
reservoirs identified as being economically viable and feasible to construct. The dams/reservoirs
include: Brown's Hill 21, Garden Gulch 3, Garden Gulch 32, and Ketchum Buttes 34. The four
dams are estimated to provide over 425 acre-feet of storage capacity.
In order to qualify for Water Development Program funding, the Little Snake River Conservation
District must provide sufficient collateral to secure the loan. The current appropriation provides
for a $200,000 loan and a $300,000 grant. Collateral has been established in the form of an
escrow account in the Rawlins National Bank with a current balance of over $202,500. During
2002, initial permitting activities and geotechnical drilling was undertaken by the Sponsor.
Construction on the first reservoir is anticipated to begin during the Spring of 2003.
Since the sites are located on BLM lands, maintenance of the currently constructed dams and
reservoirs is being assumed by the Bureau of Land Management under operating agreements
between the BLM and the district. Maintenance of additional dams and reservoirs constructed
will be handled in a similar manner.
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
No legislative action is required.